01 CHALLENGE

In 2017-2018 Columbia University Design Studio and Lemann Foundation (Brazil) organized EdTech Challenge, where they gathered Columbia students and Brazilian entepreneurs and gave us 3 challenges and 8 months to develop an edtech solution to solve those problems. Our team's challenge was remediation. One out four students drops out  in middle school.First they start lagging behind, then stay for the same grade again. And finally drop out.

02 EMPATHY

We have conducted numerous amount of interviews with American and Brazilian educators and came to the following conclusions:

  • support: teachers lack support from their pedagogical coordinators and department of education - instead, with frequent changes of political situation, there are more and more responsibilities teachers have to take upon.

  • mentorship: all American teachers mentioned that having a mentor had a salubrious effect on both performance and wellbeing.

  • burnout: with 30+ students in an average classroom as well as working in at least 2 schools teachers pressure is enormous. 

03 IDEATION​

Through the process of ideation we came up with Colega (first version) - a mentorship platform, that would connect teachers with experienced mentors, who would serve as both trainers on best teaching practices, especially in remediation and physiological support needed. It would also be integrated with meetup - so teachers could easily schedule gatherings to support each other. They would also be sharing resources with each other.

 04 PROTOTYPE

 05 TEST

...miserably failed.

We went to Brazil and realized that all of our assumptions while correct for American teachers are not applicable to Brazilian ones. While Americans are very self centered and as we found out don't share resources too often, Brazilian teachers have a very strong teacher community where they have whatsapp chats. They share resources and arrange meetings and help each other out.

  06 EMPATHY and DEFINITION volume 2.​

Each teacher had the same answer to a question "What's the most tiring time consuming activity in your daily routine?" -SEMANARIO.

Semanario is a heavy hand written lesson planning book. After a long and stressful workday, the teacher arrives home only to spend two more hours writing her lesson plans for class the next day. She opens up her spiral bound lesson planning notebook, handwrites her lesson objectives, searches on Google for a relevant worksheet, prints it out, cuts it, and glues it into her notebook. The next day, her pedagogical coordinator, who is responsible for maintaining the quality of her school’s teaching curriculum, stops by her classroom to review her lesson plan and provide feedback. This manual, time-consuming process of assembling and iterating on lesson plans does not lend itself to effective collaboration or discovery of innovative teaching techniques, and it is one of the most visible pain points in a teacher’s daily routine.

  07 EMPATHY and DEFINITION volume 2.​

Each teacher had the same answer to a question "What's the most tiring time consuming activity in your daily routine?" -SEMANARIO.

Semanario is a heavy hand written lesson planning book. After a long and stressful workday, the teacher arrives home only to spend two more hours writing her lesson plans for class the next day. She opens up her spiral bound lesson planning notebook, handwrites her lesson objectives, searches on Google for a relevant worksheet, prints it out, cuts it, and glues it into her notebook. The next day, her pedagogical coordinator, who is responsible for maintaining the quality of her school’s teaching curriculum, stops by her classroom to review her lesson plan and provide feedback. This manual, time-consuming process of assembling and iterating on lesson plans does not lend itself to effective collaboration or discovery of innovative teaching techniques, and it is one of the most visible pain points in a teacher’s daily routine.

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Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 7.24.47 PM

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 08 SOLUTION

 

Colega is a new way to lesson plan. We replace the tedious tasks of cutting, gluing, and aimless google searching with a virtual lesson planning tool that makes teachers’ lives easier and increases their effectiveness in the classroom.  

 

Not only does Colega’s lesson planning tool save teachers time, it also provides teachers with the resources they need to produce high quality lesson plans and the tools they need to collaborate with one another in order to deepen their impact on student learning.

 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Upon logging on to the Colega platform, a teacher selects a customizable lesson plan template.

  2. If she was missing Microsoft Word’s 2003 version of Clippy, the teacher can opt in to Minha Colega (which means my colleague), an AI-powered assistant that provides real-time feedback and resource recommendations as she develops her lesson plan.

  3. She organizes her lesson plan by inserting text, uploading attachments, and using Colega’s searchable resource database to include worksheets that are aligned with Brazil’s new learning standards, the BNCC. These resources are developed and curated by trained curriculum specialists, which guarantees quality BNCC-aligned content in each lesson plan.

  4. She then submits her lesson plan for review by her pedagogical coordinator and the school’s learning specialist who supports students with special needs.

  5. Both of them can comment directly on the lesson plan document and provide feedback to ensure that each lesson plan is both effective and inclusive for all students.

  6. Once approved, the teacher can publish her lesson plan for use by all teachers in the Colega schools network.

 

Colega is built with the teacher’s needs in mind. It is both intuitive and efficient by design, and makes lesson planning more creative, more collaborative, and more impactful.

 09 TEAM

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