In the field of education, ironically, our teachers have very little powers on what tools or resources they can buy to to support us teachers in teaching our students. To some extent, it makes a lot of sense because our school and district can save a lot of money when they purchase a large volume or site-license. To help teachers starting using the software or services such SMART Technology, EADMS, or IlluminateED, our districts pay outside trainers to train teachers how to use them. This process could take years to get most of the teachers start using the tools. In the process, schools and districts are wasting a lot of money on the annual fees and training.
To save our schools, districts, and teachers money, we give the buying decision to our teachers. In the end, it is the teachers who are using the service to support the students, not the district personnel or administrators. We give each teacher 5 weeks to try out service for FREE to determine if the service is best for them. We hope the 5 weeks would be enough time for our teachers to try implement all the features in their class and ask their administrators or department chairs to pay for the service. Through this process, schools and districts are not paying for unused services.
Unlike other company that are motivated by making large profit; we focus on self-sustainability for us teachers. I found StreamlineED to support as many teachers as possible. At first, I thought of running it as a nonprofit company where I would rely on teachers to donate the money to keep StreamlinED sustainable for a long term. However, after discussing with many teachers, they recommended it would be best to run it as private company and charge teachers for the service, hoping that our teachers can ask their schools to pay for the services when our teachers prove how useful it is for our students. As a teacher, I have spent hundreds of dollar yearly to buy supply for my students, and I believed that other teachers are doing the same thing. Through this approach, I hope to save our teacher money and maintain the service for our teachers for a long time.