Education technology is a challenging space to break into - it is difficult to know what opportunities exist within a school. Teachers know how they want to work, and they know what’s keeping them from that. However, for a product builder, contacting teachers is difficult, and observing a classroom, near impossible. This situation is exacerbated for low income schools, who have the most need for effective products, and the least time for curious product developers.
School Shaped’s mission is to expose and validate the opportunities in schools, so anyone can help address them. We organize classroom observation and teacher interviews for interested developers. From there we facilitate the creation and validation of prototype products. Finally, we publicly document any product opportunities the partner teachers or developers discover, allowing other educators and developers to confidently work on similar projects.
For each interested cohort of developers we organize a single, half day, observation of a partner teacher, followed by a half day of guided design synthesis. We then arrange for one or two follow-up conversations between the cohort and their teacher, to discuss areas of opportunity. Finally the cohort and their partner teacher presents their findings to a group of education enthusiasts, who may choose to work on one of the opportunities. The presentation, and any subsequent findings, are documented online.