Our Launch ‘Pad TakeoffIdea Flight Hits the West Coast

Beyond our wildest dreams
January 20th, 2012 by Juliana Stock

Like many things in life, the plan that you start with is never what you end up with… And if you’re really lucky it ends up being more than you could have ever imagined.

Late last summer we launched Idea Flight Enterprise (to get background on this, read this post). We developed this version of Idea Flight for the educational market after hearing directly from teachers that they wanted this tool for their classroom. What is so amazing, is that the education community saw potential and the ability to fill a need that we couldn’t have identified on our own and we knew we needed them to go further.

The Idea Flight team then enlisted the help of four amazing educators all from different parts of the country—Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana and New York—asking them to help us by using Idea Flight with their students in a classroom environment and be brutally honest in their feedback. All we sent them were some loaner devices, a presentation giving a high level background on the app and it’s features…the rest was up to them. After each group concluded their testing period they completed a survey and we Skyped with the teacher alone and then had a separate session with the teacher and students to go more deeply into their feedback. What we never expected was that each teacher would comment on Idea Flight’s ability to surface and effect students with everything from visual impairments (some of which were unknown), to helping focus and engage students that are easily distracted and empower students who normally were self-conscious about presenting to their class.
If that wasn’t enough, we were also blown away by the incredible creativity these classes demonstrated in uncovering a new way to use Idea Flight to make presentations more impactful. A great example of this was Paul Bogush’s 8th Grade Social Studies class at Moran Middle School in Wallingford, CT. I could explain what they did, but he does it better in his blog post about the experience:

“There were many neat ideas. Most groups came up with ways to not just use one iPad as the pilot controlling one presentation, but multiple iPads as pilots The students put four iPads together–each controlled by different students in the audience. Four presos had to get made so that when each slide was changed it fit in flawlessly with the other three.
“Another group took six iPads and put them together on a table and had the audience stand around them.”

We’ve had very smart, talented and creative people using Idea Flight, but this use of the application had never been surfaced to us before and we were blown away, so much so that we gave the iPads to this class for a few more weeks to see what else they could come up with…we may have more updates so stay tuned.

There’s no doubt technology has impacted education (and still continues to) and has transformed the lives of those with special needs, see an amazing example of this here, (be forewarned, you will need tissues). What’s amazing is the profound impact connected tablets–like iPads—have made to become a game changer, like for this boy and his family. Late last year the Vancouver Sun reported on how teachers are using iPads to reach autistic kids and the incredible results a Vancouver teacher is seeing, Technorati wrote about it’s impact on the blind and Education Week wrote about it’s impact on a student with Down Syndrome… But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

We have been humbled by the experience of working with these classes and amazed at their creativity and how diligent they were in providing feedback. We are also inspired by the idea that the app we created may have an impact on students, their teachers and ultimately their families and thank our willing participants who contributed to the future evolution of Idea Flight Enterprise and opened new doors of awareness for us that we never imagined possible. What started out as a fact-finding mission turned into a profoundly different experience and had we tried to plan the end results we certainly would have short-changed ourselves.

If you have a classroom that would like to test drive Idea Flight, contact us here. Below is a listing of the educators who participated in this initial test program and their blogs:

Carla Beard: webenglishteacher
Adam Bellow: edutecher (see his Educational Tech Commandments–we were blown away by them)
Paul Bogush: blogush
Vicki Davis: coolcatteacher

About Juliana Stock
Juliana leads efforts to create new products and businesses through emerging trends, strategic partnerships, and iterative development. Before working on the product innovation team on Idea Flight, she was the founding General Manager of Gourmet Live. A native New Yorker, she hopes one day for Glee to fulfill her dreams of devoting an entire episode to the musical genius that is Stephen Sondheim. In the meantime, you can find her in Harlem where she lives with her husband and two kids. You can find Juliana on Twitter or LinkedIn. “My soul is in the sky.” — William Shakespeare, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ Act V. Scene I.
View all posts by Juliana Stock →
This entry was posted in Feedback, Product, Team and tagged education, Enterprise, students, teachers, tech. Bookmark the permalink.
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4 Responses to Beyond our wildest dreams
Kenneth McCracken says:
January 29, 2012 at 3:57 pm
I was in the test group for the ipads that put six ipads together to make a big picture. I really enjoyed using the ipads and using Idea Flight. It was a lot of fun using them and if you need to test another app in the future, then I will happily test it for you.

Dean Podaras says:
January 30, 2012 at 9:59 am
I was lucky enough to work with the ipads and idea flght. My group made both the presentation with six ipads, and the one about the white house. It was very interesting trying to stretch the applications features. I think we accomplished that with bot presentations. It was a very good experience and I hope I can work with idea flight again.

Emily Laliberte says:
January 30, 2012 at 1:28 pm
Hi there. My name is Emily Laliberte and I was one of the lucky studednts in Paul Bogush’s class who got to use the idea flight app to engage other class mates in our presentations. I really enjoyed using the app and did some very interesting things with it. For starters, myself, and two of my other class mates Kenny Mckraken and Dean Podaras, made the ipad box. This essentially was ment to be an inside look at the White House but we found out that it was rather difficult to find pictures of the inside of the White House. Instead, we decided to create the image of the White using all views (front, left, back, right and top) and made the final visual. Also, the three of us along with three others made the project above with the ipads numbered 1-6. This also was an enjoyable experience and the three of us were honored to make both presentations. Going into the technical stuff, the app was beautifuly made and was easy to use. I had left suggestions on my blog, along with a little constructive critism ( http://moranmustangs.org/emilyl12/2011/12/09/idea-flight-by-conde-nast/) Overall, Idea flight was a great presentation app and I could definately see this being used in a class or work space situation. If Conde Nast ever needed another person to test out an app, I’d be honored. Just a little side note: LOVED WORKING WITH THE IPADS. Thanks again for the wonderful experiance.

-Emily Laliberte

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