AvatarGeneration - Educational Technology Everyday

AvatarGeneration - Educational Technology Everyday

Dublin, IrelandDublin, Ireland
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

AvatarGeneration.com is a blog that specializes in educational technology news, apps, learning games, web tools & virtual worlds. The website provides teachers with information and news on the latest edtech teaching tools. AvatarGeneration is developing an EdTech Discovery App called "edtech:Ed" providing teachers with new ideas for integrating technology into their classrooms.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

It is well established that using educational technology for teaching enriches student learning and enhances teaching methodologies. The growth of ICT in educational, social and workplace settings has made it crucial for teachers to ensure that their students are prepared for a technology-rich future. However, economic constraints have had a major impact on teachers use of ICT, with many lacking support, skills, and resources to use curriculum based educational technologies in the classroom. Teachers lack time to research web tools, or lack the confidence to use them in the classroom. In addition, current edtech websites do not provide Irish curriculum specific edtech resources.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The increase in the use of educational technology in classrooms, in particular using tablets, apps, and classroom management tools, has created a need for a service that can recommend edtech technologies. Our solution is to develop an EdTech Discovery App in the form of a daily iPhone/iPad Magazine. The App will be supported by the Blog AvatarGeneration.com and integrate with our growing online Facebook community. The Mobile Magazine will feature educational apps, learning games, virtual worlds and web tools. Users will download the app through the ITunes store and new content will be downloaded daily. The app will work as a discovery tool for finding new technologies that can be used in lessons.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

AvatarGeneration has: - Researched and developed a large database of hundreds of educational technology resources categorized into educational apps, virtual worlds, learning games and web tools. - Written daily posts with educational technology news and information. - Developed and established a supportive Facebook community of 2,500 fans and have over 1,500 Twitter followers. - Developed relationships with educational technology providers through social media and email contact e.g. We have run numerous campaigns to promote technology providers through the blog. - Began developing an EdTech Discovery App. There are two key reasons as to why helping Irish teachers to source and use educational technology in the classroom matters. 1. Insufficient access to Irish specific educational digital content Irish departmental reports have identified that teachers must be provided with the necessary reasons, skills and technology toolkits to enable them to embed ICT in teaching. In particular, it was identified that teachers do not have access to sufficient digital content and digital content tools relevant to Irish school curricula (Department of Education and Science, 2008). 2. Supporting educators Educators want to keep abreast of changing educational technologies but find that there are barriers to achieving this.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Although there are educational specific websites available for teachers, most are not updated regularly, provide little support and do not provide practical resources for teachers. The edtech field is dynamic and constantly changing, and technologies that were once seen as innovative, can be outdated and useless in a short space of time. One example of an Irish Teaching network site is TeachNet.ie developed by St. Patrick’s College. TeachNet provides online courses for ICT in the classroom, but lacks lesson planning and doesn’t include specific tools such as iPad Apps or virtual worlds. Another example is Scoilnet.ie developed by the Department of Education.
Team

Founding Story

AvatarGeneration was set up by two friends and work colleagues, Samantha Kotey and Silvia Gallagher. Samantha is finishing her Masters in Technology & Learning and Silvia is working on her PHD. Through relationships developed through college it became apparent to us there was a serious need for our blog. Coming from a background in technology we were shocked at the lack of knowledge and resources Irish teachers had on offer. We want AvatarGeneration to have an impact on Irish teachers, and from this, the next generation of children will be better equipped for the technological workforce. We set up AvatarGeneration to bring together interesting educational technology resources on the web. We believe that it is important that educators are kept up to speed with the fast-paced world of educational technology. With so many new apps, virtual worlds and online teaching tools, it can be difficult to keep track.
About You
Organization:
AvatarGeneration
About You
First Name

Samantha

Last Name

Kotey

About Your Organization
Organization Name

AvatarGeneration

Organization Country

, DB, Dublin

Country where this project is creating social impact

, DB, Dublin

Age of Innovator

18-34

Gender of Innovator

Female

How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..

Innovation
How long have you been in operation?

Operating for less than a year

Social Impact
What solution(s) does your initiative address to help emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and thrive in underserved communities? (select all applicable)

Access to technology.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

AvatarGeneration (http://www.avatargeneration.com) is an educational technology blog that provides listings and information on teaching tools (e.g. Storybird), virtual worlds (e.g. Minecraft) educational apps (e.g. DoodleMaths) and educational games (e.g. Fold it) for educationalists. To date we have helped hundreds of educators explore new educational technologies through our blog and facebook community.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

In three years we want to have met the following targets:
1. Develop AvatarGeneration into a self-sustainable business by end of Year 1, through the introduction of a downloadable app.
2. Sign up 20,000 teachers as active members on the site, contributing to the community and sharing experiences.
3. Create a library with thousands of teaching tools accessible to educators
Our approach is to change the attitudes of teachers and equip them with the tools and knowledge to bring technology into the classroom, even when technology isn’t available.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

Quality Content:
We must develop quality content in the form of blog posts and lesson plans, which will engage teachers, empower them, and inspire them to teach with technology.

Marketing:
We need to continue growing our user base using social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Funding:
We must secure funding to cover extra costs inline with our growth plan. We have achieved a great deal already without funding, so being able to devote financial resources to the project would help us to achieve our goals.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Develop and Build the EdTech Discovery App

Task 2

Develop a marketing strategy for launching the App

Task 3

Grow traffic from 5,000 unique visitors a month to 20,000 by end of 2012

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Raise Funding

Task 2

Develop relationships with Educational Institutes to promote our business.

Task 3

Hire additional writers to increase readership

Sustainability
Tell us about your partnerships

We have run various campaigns and featured blog posts for companies such as ClassDojo, mQlicker, OpenSim, Awesome Island - game based learning, Knowledge Quest, educreations, MathBlaster, DoodleMaths, The Blu, SavvyBear etc. and feature daily reviews of edtech products.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

Mentorship will be very important to us.

randomness