Through our award-winning interview series, Five Questions, we’ve been honored to talk with investors, university Presidents, teachers and entrepreneurs in the edtech space. This time, we’re asking our five questions to Max Witt, the cofounder and CEO of Integrate Edtech which has some interesting ideas and products for improving the use classroom technology.
Here are our questions and Max’s answers.
Your company, Integrate, is focused on streamlining the digital classroom experience for both teachers and students. Why did you choose this pain point as a company focus?
We choose to focus on this pain points because we saw a trend in the ed-tech space. There are so many different types of software for schools to choose from, and many focus on the same problems, which makes it very difficult which to choose the best ones that fit into schools budgets. These different categories include: classroom management, personalized learning, grading/attendance, lesson plan creation, moderated working environment, student assessments, and more. This is exactly why we wanted to create an integrated solution which consolidates the most efficient education programs into one easy to use program, with a focus on eliminating distractions – making the classroom more efficient and making software more affordable for the value.
One of the real challenges with edtech has been so many systems – so many solutions to some problems. Add to that the reality that no all these solutions work well together. What has your company done, or what can be done. to make sure all these various systems can play well together? Is that even possible?
We have been working tirelessly to create the most integrated product possible. The way we are tackling this challenge is by defining different users such as Admin, Teacher, and student, which are designated by the users login. Each users environment works different and is catered to their individuals needs. On top of this, the school admin specify how the software will work for their school so that it will run smoothly with each schools different way of functioning. We don’t only believe that it is possible to create a fully integrated environment, but we plan on being the first ones to do it.
One of the interesting things about your product is that it proposes to limit distractions among students. How does your solution do that?
The way we eliminate distractions for students is by presetting who are the teachers and students, when the classes are, and what students are linked to teachers by their classes. This is what allows our software to understand when students are in class, and will automatically switch them over to that classes approved materials during class time. Teachers have the ability to block student applications in real time. Students will not be able to exit out, or minimize the program during class time.
Another real challenge in edtech has been the digital divide – that not all students have access to the same, or even any, technology. How can a company such as yours that looks to streamline and integrate, address or overcome the digital divide?
Our software is geared towards schools that use tech like laptops, tablets, and or smart-boards in the classroom. The way we will streamline our software with this digital divide is by having administration define if their students take their laptops from class to class, or if they have a designated laptop waiting for them at each class that must stay there. By defining this, it will tell the software how to run based on that unique school environment. Our software will also be able to work and save without the use of WiFi all the time.
How’s the product being received? What kind of update can you give us about your progress and development and, finally, what’s next for you and your company?
Our product has been received very well. When we explain our idea to people, we have been told that we have something too good to be true. We are almost done with the development of our prototype, and have already contracted with several schools to beta test it as soon as it is ready. Our future plans include perfecting our prototype and securing contracts with more schools, programs, and districts. We will also be looking to raise our seed round funding soon.