The world changes every year. But in 2020, it has changed in a way no one could have predicted. Some changes - thankfully - will soon be in the past. We're already seeing very promising signs of a vaccine.
Other changes, though, are here to stay. We've already heard announcements from major tech companies that working from home will be one of those things.
Another thing that's changed? Education. I've spent some time thinking about what is fundamentally different now:
- Educators are so, so important. I mean, we always knew this. But to think, in a pandemic, a handful of professions would be required to go into work. Doctors? I think we've always known that would be the case. Firefighters? That makes sense. But at the core of a functioning society - the way that we know it - we need educators.
- Educators are under-recognised. I think we're seeing this evolve. Parents were relieved when schools re-opened. It was at the heart of a functioning economy, stable mental health and daily productivity. Educators make that possible.
- Educators are going online. YouTube, Instagram and even Tiktok are now full of some incredible educators. The most exciting part is - a lot of them weren't online before. The biggest thing that has come out of 2020 for online learning is that culturally, it's now become a norm. This time last year, I would've said this world was 7 years away. And yet, here we are.
Where does Scoodle fit in?
We always say we want to create the "Kim Kardashian's of education". That means creating true, superstar educators.. The kind that you'd find on billboards.
As we went through 2020, our product evolved towards making that happen. We've built some really exciting things to make that world a reality. Here are some of my favourites:
Teachers reach students in a lot of different ways. They answer questions, they share resources, they spend hours teaching lessons in person and online. We created students helped, and it's a number that captures all of this. How many lives has a teacher been able to impact?
This number gives you exactly that - and we make sure it's on all of our educator profiles.
We often think of a teacher's profile on Scoodle as a shop window. That is, they have so many amazing ways to share knowledge. 2020 made us realise the importance of not just teaching one student, but many students at the same time.
So, we've allowed teachers to create lessons on their profile. A lesson is a combination of videos that helps explain a topic.
These lessons, though, don't sit in a generic list somewhere. They're on the profile of our educators. At our core, we believe great education comes from the teacher. So, everything we build is always teacher first.
And this leads me onto our newest development. We are constantly thinking about how to make sure teachers are recognised. The best place to do that? Our homepage. We have more than 40,000 learners on Scoodle every month, and we want to divert that attention to our educators. So, we've put together a beautiful re-designed homepage - where we put educators at the forefront.
What does this mean for 2021?
2021 is the year of the teacher. The year where educators are not just recognised in the classroom, but all around the world.
Scoodle's is, I think, the only place in the world that can truly build a home for educators. A place where can showcase all of their greatest teaching methods and materials.
We've spent the last year making sure our foundation is setup to make that world a reality.
The last 12 months has changed how we value educators. The next 12 months will see Scoodle turn these educators into the superstars they deserve to be.