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Responding to EdSurge’s Beta Bill of Rights

July 18, 2011


Dear EdSurge Community,

Earlier this summer, I told you of my mission to provide my students with access to transformative technology, and you were incredible in responding with guidance. The purpose of this email, is to offer lessons I’ve learned during my journey, and recommendations for Edsurge’s awesome beta bill of rights.

My mission began when I sent an email to technology companies as well as groups like New School Venture Fund and Startl to say: “Hey! Access to technology is inequitable, but I’m on a mission to change that! I want my students and I to have access to potentially transformative ed. tech. and will offer user insight in exchange.”

Days later, I spoke with the CEO of a very large technology company, who chuckled at the idea of a partnership between myself and technology companies. “Well it works out well for you,” he told me.  In this person’s mind, the insights of a teacher were insignificant when compared to the technology their company would allow me to review. His remarks did not deter me, because I was in talks with startups that were not only excited to partner with me but also revolutionizing technology in ways this executive could never imagine.

My mission led me to form extraordinarily successful partnerships with Daniel Yoo of Enome Inc., Brett Kopf of Remind101, and Sam Chaudhary of Class Dojo. Our relationship worked because they genuinely dedicate themselves to create technology that will help my students scale the difficult mountains we ascend each day; and because I realized the importance of helping them understand what each step feels like.

Attached to this email is the result of our collaborative effort to help Edsurge create a tool for other startups and teachers to use. We need these “rights” to establish a new relationship between teachers and technology, and hope our contribution will serve as a testament to the extraordinary potential of effective relationships between teachers and entrepreneurs.

Thank you so much for the time and energy.

Sincerely yours,

Jennie Dougherty

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