The Story Behind SchoolBzz
One School. One Community.
One School. One Community.
October 2019 – San Francisco – AWS Loft
July 2019 – Boston, MA
Presented at the annual Schoology Next User Conference
October 2019 – Boca Raton, FL.
April 2019 – Washington, DC
Presented by World Denver and Microsoft
February 2019 – Denver, CO
October 2018 – Boston, MA
Summer 2018 – SchoolBzz releases mobile app for iOS and Android devices.
AWS EdStart, the AWS educational technology (EdTech) startup accelerator, is designed to help entrepreneurs build the next generation of online learning, analytics, and campus management solutions in the AWS Cloud. The program is designed to enable EdTech startups to move faster with specially tailored benefits.
Last month we had an opportunity to participate in the Colorado Solutions Summit (COSS), hosted by the University of Denver’s Project X-ITE, in partnership with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. The event provided a unique opportunity to gain insights on our vision and product strategy from a diverse group of experts committed to supporting companies which have a significant impact in Colorado and beyond. We want to thank everyone who collaborated with us!
As we enter the 2017-2018 SchoolBzz kicks off a second year of its pilot program with 3 Colorado charter schools SkyView Academy, North Star Academy and Parker Performing Arts. The pilot program is intended to further evaluate the needs of parents, teachers and school leaders and the benefits of implementing a school-wide communication solution.
April 2017 – Denver, CO. This year our founder was invited to share her experience and talk student recruitment strategies with this new group of school founders.
March 2017 – This year we demonstrated SchoolBzz (our first opportunity!) and shared success stories from our professional services team.
It took two years of research and development to develop a minimum viable product we could confidently test at our first school. A shout out to Colorado charter school, SkyView Academy for being our first customer and providing invaluable feedback from teachers, parents and school leaders which continues to drive much of our SchoolBzz product strategy today.
Daniels College of Business, University of Denver
Executive MBA – Cohort 64
Jennifer Larson, Shelly Cihak
The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology recently released an Ed Tech Developer’s Guide which outlined ten opportunities that technology has the potential to address in the education market to ensure student success. Involving parents and caregivers in the learning process was one opportunity and describes the need for technology solutions to engage families and connect parents of all backgrounds to school communities. A second opportunity is the need to improve educator productivity. Teachers today have enormous administrative burdens, and the opportunity to streamline tasks will result in teachers spending more time working with students (U.S. Department of Education, 2015).
Today, a variety of solutions exist that enable a teacher to share information and communicate with their parents/caregivers and students. Solutions range from expensive, proprietary school-wide digital classroom platforms to personal websites, blogging sites, text messaging apps, emails, phone calls, sending information home in student folders or face to face meetings.
Frustratingly, the majority of schools do not have a school-wide policy/system recommending how teachers should share information with their parents/students. Typically, teachers are allowed to pick whatever solutions they are most comfortable with. A tech savvy teacher might have a comprehensive personal website with frequent updates, yet other teachers in the same school, might simply send an occasional email update. This variety in communication methods leads to frustration for both parties, as parents demand frequent updates regarding what’s happening in their child’s classroom.
The next generation of parents will be the millennials who have grown up with technology. It is reasonable to expect that they will demand efficient, timely, relevant, digital communications from their schools. Thus, there is significant opportunity to streamline communications into one easy-to-use mobile solution.
SchoolBzz is a new mobile application that enables teachers to easily communicate key information that changes frequently to parents and students. It provides a one-stop-shop for communications – aggregating all the reminders, links and assignment details a teacher might share with a parent or student, so they can be accessed from any device, anytime, anywhere.
The first iteration of SchoolBzz will be a minimum viable product (MVP), scheduled for release in August 2015. This MVP is intended to jump start the product development learning process as well as validate the hypothesis that teachers, parents and students will be better connected and more involved in the learning process by sharing information through a one-stop mobile classroom solution.