The idea for this application grew out of an exasperating problem facing public school teachers: the lack of a simple way to keep track of professional development. After teaching for nine years, my desk was overflowing with manila folders stuffed with important documents I needed for relicensure, all jumbled in a disorderly mess.
No public school teacher in Massachusetts is immune. Teachers must earn 150 professional development points (PDPs) to get relicensed to teach every five years. The onus is on teachers to keep track of their own progress.
The current system is antiquated to say the least. Teachers most often receive hard copy certificates showing their participation and the number of PDPs earned. These pieces of paper typically get shoved into a drawer or folder until it's time to reapply for their licenses, resulting in an eleventh-hour frenzy to make sense of it all.
I surveyed 27 other public school teachers in Massachusetts to see how they felt. The results were overwhelmingly conclusive:
"I would love anything to help with my general disorganization on this stuff"
In thinking through the user flows for each use case that the app would tackle, I started by listing the goals for the app:
Listing out goals for the app
Sketching out logo design ideas
Developing a style guide
In an exciting turn of events, I pitched this app at Techstars Startup Weekend EDU on November 10, 2017, was one of 9 out of 30 pitchers chosen to form a team, and won the Boston competition! Our team plans to continue developing the application and proceed with usability testing at several schools in the Boston area in the coming months.
The RecertifyK12 team