What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
The app version of the curriculum is even more effective than the video version I was working with before. Much of phonics learning happens at home in the form of homework, so I used to use a DVD that kids would take home. The app version is more interactive and engaging. My program was already showing that children acquire these skills more quickly than with any other curriculum, but with the app, we're getting even faster results. We are receiving better feedback from parents as well.
We launched the app with students around mid-September. A few bugs did come up, but they were mainly due to a low-quality device being used. Some older devices could not handle the load, so the team had to go back to the drawing board and see what efficiencies they could add until it did work for those devices. It's bug free at this point.
My goal is to raise enough funds to hire Think Tree to create all five levels for both languages on iOS and Android platforms.
How did Think Tree Studios perform from a project management standpoint?
Aric was an excellent project manager. We communicated regularly via email, phone, and text. Sometimes we would meet in person. He even came to my school for some meetings, just to make it more convenient for me.
He frequently said that he wanted to be as accommodating and cost-effective as possible for me. He understood that as a teacher, it’s hard to invest a lot of money into an app. He was always amenable to making any necessary changes, which were usually due to my failure to specify things at the outset.
What did you find most impressive about them?
I was very pleased with Aric’s patience. I have a lot of instructional expertise, but no technical expertise. He did a great job explaining things to me such as terminology and technological limits. I had to purchase a domain name, for example, and he helped me through the process.
Are there any areas they could improve?
I'm very satisfied with the work, so I can't think of anything.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
Plan your project out in as much detail as possible before sitting down with a developer. That will reduce the amount of back and forth communication, as well as helping the project stay on time and on budget.