Digital education has become a necessity in today's pandemic world. Yet, the tools available for teachers are either expensive and proprietary (most adaptive learning platforms) or cheap and limited (Google Classroom and Moodle, which mostly allow you to post slides and simple quizzes, with links to other content). There are few teaching platforms that exist that are as simple, powerful, and transformative for teachers to use as Powerpoint that allow for adaptive choose-your-own-adventure learning, yet affordable and usable in the developing world.
What it would do
This platform aims to accomplish three primary objectives: 1) allow for creative and innovative task, lesson, and course design in a simple-to-use form factor, 2) have deep-drill analytics that allow a teacher to quickly identify who is having problems, why, and render aid on the spot, and 3) be usable both online and offline.
Challenges I am running into
Currently, the primary challenge I am running into is time and personnel to work to the project. The small team is making progress, but not as quickly as we would all like.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I worked for ten years to develop innovative adaptive online science courses and tools for digital diplomacy games. These tools have been implemented in dozens of universities and my courses have been deployed to thousands of students, with outstanding reviews (many of my students remain in contact with me and lament how other online courses have yet to catch up to mine). My work has won a number of grants and awards for my previous team, including from the National Science Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This project in particular was a finalist in the EUvsVirus Hackathon in the Education category.
What I learned
The most important thing I learned is to never lose focus on the goal, yet to remain flexible. The goal of this project, then, is to empower teachers, both in providing technology that can help them accomplish what is important to them and in training them how to use it.
What's next for Agavi
We're aiming to complete an MVP by the end of 2020 and begin testing with teachers shortly.