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Episode 39: Collaborative Learning Systems and The Future of EdTech with Mike Rutherford, Founder of gotLearning

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Maddie (00:01:00): In today’s episode, I’m chatting with Mike Rutherford, founder of Growth Over Time Learning, or gotLearning. Mike is an experienced educator who has worked as a teacher, edtech entrepreneur, and pretty much everything in between. 

Growth Over Time Learning (gotLearning) is not a software company. They are an education company that developed the first Collaborative Learning System (CLS) as a learning conversation platform between students, teachers, and all other educational professionals.

gotLearning was born in the classroom (Room 214 to be exact!), in hopes of empowering educators around the world to more easily focus on student learning. 

First envisioned in 2015 and officially founded in 2019,  gotLearning is headquartered in San Mateo, California, and has schools, teachers, and team members all over the globe.

In my conversation with Mike, I learned so  much about the importance of having a streamlined learning conversation platform between students, teachers and all other educational professionals. In previous episodes, you all have heard me talk about the importance of keeping it simple with tech. You’ve heard me talk about the importance of having a centralized learning hub. And Mike so eloquently puts to words what I’ve been trying to describe for so long – but even more than that, Mike has a very clear vision for what the future of edtech can look like in the classroom.

Maddie (00:04:09): In today’s episode, I’m chatting with Mike Rutherford, lifelong educator and edtech entrepreneur, who most recently founded Growth Over Time Learning, the first Collaborative Learning System. 

Mike has been in education all his life either as a student, middle school teacher, K-12 technology professional developer, school district EdTech director, K-12 industry consultant and business development, educational publishing and professional development executive, middle school and high school teacher, librarian and EdTech entrepreneur – actually in that order!

Mike comes from a family of educators and claims to have taken the Woodcock Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities over 20 times as his mother, a teacher, practiced administering the test on him while she was in graduate school.

Most recently Mike moved back to the States from Bangkok, Thailand where he had returned to the classroom as a 6th grade English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher at International School of Bangkok. After returning to the U.S. Mike started Growth Over Time Learning (also known as gotLearning) in 2019 based upon the software he built to manage the learning conversations in his 6th grade classroom.

I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to chat, so Mike, thank you so much for joining me on the show today! 

Mike: Thanks for having me.

Maddie (05:33): Well, you’ve got quite the background, quite the story. I know I just went over your bio a little bit for listeners, but it seems like you’ve been able to work in so many different spaces within the education field. So could you tell listeners a little bit more about your background and what led you to the ed tech space?

Mike Rutherford (05:52): Sure. Well, I’ve been in education all my life, either as a student or a teacher where I started in Fairfax County public schools in Virginia. And as you had mentioned, I went into edtech there in professional development, eventually became a district technology coordinator because I loved that. I loved technology and education. Not only was I fired up about it, but so were the kids. It was relatively new when I was in the classroom. And after I was a district technology coordinator, I eventually left and got the dotcom bug that was going on at the time and joined a company called Blackboard and started their K-12 group and brought LMS into the K-12 space. And after Blackboard went public, I jumped over to Just ASK Publications where I did business development. So everything was all about teaching and learning.

Mike Rutherford (06:45): What was awesome about being in the, in the private sector side is I was able to hone some of my sales and marketing skills and especially sales and marketing operation skills which actually I used a ton of when I returned to the classroom, when my family moved to Bangkok, Thailand where I became, as you had mentioned, a sixth grade English language arts teacher and social studies teacher and that’s kind of where I really started pulling all of my technology back in, technology I learned in the private sector and previous as an educator back into my classroom. So to say I’ve really gotten to the edtech space, I would say was really from day one when I was a first my first year as a teacher was the first time that I saw the internet. I saw the NCSA demonstration of what the internet was and even using Mosaic to get online. And I was absolutely amazed at what we can do with that technology and how you could get information so quickly.

Maddie (07:47): So the internet obviously played a role very early on in your education career from day one, really, and since, you’ve done so much work as a teacher, your experience is neat in that you have expertise and a combination of your perspective as a teacher and your perspective in the private sector. So how would you say this combination of your experience has impacted your work today?

Mike Rutherford (08:11): Well, my experiences as an educator and also an educational administrator have truly kept me focused on students and their learning needs. My experiences on the business side of education gave me the tool set such as CRM and marketing automation to deal with some of the issues in the 21st century classroom. So when I returned to the classroom in Bangkok I truly had a different perspective and skillset that really helped me in the classroom. In that was not only being a new teacher to a classroom, but someone who had been not only a teacher for awhile and an administrator, but also had been in the private sector,and with that new skillset, taking those back into the classroom was incredibly helpful.

Maddie (08:57): Yeah, I think that makes a lot of sense. It’s very clear that you’ve been able to take your learnings from the private sector from your time in administration and bring that back into your work into the classroom. One thing that interests me, and this is something that you mentioned to me when we spoke the other day, is that after you returned to teaching, you noticed that the classroom had changed. So what exactly did you notice? What were some areas that you thought could be improved?

Mike Rutherford (09:27): When I returned to the classroom, after a fairly long time out we still had four walls. We had desks, chairs, whiteboards, bulletin, boards, learning outcomes, professional learning days. And of course, lots of excited students. So those were all still the same. And as teachers, we still, at the beginning of the lesson we framed the learning, we introduced students to a new concept and we walked them through it with a learning activity or engagement. And students started to interpret that and try to make sense of that new learning for themselves, whether it was through trial and error of math problems or in rough drafts and writing. At that point, which is still similar to being the previous being a teacher and also a new part of the teacher all these things are still similar…

Mike Rutherford (10:20): And at that point, when we made that first learning activity, that’s where this, the learning conversations between the teacher and student began and in today’s classroom, there are exponentially so many more sources of qualitative data compared to my previous time in the classroom. Students now can have their work in notebooks, in posters and projects and presentations. Then you add to that each student has a laptop or a tablet, and the work can be in Google docs, Microsoft word, PowerPoint, Khan Academy, et cetera, basically hundreds of other possible, you know, these killer edtech apps that are out there. Well, with all those sources of data, when I returned back to the classroom, I was spending an incredible amount of time searching and organizing the learning evidence. So I could provide growth producing feedback. I learned, I just needed to find a way to be able to work smarter. That was the biggest step.

Maddie (11:17): Yeah. What you just said, I think is one of the main reasons that really drew me… Well, obviously there were a lot of reasons that I’m really excited about your story, but what you just said is one of those things that made me get so excited about your product, which I do want to spend the majority of our conversation talking about, but I know in my own experiences as a teacher, and I know I’ve heard this from other listeners as well, is that you’re right. There are all of these really wonderful edtech tools that are out there, but there’s all this information that’s stored in all these different places. And I like that that’s something that you were thinking about, and it’s very clear now, and looking at your products that you’ve created, that that’s something that you’re looking to sort of provide a solution to this issue. You also mentioned on this idea of learning conversations, which I know is another really integral part of your product. So could you tell listeners a little bit more about what got learning actually is and what led you to want to create it?

Mike Rutherford (12:15): Well first was that problem in the classroom of all of that data sitting around literally searching for where a student had provided that learning evidence. Was it out in a video somewhere? Was it in Google drive? Was it in one box to be emailed to me? Was it in their notebook? And those five examples right there, it’s actually just for one student, well, you have 135 students. You’re now looking at over 700 sources of data that I’m trying to manage in that one week. And that was absolutely incredibly hard to deal with. So I really looked around to try to find something, to help me manage qualitative data. The quantitative data was taken care of very well by SIS is, and sometimes on the LMS side where we could store quantitative data pretty easily, but it was that back and forth conversations.

Mike Rutherford (13:07): As you mentioned, the learning conversations that I had with students was what I thought was the absolute, most important thing that I could focus on as a teacher. So basically I would say that after a month or two of looking for something, that’s when I decided I’m going to use some of the tools that I had when I was, was in the private sector to deal with the same kind of overload of data that I had. And that’s when I turned and started building, got learning out of Salesforce and the marketing automation tool called Pardot. And I realized those could actually help me deal and store everything in one spot. And without Pardot, it was a one-way street and I wanted to make it a two way street where the students can actually participate in, build their own agency and provide information back back so that it could go in the database and I could have everything in one spot.

Mike Rutherford (14:01): The problem was it was incredibly laborious but it was really successful and very, very cool. And the reason, you know, when I had this kind of a moment where I realized it was, it was a solution that really solves some key problems was not only for me, but with some of my other teachers. And I was actually in a student concerns meeting with my middle school team talking about the needs of a particular student when we were asked about how they’re doing and how was their work, et cetera. I was able to pull up so much data. Their quick writes, I was teaching English language arts at the time. Their quick writes notes from our conference sessions. And also feedback from peers were things that I was actually was actually capturing. And my fellow teachers, especially the learning specialist, special ed teacher and the counselor were amazed at the data that I had specific to the student that we were talking about.

Mike Rutherford (14:53): And I began to share this platform that I was building with my colleagues who had taught the same students, and we were able to share so much important data regarding the conversations that we having in real time. So it was absolutely like, I don’t want to say angelical moment, but it was like this big, Oh my gosh, you know, we’re starting to break down some serious walls and share qualitative back back and forth. We can see real learning evidence between each other, as opposed to just jumping in the SIS and seeing grades or a small comment. Now we were really seeing real true learning evidence. And that was at that moment when I realized the power of this tool,

Maddie (15:33): I love this specific example that you provided of giving examples of qualitative data really quickly during a students of concern meeting. This is probably something that a lot of teachers who are listening right now maybe can relate to. I know it’s something that I can relate to having attended meetings like that myself, but sometimes you attend one of those meetings and if people don’t come prepared, it’s really difficult to find concrete examples of student work. And so I like this example that I think can resonate with a lot of teachers who are listening: you being able to actually very quickly find qualitative data. I think as teachers, oftentimes we spend so much of our time looking for things when you’re actually able to use this tool to find something very quickly. So you kind of talked about this as an aha moment, and I know when we chatted the other day, you also shared this really amazing story about some student work that you found. So could you share that story for listeners? Because I think that that’s another really great example of something that maybe teachers can relate to as well.

Mike Rutherford (16:44): Well, I think that this story that I told you was the one that was the straw that broke the camel’s back in regard to, okay, I’ve got to do something about this. And this was, as I said before, I was teaching sixth grade English language arts, and it was the last period of the day. And I was meeting and conferring with one student on a project on a paper that she had been writing and she had done rough drafts and received feedback from me and also peers had done revisions, and she received more feedback. And it was this pile of papers that was just sticking up enough that we had to go above the paperclip and had to go to one of the bigger clipper clips to hold all of her information. And she was really excited to take after our conferring session was really excited to take this home and have her publishable work, the next class.

Mike Rutherford (17:30): And we’re super excited. Class ends. The kids start going home from school in about 45 minutes. I’m coaching varsity girls basketball at the time. And so I started heading down to the gym after about 45 minutes after having kids in my class after school and go down to the gym. And kids are out from different intramurals that are going on and we’re about to start warmups for basketball. And I looked down and there is literally the student’s paper that in that whole pack with the big paper clip on it. And I was looking, I looked around and there was nobody there except for high schoolers on the basketball team. And I’m thinking, Oh my gosh, she she’s lost her paper. And this is all the feedback that had been given all the reflections, all the work, all the revisions, everything else.

Mike Rutherford (18:19): She was just going to be absolute tears because it was about to be thrown away by, as we were clearing it off the court. And so I was like, how do we not have systems that keep that data, that feedback, that instructional gold that we provide to students every day. And then also just the feedback that they received from kids and the revisions, all that learning evidence over time, we should have something that actually that actually captures that. So smartly I took that, took her paper and put it in my bag and was able to actually email her that night and let her know I have it, you left it in the gym. And she was incredibly relieved. She was there for badminton, and actually somehow it fell out of her, out of her backpack. And I was able to give it back to her that next day, and we were able to continue on, but we almost lost that. And I was thinking that we definitely had to have something that contained that. So that was the next day is when I started saying, okay, how do I build something like this that can, that can take care of this incredibly important conversation that we have with kids, but also keep that data so we can show growth over time and have the students to be able to go back and see the feedback and build upon that.

Maddie (19:32): I just love that story. I love this idea that you’re able to identify these very specific stories that led you to want to start gotLearning. I think, again, that’s a story that teachers can relate to, and this problem that exists in education, and maybe since you have so much experience in the private sector, maybe you can identify some differences in working in education versus working in the private sector. But one thing that I’ve noticed and I’ve observed again, I’m not sure if this is something that you’ve noticed, but there do seem to be fewer systems related to technology in place in education than in a variety of other industries. And so I like that you’ve identified this problem. You figured out that you can create a system using technology to solve it. And you’ve now essentially created this product that does solve that problem. So could you talk a little bit about what gotLearning’s mission is specifically? Could you describe the product for listeners and then also how you’re working to achieve that mission?

Mike Rutherford (20:40): Sure. Basically gotLearning’s mission is to help teachers and students focus on the most fundamental of student learning and that’s feedback, and to show growth over time. GotLearning can sort of sell as an education company that has created software to help teachers and students with these individual learning conversations. And we’ve created that, that first collaborative learning system or CLS that focuses on what teachers know is the heart of learning. Inside of that system are the learning conversations, those back and forth that you have with students that contain all kinds of different ways to communicate and share feedback and reflections show revisions, and just keep all of that qualitative data in that one place. And that one place is so easy to find that you don’t have to keep spending your time searching all the time, instead of searching all the time, literally spend way more time providing growth producing feedback gotLearning is a purpose-built platform focusing on the most fundamental elements of student learning feedback and growth over time.

Mike Rutherford (21:49): The student learning is the process where students have been introduced to new content concepts engage in trial and error, receive feedback from teachers and one another revise and reflect and repeat the process if necessary and all along the way, produce critical, often overlooked learning evidence. GotLearning provides this day-to-day learning communication between students and educators, and those educators can be teachers, educational specialists, administrators focusing on personalized learning by sharing rough drafts homework assignments, providing scaffolds feedback. That feedback can be a text. It can be an audio, it can be video. You can ask other students to be inside the conversation. And because we’re including so many other roles like special education teachers on this education specialist side, and also administrators, they can be part of the educational conversation as well. So you have this web interface that you can access via mobile phones and the web be able to access these conversations that contain where the students started from on whether it’s a unit or it’s a standard, or it’s a concept or any other, any way that you wanted to design the conversation. You can start the student anywhere that you want to bring them along the way and provide that feedback and show that via web technologies.

Maddie (23:26): So to clarify the learning conversations that you’re talking about on gotLearning… There’s conversations that are obviously happening between student and teacher, right? And then there’s also conversations that are happening between administrators and teachers and students, and basically educational professionals that are at the school can have learning conversations on your platform. Is that correct?

Mike Rutherford (23:53): That’s correct. And I mean, everything is focused around the student, the student record, if you will. And the student record is actually carried on, so when you go to a student, you can see all of the student’s classes and all their conversations from that class. So you’re able to see a whole picture of the student. And that also includes any educational specialists that are supporting that class or possibly evening administrators that want to see what’s going on instructionally inside their school. There is another element of gotLearning, and that is the professional conversations where you can have conversations just between the teachers educational specialists and the administrators. And those are kind of like, you can call them professional learning networks or PLCs. There’s all kinds of ways that you can look at this and it’s an open structure. So you can, you can use this learning conversation engine to also do professional development. And what we’re seeing is we’re seeing like book clubs and even department meetings, or even a discussion about student work and how we actually going to best serve this student. Let’s take a look at this word, provide feedback on, it’s almost like being able to have your own individualized education program, but literally about the learning of whatever the conversation is at that point.

Maddie (25:18): I think to me, what sounds so groundbreaking and really cool about gotLearning is that it’s the first tool out there that I’ve seen that actually models what schools are like. I think I’ve seen so many really powerful edtech tools that don’t quite get there. You know, they have these really cool features, like learning management systems in general, where you’re able to track student work, but what sounds to be really neat and groundbreaking about gotLearning is that it does paint this whole picture of a student. And not only does it paint this picture of a student during one specific school year, it also functions similarly to this idea of a portfolio where student progress is also tracked over time. So I’m not sure if that’s how you would view gotLearning, but to me, that’s something that really stands out, and in my mind makes it seem so much different from other tools that are out there.

Mike Rutherford (26:20): Yes, and it is definitely different than an LMS or an SIS. Does it have portfolio qualities? And the answer is, well, you’re providing this collaborative learning system that takes a student through the learning process. That process that we have that goes through many different conversations between a student to come to publishable learning evidence. However, as teachers… Teachers and the students are not vessels to be filled, if you will. So they need to be partners in learning and feel inspired. They need agency to work on growth areas and pursue areas of interests. And that’s what the collaborative learning system, the CLS really provides, provides the platform to increase agency, to capture important learning evidence and show growth over time, whether that’s one unit one semester, one year, or even 10 years all that data is captured together. So you can go back and see how the learning evidence shows growth over time.

Maddie (27:28): Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. That, I think, like I said, is what makes this product feel so groundbreaking and different from other things that are out there. So if I’m a teacher listening right now, and I think that this sounds like a really cool idea, but I’m not really able to figure out how I can use this in my classroom with my students. Could you describe what a day might look like a day in the life of a teacher who is using gotLearning?

Mike Rutherford (27:59): Sure. There are multiple different user or users in gotLearning and it’s designed to be very similar for the student, the teacher, the educational specialist and the administrator. So it’s not very different, but just with certain functionality in regard to a teacher, a teacher is able to log in and be able to see all of their classes and all of their students for the particular classes that they’re in. And so they can also one other neat function that we found when we were, when I was testing this as a classroom teacher and adding my math teacher and then adding another English teacher. And then also adding my learning support teacher is we like to be able to see what was going on in third classes as well. And that was incredibly powerful from the point that I remember when the, my math teacher came to me at the end of school and said, Oh my gosh, check out what I did.

Mike Rutherford (28:56): And I was like, what, you know, what did you do? She goes, well, we didn’t have any periods that coincided for us to be able to share during the day. And, but I needed to find out why this one student is, who’s a really good math student, wasn’t was failing, not failing, but struggling a lot on word problems. And she goes, so what I did is I jumped over and took a look at what you were doing what you were doing in English. And I realized that this student reads below grade level and no wonder he’s phenomenal math student, but when we started doing word problems, the reading became an issue. And I knew right then, but I needed to provide some scaffolds to help this student with their word problems. And she goes, I didn’t even have to come and talk to you.

Mike Rutherford (29:44): You know, it was right there for me, and I could see what was going on. And I was like, that is cool. And that was another aha moment of how we should be able to share this kind of information. So, a teacher and I, that just gives you an idea of how a teacher, a math teacher could use this in a real-world situation. But there’s also so many other ways that you can go check on how your students are doing throughout the day. I mean, throughout a day, but over the unit or even over the semester and check and see, you might even want to take a look back and get qualitative learning evidence from last year’s class, not just to see a grade or a quick writeup that was done in the SIS, but how was their writing, how was their writing and how was their learning shown over time? How were the revisions, how did they do these kinds of things? And it’s a really powerful tool in that regard.

Maddie (30:34): Hmm. I love this example that you provided of being able to see what’s happening with students in other classes. This is something that I absolutely can relate to, and I’m sure listeners can relate to as well. First, I’m lucky in that I have pretty good relationships with a lot of teachers at my school, yet at the same time, I sometimes have no idea what’s happening in other rooms outside of my own. I think something that’s really kind of tricky about education is that for a position where it feels highly social, where you’re talking all day long, you’re talking with students, you’re collaborating in a lot of ways. It’s also a very isolating position and an isolating career where you’re not necessarily that in the loop with other things that are happening in other classrooms.

Maddie (31:26): And I think some of the most beautiful moments that I’ve had in my teaching career have been those collaborative conversations that I’ve had with other teachers at my school, where I’ve been able to learn about what’s happening in their classrooms. And even going back to what you were saying about those students of concern meetings. I think that this ties into that as well, where outside of those designed meetings, you don’t always know how a student is doing in math class. If you’re an ELA teacher, for example, if you’re an English teacher, a history teacher. And so I love that there is this tool that you can use this tool to find out that information really quickly. So of course it’s so important for teachers to be having those conversations with other teachers, but if you’re in a pinch and you need a quick solution, I love that you can kind of take a deep dive into a student’s work in another class. I think that that’s a really, really neat example for how this tool is so collaborative.

Mike Rutherford (32:21): Yes. And one of the things that, that we do need to know is we do need to know our students. And we need to make connections with them as an, as an English teacher, as a recent English language arts teacher, and also a social studies teacher. I wanted to make connections with kids, kids that may, if they have trouble writing, if I don’t know about their background, I don’t, they may be a wonderful dancer. Maybe, maybe you jump on, gotLearning, go look at their dance class and see what they’re dancing about. Let’s write about dancing, whether it’s in fiction or even if you’re writing argumentatively about how the arts should be expanded in schools. You can actually get to know a student at a personal level by seeing what they’re doing and other things in other classes especially if they’re just, it gives you this rockstar, you know, if they’re a rockstar science student maybe that’s where it is. Maybe they should be writing about astronomy. They should be writing about cosmologies. They should be, let’s make things and meet their needs, where they are and take them to new places. And this tool allows you to be able to do that.

Maddie (33:31): Yeah, definitely meeting students where they’re at is so important. Well, it’s very clear, as I’ve been kind of continuing to address throughout this conversation, that you are very in touch with teacher needs. You yourself were a teacher, so it feels like you have so much knowledge related to pedagogy when it comes to edtech. And I know that on your website, I was looking around. And first of all, I loved that I found this because I think more ed tech companies need a section on their website like this, but I saw that you share a list of articles and books and research that guide you. So could you give an example of some research or of some pedagogy that really has influenced your work with gotLearning?

Mike Rutherford (34:17): Okay. I would say definitely all the things that I listed on the website have had heavy influence. They are my go tos in regard to teaching and learning. So whether it was Carl Anderson’s, How’s It Going? When I was teaching at international school Bangkok we had Carl Anderson come in as a consultant and lead workshops, and he actually came into my classroom and I watched this master teacher confer with students in accomplish something that took me days. He did it in 10 minutes and it was just so amazing. And I really learned that there was so much power just in open-ended questions and in his book is called How’s It Going? And just using that simple phrase along with, of course he has tons of other skills that he teaches and all that kind of stuff to do was incredible, and it really affirmed to me that the conversation, the learning conversation is such an incredible part and this individualized way of doing basically personalized instruction of being able to have those conversations.

Mike Rutherford (35:23): And then I’d have to say, I have two things on there from Grant Wiggins and one, obviously the Seven Keys to Feedback, and also, which is a great article, definitely worth a read in his book UBD (understanding by design) with Jay McTighe helped me learn to focus on big ideas and big ideas are concepts. So when you’re working with concepts, you’re going to have to converse with the kids. You’re gonna have to converse with the students and they’re going to come first with you and each other. And how do we capture that data is became so important. Paula Rutherford’s Instruction for All Students is my go-to teaching book. She was also my mentor as a first-year teacher. And I’m a little bit biased there because she’s also my mom. But it is my favorite.

Mike Rutherford (36:07): It is one of my favorite go-to teaching books. And Bruce Oliver is a principal that I used to work with in Fairfax County public schools. And eventually I worked with him in the private sector, and he wrote an article about growth producing feedback. If you have 30 seconds go Google Bruce Oliver growth producing feedback. It is the most incredible thing about what is feedback and what is not feedback, and what are examples of growth producing feedback. And I use it all the time, not only as a teacher, but I use it as a parent. And I also use it as a, as a coach of… Am I just, if I’m giving him praise, that’s not feedback. Growth producing feedback is so important in how it actually produces growth. And then of course, John Hattie’s Visible Learning is a great book and it really helped describe the importance of a learning conversation.

Mike Rutherford (37:00): I know there’s that book is incredibly dense with lots of different research studies and stuff, but there are some really cool gems in there that, that are affirming and also really thought provoking on how we deal with all kinds of different things of teaching and learning inside the classroom. So I know you asked for one, I went ahead and gave you a whole bunch because they’re so important and I absolutely love them. And I’d love to hear, I’m always the, on the, on the prowl for more mindblowing things that, that change thinking and make me a better educator.

Maddie (37:36): That was really great. I am a huge bookworm. I love to read. It’s totally my favorite pastime. So I now feel like I have a bunch of books that I want to just dive into. So thank you for sharing those examples, and for talking a little bit about them as well and how they’ve sort of influenced your work. I know that growth producing feedback specifically is something that I want to spend more time looking into. It’s something I’ve noticed just as a side note in my own teaching, I’ve tried to get a lot better at giving really specific feedback. I know I teach younger students, and so it’s something that I’ve been really working on is being very specific with language. So it sounds like that would be a really great resource for me specifically to check out. But for listeners, I’ll be sure to have a link to that section of the website in the show notes, in case you guys want to check it out and do some more research and learn a little bit more about gotLearning in general. So before we end off today’s episode, how can listeners find you, how can they learn more about you and your work with gotLearning? Where can they find you online?

Mike Rutherford (38:43): First and foremost Our website is probably the easiest place to find us. We have a budding presence on Twitter where we’re going to be start talking. We’re really announcing the launch of our product as we’re coming out. We’re currently piloting in beta and a beta version of our web app and also mobile apps with schools actually around the world and are about to be general release probably inMay or June. But right now we’re gathering tons of practitioner feedback from teachers, administrators, and students before we get to that point.

Maddie (39:26): Awesome. I will be sure to have your website linked. Is beta testing over, or is that something that if a teacher who is listening wants to be involved with, they have the opportunity to do that still?

Mike Rutherford (39:38): You can visit our website. There is basically a beta tester request form that they’re more than welcome to go ahead and fill out and someone will get back to you ASAP. And because we know you’re super busy, especially this time of year and the environment that we’re in. So we’ll get back to you as soon as possible to try to get you so you can check it out and give us some feedback and help us make the product even better.

Maddie (40:05): Awesome. I love that you’re really valuing teacher feedback because I think that’s so important in developing edtech products. So thank you so much. I have really, really enjoyed getting to know you. I’m so excited about your product. I think that it is really very much the future of ed tech. So I’m really honored that you joined me on the show today.

Mike Rutherford (40:27): Maddie, thank you so much for having us as I enjoy your podcast. I do my ed tech walks with my dogs, as I told you. And that’s when I listened to my ed tech podcasts on this. So excited that I found you and started listening to your podcast. So thank you very much for everything you do as well.

Maddie (40:44): Awesome. Thank you so much. I love that.




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