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Team Beta Classroom

August 29, 2011


Its official! Beta Classroom, is now Team Beta Classroom. Its recruited nearly 100 team members over the last few days, and the current team is made up of educators from all over the United States, Honduras, Malaysia, and Canada. It took very little on my part to get such a huge response. All I’ve done to recruit new members is make two posts to Edmodo and 2 little Tweets. Below is the post I made to Edmodo:

Over this summer, I went on a mission to get technology for my classroom, and along the way I established relationships with Founders and CEO’s of companies currently developing ed. tech of tomorrow. I got free access to technology, and my feedback helped shaped it to meet my classroom’s needs. I want other teachers to have their voices heard and make sure that the tools of the 21st century are available to all of us no matter what kind of classroom we work in! If you are interested in joining a team of teachers that’s trying out cutting edge ed. tech. helping to shape its development go here:


The day I made that posting, over 200 people viewed this blog, and nearly 100 teachers clicked on the link to visit the page where they were asked to fill out a simple survey. Below is a copy of the text and form they  arrived at after pressing the link:


Hi! My name is Jennie Dougherty and I’m a high school English teacher. Over this summer, I went on a mission to get technology for my classroom, and along the way I established relationships with programers and CEO’s who are currently developing the latest educational technology. I got free access to the educational technology of tomorrow, and my feedback helped shaped it to meet the needs of my classroom this fall. Now, I’m looking for other teachers to work with me, no previous experience with technology is necessary. If you are interested, fill out the form below and I’ll contact you ASAP.

After posting twice on Edmodo, and making 2 Tweets, I received a tremendous outpouring of teachers interested in joining Team Beta Classroom! Their thoughts and ideas resonate deeply with those that I have had throughout this summer. This has been an extraordinary journey, and now I know that I will no longer be the only teacher on it. I am so thankful for their support and show of interest in working with Beta Classroom. As I’ve already told them in my email, this last week of vacation is dedicated to visiting the Palo Alto area. At the start of the summer, I was focused on making Silicon Valley understand the importance of connecting with teachers in ALL types of schools, and particularly those where students are the most underserved. Over these few months, I learned that there is nothing more that they would like to do. I’ve also learned that it is notoriously difficult for ed. tech. entrepreneurs to reach teachers. In order to reach a teacher, its best to already BE a teacher; the best way to create a new pathway for technology to reach the inside of the classroom is to build it from the inside -> out. 

So, rather than heading West to demand that they create a new pathway for technology to reach our classrooms, I’m going out there to share the pathway I’ve already created with them, and to learn what they think about it. I’ll be trying to post each day I’m out there.  I’ve managed to get a flight reservation just one day after a very large tropical storm took out all the power in my neighborhood. Hopefully this is just the first of many good things to come. 

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