I am no stranger to educational technology. As a teacher for ten years, I was an evangelist for using technology in the classroom. I was an early adopter of Google Docs (and eventually Google Apps for Education) as well as an LMS that harnessed the power of online socializing and put it to use by creating a social, 24/7 environment for students to access content and lessons.
I am also very skeptical of most edtech companies: I wanted to utilize tech that helped my students and I knew that not every device, subscription, nor platform was relevant to my teaching style. I loved tech, but it had its time and place in my classroom.
In 2017, I entered the private sector of education and spent most of the year traveling across the United States working with teachers to support the integration of technology in their classrooms. I often came across the same tired, skeptical sentiment about edtech:
It seemed like a chore for teachers to adopt and use new technologies.
In many places, administrators were pushing new technology initiatives to an entire district, while not even being able to turn on a computer or log into accounts themselves and yet wanted every teacher to become experts. There was a completely understandable level of frustration and disillusionment coming from the teachers. Why were they expected to implement something when the people asking them to do it were not capable of also integrating it into their daily routines?
I have a lot of empathy for their plight. I too had been a victim of education’s awkward fascination of using tech for the sake of tech. Regularly, administrators brought the staff together to mandate new tools, whether or not they actually fit into the goals we had for our students. It was exhausting and demoralizing. I still tell stories about the time the teachers in my school were given iPads and told to use them but given no professional development or reason behind it. But hey, at least we could say our teachers all had iPads in their hands, right? (Oh and by the way, a year later, those same iPads were taken away and redistributed to an elementary school in the district because only a small fraction of our teachers were actually using them.)
I’m sure you are thinking: but Sarah, don’t you work for an edtech company? How can you still empathize with all the tech-tired teachers out there when you work for a company that is promoting tech use in classrooms?
The answer is simple: Kiddom believes in empowering teachers so that they can empower their students. Technology is meant to be relevant, meaningful, and helpful in the classroom. In keeping with my love of odd numbers, here are 5 reasons why I think Kiddom meets teacher needs.
One: Kiddom is free for individual teachers to use. That’s not going to change for anyone that decides to start using Kiddom in their classroom. That’s an amazing thing for teachers who are so used to testing out technology only to have it turn into a subscription-based, limited platform three weeks later.
Two: Kiddom gives teachers the ability to collaborate with each other more effectively and efficiently. Instead of endless lists of documents and exchanged emails, Kiddom provides teachers with a common place to house shared curriculum documents and lesson plans. It provides them a place to create lasting, meaningful content with each other, even if they aren’t in the same room.
Three: Access to high quality content. It takes a lot of time to curate resources for our students. During that time, we are often searching multiple websites, databases, and textbooks trying to find things that are suitable for our current students AND standards aligned. Kiddom understands that plight and wants to give your time back. We have a content library that is easily searchable based on your specific needs. Heck, it even provides you a one-stop-shop to search some of the most utilized resource subscriptions that you are used to using in your classroom (ex: Khan Academy, Newsela, IXL Math, Flocabulary, etc.)
Four: Google Drive integration. We understand that a lot of teachers have already integrated the G Suite apps into their classroom and are comfortable with using them with their students. With Kiddom, you don’t have to lose what you know — you can easily add assignments straight from your Google Drive account. The added benefit: we take Google and super power it with our awesome student analytics, mastery reports, and ability to assign and customize content to individual students instead of a one size-fits all assignment for the entire class.
But most importantly?
Five: Flexibility. We want you to use Kiddom the way it works for you and your students. If you just want a place to collaborate with your colleagues and share lesson plans together, then use Kiddom to do just that. If you want a more thorough and expansive ecosystem for your classroom or school (or district), we have you covered too. As a matter of fact, this summer we are launching a new pilot program that boasts comprehensive support, training, and resources. If you want to be an early adopter of our comprehensive school wide platform (and be privy to some bonus perks for being a part of our first group of Academy educators), set up a demo with us and we will be more than happy to have a one-on-one conference with you and your team.
This is the most passionate, teacher and student-centric group of human beings that I have come across in the edtech world and that is why joining the team at Kiddom was an absolute no brainer for me.
By: Sarah Gantert, Success Specialist
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