Get the Tabula Project into schools and into developers' hands!
For full details on what we're doing and how we're doing it, check out our Venture page!
In short, we're building software and developing professional development programs (teacher training) to take tablet computers designed for consumers and make them more useful and managable in classroom situations. We're not building apps or writing digital texbooks - we're creating tools to help teachers and students get more out of apps and digital textbooks!
Our alpha software design adds individual and group interaction, interaction management, and learning analytics tools to tablets being used in classrooms. It also provides hooks for interacting with third party content, including apps, ebooks and Web-based materials, as well as funneling learning data into existing back office school data systems including leading Learning Management Systems (LMS).
But that's just the alpha. The real magic will start later this year when we get into classrooms to work with teachers and students on the SECOND build of Tabula. Through hands-on use in the field, we can iterate and make it better. Over and over again.
Tabula Project - Launch Phase
Our goal is to get Tabula software running on a group of tablets in classrooms this Fall (2012) en route to preparing a business-ready platform for launch in 2013. This is an attainable goal, and incredibly important to our process: Our past experience working on educational technology products tells us how important it is to get real live teachers and students using our software as early as possible. Only by building, testing, observing, and getting feedback can we make better tools for real life use. And that's the goal!
The Tabula Project is currently in a design complete Alpha stage that's entering prototyping. In other words, we've got our first set of features spec'd out and the software is being architected and otherwise readied for early testing.
We have schools, individual educators, and colleagues in the hardware, software, publishing, and broadband access spaces eager to see our designs come to life and explore partnership possibiiities. Now we need to write code and prepare for field testing.
The goals of our Launch Phase are as follow:
- Build a usable alpha version of the software ready for testing in live classroom environments. This will include the teacher app, student app, Tabula-enabled Web browser/e-Reader, and core platform technologies.
- Engage a small handful of schools/classrooms and educational publishers so we get a wide but manageable range of use cases for our first rounds of testing.
- Test in schools during Fall 2012!
- Accumulate data and feedback to inform the next build of the software.
- Build strategic partnerships with educators, content publishers, and technology companies.
- Expand our feature set and list of compatible devices and 3rd party software for 2013.
- Develop platform to allow educators to self-publish tablet ready interactive activities
Use of Funds by Milestone
Time is what we need. Well, time and the money to pay for people's time. Time to design and write software. Time to engage teachers and schools and makers of instrucitonal materials. Time to work with them to tweak our features and come up with new ones. Time to design and write software incorporating those new features. And time to ready our product for widespread, revenue-driving deployment.
In all cases the majority of funding will be spent on salaries (full time and/or contractor). Exceptions noted below:
$75,000 (Tipping Point): Development of Alpha software for one tablet platform, and first round of field tests in Fall 2012.
$150,000: Development of Alpha software for one tablet platform, and first round of field tests in Fall 2012. Development of strategic partnerships. Most funding spent on design/development time, some spent on time working with Alpha testers (schools and content developers) and partnership building, and some server costs
$300,000: Above plus Beta rounds of testing in Spring 2013 including compatibility with more devices and beginning development of teacher publishing platform. Flexibility to make one or two key senior-level hires in addition to contracting development costs and constructing beginning professional development models for use in schools. Small travel budget for on-site work in schools and at conferences.
Overfund Us!: (Depending on the final tally, will include some or all of the following) Longer runway for development, testing, in-service deployment, partnership building, and beginning to drive revenue. Hiring of two to four employees, including opening office in San Francisco Bay Area. Focus on professional development and educator outreach in addition to technology and business development. Prototyping/Beta build of teacher publishing platform.