The clip is from my pitch at the EdTechX Challenge, a virtual competition to source the best ideas that can transform the learning industry.
I submitted LitSquad, a mobile-first game bringing teens together from around the globe in virtual literature circles to read, connect with each other, and play literature-based games. I hoped to tackle the global literacy crisis with a Serious Game that develops 21st-century skills through collaborative and community-led learning.
After the first round of submissions, EdTechX shortlisted three finalists with the help of their internal judging panel from IBIS Capital and MoocLab. We were then invited to pitch before judges from Google Cloud, Minds Studio, Net2Work, and Transcend Network. In the end, I won first place. 🏆
LitSquad for EdTechX Challenge
ProEm for EdTech Hack
Over 48 hours, 328 participants from 50 countries competed in EdTech Hack, the international hackathon organized by Startup Estonia and EdTech Estonia.
I joined a team of people I never met before from the UK, Estonia, and Finland. We developed an entire product in a day and a half starting with just the initial idea of our lead, Kadri, to better equip youth with the soft skills necessary for success in the workplace.
The ProEm platform helps early career professionals get their dream jobs by tracking and guiding the development of their soft skills and verifying their competencies for future employers. Users navigate custom scenario-based learning paths, receive advice from expert-made resources, and earn badges to showcase their intrapersonal and interpersonal abilities.
Out of 57 teams, ProEm made it to the Top 10. 🏆 We won an award sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Research of Estonia and Aristotle and another special award for fast development and well-structured presentation from Bolt.
International EdTech Association
I founded and led the International EdTech Association at Quantic School of Business and Technology from 2021 to the end of 2022. The IEA is a student organization for current Quantic MBA and Executive MBA candidates and alumni who are passionate about educational technology. During my time as President, our organization grew to 290+ business professionals from 60+ countries.
I ran our Slack workspace and organized 20 live meetups with guest speakers from the EdTech industry including Product School, 7taps, Immerse, and Curious Cardinals. One of the activities we did as an organization was something I created called the Learning Boss Challenge, a themed topic of discussion related to challenges and opportunities in the EdTech space. Each time, we invited a guest speaker who was an expert on that topic to give us some background knowledge before we brainstormed solutions.
Learning boss challenges we pursued:
How might we...
leverage technology to address the rise of disruptive behaviors in K-12 schools?
cultivate a sense of community in fully online university programs?
address gaps in digital health literacy?
use microlearning to enhance L&D strategies?
use virtual reality to make language learning more effective?
strengthen the cybersecurity of educational institutions and their data on EdTech platforms?
use digital tools to personalize learning?
help EdTech companies avoid committing copyright infringement?
use EdTech to improve community-based technical and vocational education for youth?
Learning Experience Facilitator
Even though illiteracy rates have declined over time, low literacy remains prevalent. UNESCO reported in 2017 that more than 617 million children and adolescents worldwide are not achieving minimum proficiency levels in reading. A recent study from the US Department of Education claimed that 54% of adults in the United States read below the equivalent of a sixth-grade level.
In this LXP Jam hosted by Transcend Network, I led a workshop for learning designers on how to take the literacy levels and experiences of learners into consideration during the design process. From developing and using reader personas to leveraging AI-powered tools, we brainstormed ways to make our learning experiences more inclusive to learners with diverse literacy needs.
EdTech Product Management Bootcamp on Coleap
With the EdTech startup Coleap, I supported Product and Learning Design leader Alex Sarlin in delivering his first cohort-based "Product Management for EdTech" bootcamp for 30 adult learners including EdTech founders, product managers, researchers, and learning designers.
I reviewed course material, led community management on Slack and during live sessions, troubleshot technical issues, and collaborated with Alex and the Coleap team by providing continuous feedback to improve the platform and learner experience.
Learning Experience Designer
Banyan Global Learning provides live, virtual programming for K-12 youth around the world on the topics of social emotional learning (SEL), world cultures, and digital citizenship. During my year working with BGL, I contributed to program management, content creation, UX research for their new website, and business development.
One of the programs I helped develop was the "SEL Self-Regulation" series to support learners on identifying and consciously managing their emotions. My motivation was to bring a focus on human connection in a STEM environment that usually emphasizes the development of technical skills. So I brought SEL into space with the Banyan Buddies! 🚀 My role was to conduct research and needs analysis and develop the scripts and lesson plans. Here are a couple of work artifacts, alongside a handwritten review from one of their happy learners.
7taps Creator Contest Season 4 Winner
For a competition by the microlearning platform 7taps, I created a mini-course for new teachers and caregivers explaining simple and easy ways to support the reading development of their young learners. I imagined this lesson to serve as an interactive resource used in workshops and/or school-home communications.
7taps shortlisted four creators. Then, the LinkedIn community voted on their favorite course, and I won! 🏆
This was the first time I ever tried 7taps, so I hope to create an even better mini-course leveraging microlearning in the future.
I contributed to the development and growth of Lingokids, an English language learning app for children, from Seed to $6M Series A funding round as a full-time employee. First, I worked as a Customer Success Manager and later the sole Teacher Operations Manager for the now defunct online English classes program. I managed hiring and dismissals of online teachers, conducted teacher observations for quality assurance, and managed scheduling and communications.
Then, I became an Education Manager focused on learning experience design and product management of the Educators' Program. I audited all of the games, stories, videos, and songs on the app and executed usability testing in schools and daycare centers. I also managed contractors for the creation of 60+ pieces of educational content that would later be used and updated as marketing collateral (e.g. 40 printables). For the Educators' Program, I conducted market research, competitive analysis, prototype testing, and interviews with teachers in different countries.
During national lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to distance teach a group of Georgian students facing school closures in Tbilisi. In response, I created Edvolve Academy, a culturally-responsive virtual training program that equips school-age English language learners with the literacy skills they need for personal, professional, and global development. In order to plan and develop the program, I conducted a survey of 59 people in Georgia on their views on education and interviewed interested families.
This project later became my Capstone Project for my Executive MBA degree from Quantic School of Business and Technology. I earned a 5/5 score on all aspects including a business plan, deck, and pitch.
When I worked for Chatterbug as an online English teacher, I was selected based on my performance to beta test as one out of two of the first English tutors for the in-app social study sessions called Study Groups. They were short language classes based on interactive live streams on the Chatterbug app with up to four adult students each. I communicated directly with the Chatterbug team through Slack, Notion, and Zoom meetings to share feedback and suggestions on how to improve the product.
I served as a TEFL trainer and teacher volunteer for the Peace Corps in Costa Rica. As a part of my work in collaboration with the Costa Rican Ministry of Education, I designed and led accredited teacher training workshops on topics such as phonology and strategies for teaching English literature for 90+ public school teachers.
I also contributed to the professional development of local teachers at primary schools and a technical school for adults through co-teaching and classroom observations, which are teacher performance assessments.
For over a decade, I taught English language and literature to thousands of learners from Pre-K to gray in five countries and online. I have experience designing curricula, facilitating language immersion programs, and preparing students for standardized exams like state testing and IELTS. Above all else, I loved developing children's literacy skills and incorporating the arts into my instruction. Though I enjoyed teaching all ages, my favorite grade level to teach was the fourth grade in primary school!