MentorMob’s mission is to make learning free and accessible for the entire world. Never before has the tremendous amount of information been potentially available to everyone in the world. This is the most ambitious project I’ve ever been involved in, and we’re tackling it with an awfully small number of resources. I’m not afraid to dive in head-first because my co-founder, my team, and I are so driven by a real chance to help reshape education.
It’s been a wild ride since we launched MentorMob 9 months ago, on November 1, 2011. Although every entrepreneur has visions of a product that will be used and enjoyed by people around the world it’s an amazing feeling when it actually happens. We’ve seen teachers from over 100 countries around the world use MentorMob’s platform in a variety of creative ways – from flipping their classrooms to differentiating learning among students to even professional development for teachers.
This year we were invited to speak at the ISTE Conference in San Diego and the ASU Education Innovation Summit. We’ve also been able to cement partnerships with the Mozilla Foundation, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, and Motorola Mobility Foundation – all within six months of launching. And after nearly a year of increasing usership and Learning Playlist creation, it’s easy to see how we could never have grown as quickly without our community of users. They have helped tremendously by providing feedback, telling others about the site, and using it regularly, so we wanted to recognize and encourage some of our biggest supporters. We created the MentorMob Innovators Program to showcase their dedication to education and educational technology. After all, Bill Gates was right when he said, “Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.”
The MentorMob Innovators are the kind of super active users we’ve had Skype and email conversations with many times to collect feedback about MentorMob. These are folks we’ve met in the Twittersphere and hung out with at international conferences. We’ve transformed our relationships with them from MentorMob users to friends of ours who we value and respect for what they do.
The first class of Innovators are the ones who have demonstrated the most creative and innovative ways to take advantage of MentorMob, and who are involved in helping build MentorMob’s community into the next generation of learners. At the end of the day, they are as integral to the MentorMob team as I am, and we wanted to recognize that.
Every year we will be selecting a new group of MentorMob Innovators to honor and congratulate – and they don’t have to be educators! They can be philanthropists or social workers or even business leaders. It can be anyone who demonstrates the qualities and characteristics that define a MentorMob Innovator. That’s why we chose the term innovator versus educator. The qualities we look for in our MentorMob Innovators are:
- Creative use of MentorMob within his or her field
- Frequent collaboration and involvement in the MentorMob community
- Active blogger and evangelist about MentorMob best practices
- Provides feedback aiming toward a continually improved learning experience on MentorMob
In addition to high fives from everyone at MentorMob our MentorMob Innovators receive:
- A free year of MentorMob University
- A MentorMob Innovator badge to display online
- A Featured Innovator post on the MentorMob Blog
- Sneak peeks into unreleased MentorMob advanced features
It was difficult to choose our MentorMob Innovators from the large number of users but we finally narrowed them down. Below is the list of our first MentorMob Innovators, selected from around the world. Each week we will be writing an article about one.
- Keith Heggart – Australia
- Marisa Kaplan – New York
- Alison Anderson – Oregon
- Crystal Kirch – California
- Bret Gosselin – Texas
- Kim Wilkens – North Carolina
- Pat Branson – Australia
- Carol Mortensen – Texas
- David Kapuler – Wisconsin
- Tom Kramer – Nevada
- Daniel Edwards – UK
- Mark Anderson – UK
- Justin Marquis – Washington
It’s been 9 months since we’ve launched MentorMob and we couldn’t be happier with the reception we’ve received from our users. We’re looking forward to continuing to improve the MentorMob experience and will do so with folks like our MentorMob Innovators. Congrats and thanks to them!