Who are you, the partner?
New Teacher Center – eMSS program: http://www.newteachercenter.org/eMSS/menu.php?p=home
What is the name and email of the point person for this project?
When are the best times of the week for students to contact you (in Pacific time)?
M-F 7:30 – 4. Its usually best to set up a time first.
What is the project? What’s it about (100 words or less)?
The project is about developing a growth strategy for the New Teacher Center’s online mentoring program called eMSS (e-Mentoring for Student Success). NTC’s core business is in-person mentoring for beginning teachers. They founded eMSS in 2002 to meet unique subject-specific needs of math/science teachers. They’ve accumulated valuable content and had a positive impact on beginning teachers around the country. The most challenging component is already in place – district relationships, active customers and content – but the current program lacks the UI and technological capabilities to meet the needs of new, “digital native” teachers. This project is about developing the right strategy and user experience to grow eMSS so it can benefit every beginning teacher nationwide.
Why is the project important? Who will it impact?
This project is critical -- it will be a missed opportunity for NTC and the market if eMSS is not the leader in online mentoring. For NTC, the core business is being threatened as districts face budget cuts, so eMSS could be a more viable, cost-effective opportunity for them to continue supporting teachers, especially in areas outside of the larger urban areas. In terms of the market, there is a lot of entrepreneurial energy in virtual PD and this is a critical moment – it will either take off or fizzle like much of the PD already offered today. The determining factor will be the quality of the PD and mentoring, and not the technology. The market mistakenly does not see mentoring as a differentiated offering – even though NTC has perfected it over the years – so they will likely turn to lower-quality, cheaper solutions as they become available, ultimately hurting teachers and kids as well as NTC’s business. This project will inform the foundation for NTC’s strategy going forward, so it’s a great opportunity to have a positive impact on the market.
What are the chances of implementation of the insights, ideas, prototypes that come out of this project?
High – the NTC staff, board and funders are all excited about this initiative and eager to support the growth of eMSS.
Our best partnerships for student projects are the ones when our students have fantastic support and access from the partner organization. Is there any special information that our graduate students should know about the resources that are potentially available for them in this project? * For some partners, this might mean reimbursing for physical materials. For others, this might mean access to teachers or staff who care about the project.
The partner team will connect students with the right people / resources for them to be effective. In terms of reimbursements, funding streams are still being considered for this work and should be ironed out in more detail by the end of this month (February).
How familiar are you (or you as a partner organization) with design thinking? *
__x_ We’re new