What is String about?
Why was it created, where is it headed?
What is String?
String is an education ecosystem builder.
To build this ecosystem, we need to identify teachers with technical expertise to knowledge share in a systematic manner.
What is the mission of String?
To increase exposure to tech and industry development for teachers (and hence students).
To be clear beyond reasonable doubt, teachers are our primary audience. Identifying technical teachers/ EOs are central to making String work.
How does String achieve it?
Through 3 main pillars/ propositions:
Simplify - by running events, workshops, courses, including but not limited to What the Tech (10 Dec 2022); Tech Talk for Teachers (From Q4 2022 to end Jan 2023)
Scale - by exploring, building and propagating edutech products in order to better understand the potential of emerging technologies
Structure - by participating in larger ecosystems, including work attachments with startups or other providers in order to better appreciate the future of work
There are different personas that each funnel appeals to. Technical* teachers likely will lead the scale pillar with support from less technical* teachers.
By technical, the teacher can read documentation and deploy their own tools. Coding from scratch is a plus but not a must.
How does String operate?
We run as a hybrid team - mostly remote with some in-person meetings for product sprints as needed. We have a physical office space, courtesy of Crater, located at 2 Linden Drive (inside Nanyang Girls' High School).
Our team comprises largely teachers. We run like a startup with weekly standups with additional syncs at a product level. There are a few roles that we are starting with:
A) Developers/ Technical teachers - we build tools for other teachers
B) Early adopters/ Testers - we do some basic checks before releasing MVPs at scale. No technical expertise needed but helpful to provide more granular feedback
C) Product Operations - help to increase adoption of the given tools by assisting other users and writing basic documentation on GitHub README.md files.
D) Technical copywriting - writing articles on platforms like these and previously on Medium
E) Speakers - to share on occasions like Tech Talk for Teachers
Our key metrics are mapped to the 3 pillars above:
Simplify - Number of events + Number of Participants + Net Promoter Score (NPS) for our training sessions. Tech Talk for Teachers, has an unbelievable NPS of 10 out of 10. Not all 60 registrants responded for the survey but we have encouraging repeat participants in spite of running it through term and during the year end holidays.
Scale - Number of EduTech Products + Number of Users + Net Promoter Score (NPS). We have a small repository of 13 tools and counting. We will eventually backlink and centralize it properly on our Github organisation page but this will take some time for training within the team to get used to this workflow.
Structure - Number of partners + Number of internships/ work attachments brokered. We have sustained our partnership with Saint Andrews' Junior College for 2 consecutive years and supported internship placements of students from Raffles Institution as well. The total number of teachers and students supported for such work exposure programs is 11 (and counting). We will discontinue internships for students and wholly focus on programs solely for educators.
Who are String's advisors?
True to the spirit of bridging schools and industry exposure, we have a mix of advisors with deep domain expertise in education as well as in the private sector:
Dr. Liu Woon Chia - Dean, Teacher Education @ National Institute of Education (NIE)
Dr. Chua Bee Leng - Associate Dean, Professional Practice @ National Institute of Education (NIE)
Dr. Jackie Tan - Head of Academy @ Tribe
Daniel Lim - Public Policy @ Meta
Rusydi Khairul - Co-Founder & CEO of Reactor School
Brian Liu - Previously Senior Vice President - Group Head of Learning & Organization Development @ Lazada and National Youth Council (NYC) Council Member
What to expect from String in 2023?
There will be:
More Some training sessions - simplifying tech concepts and introducing disruptive tech through our blog (like this!), events and workshops.
More EduTech experimental products - beyond just talking, building useful things to make lives of teachers better. We believe in product-integrated education instead of always just putting the burden of education on the end-users. For instance, CherGPT, by making language models super accessible, helps to make the benefits of AI-powered learning assistants less abstract.
More Private-public partnerships - we ended the year with teachers and industry professionals exploring how AI can support adaptive testing in our discord server. We look forward to deeper learning, perhaps with learning journeys and work attachments for both teachers as student teachers
Strategically, String will also go upstream to impact more student-teachers in 2023. Look out for us during teacher-as-thinker (TAT) series as we partner the Office for Teacher Education (OTE) under the National Institute of Education in the coming weeks!
We look forward to bringing more industry exposure and tech opportunities to teachers (and hence students)! :D