With the state of schools today, it’s hard to think about what the long-term future should look like. Even now, heading into October 2020, two-thirds of the teachers and administrators we speak with are still operating in a hybrid learning environment that is far from perfect. Their attention is consumed by the dizzying array of variables that have to line up to effectively teach remotely while trying to get kids back into the physical classroom.
The day-to-day reality makes it difficult to pause and think about what schools and schooling should like in two, five, or even ten years.
Amazon.com’s CEO Jeff Bezos is quoted as saying, “I very frequently get the question: ‘What’s going to change in the next 10 years?’ And that is a very interesting question; it’s a very common one. I almost never get the question: ‘What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?’ And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two...when you have something that you know is true, even over the long term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.”
As I’ve shared before, I believe the current environment makes the state standards more important than ever. I don’t know if kids in 10 years will be attending physical classrooms five days a week, or learning in specialized pods, or logging on everyday through a technology portal we can’t imagine today. But I do know that educators and parents will still be asking the same questions that we hear today, namely “Is my child learning?” and “Is my child on track?”
With that in mind, I’m proud to announce that USATestprep has acquired Education Galaxy. Many of the schools and districts we work with already know the name Education Galaxy, or work with them directly. Educational Galaxy is a fun and rigorous way for younger learners to engage with the state standards, using standards-based activities combined with tools for teachers to measure student progress. What they do sounds a lot like what we do at USATestprep, because they share our dedication to building high-quality, standards-aligned resources that teachers rave about.
The company was founded by Jeremy Verret, who has a long career serving teachers and students through educational technology. Jeremy has focused his company on younger learners (primarily in grades K-5), while my team at USATestprep has largely focused on older learners, building off our earliest days as a high school-only product. With Education Galaxy, we can reach a broader spectrum of learners across K-12. USATestprep strives to provide teachers, students, administrators and parents a trusted system that covers all grades, all courses, and all standards, so that everyone involved in a child’s education has one trusted system to support his or her academic progress from the first days of kindergarten all the way through high school graduation.
We won’t be changing anything for our customers, at least not right away. Frankly, I want to be thoughtful about what we do next. What’s the right level of product integration, how does that change the way schools use us, and most importantly, how does that benefit students?
I imagine many of you have ideas, and I’d love to hear them. For this school year, we’ll be hard at work in planning mode and building mode. Before we go too far down this path, if you’re a current USATestprep customer, an Education Galaxy customer, or any educator, I’d love to hear from you. What ideas do you have? Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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