Laura Bresko, Co-Founder
The Covid-19 pandemic took the world by surprise and brought much of life to a standstill. But some jobs have to be done, even in the face of danger. So like other essential workers, Teachers continued to teach, and students continued to learn. Nevertheless, Teachers were faced with an enormous task: suddenly having to move to online learning in the middle of the school year. This job would have been nearly impossible if not for a startup out of Jacksonville, Florida, and their interactive digital worksheet maker, TeacherMade.
Before TeacherMade, teachers were emailing PDF or MS Word attachments of traditional paper assignments to students, who had to print the assignment, do their work, then take pictures of the sheets and email the pictures back to their Teachers. Needless to say, this was tedious for everybody, and student engagement suffered.
But TeacherMade’s interactive digital worksheet maker brought an end to this pain. Rather than sending PDFs to their students via email, Teachers used TeacherMade to convert their PDFs into digital activities, transforming them into engaging, interactive online experiences, rather than just a PDF to be printed. TeacherMade digital worksheets can include images, links, audio, video, and interactive question zones like multiple choice, matching, open response, and 10 other question types.
As much as TeacherMade was the perfect solution for a world in crisis, it wasn’t invented as a response to Covid-19. In fact, TeacherMade’s co-founder Laura Bresko had a much bigger vision in mind when she first conceived of TeacherMade in 2019. “We envisioned TeacherMade completely for the school Teacher who can create their own interactive, digital assignments to students and provide real-time feedback, while saving chunks of precious time with its auto-grading features,” said Laura. She envisioned a next-gen platform revolutionizing classwork, enabling Teachers to author their own interactive online digital activities and unlock the power of the internet and the digital media that make up the fabric of our modern world.
The TeacherMade app offers another best-in-class advantage: auto-grading of 12 different question types. With auto-grading enabled, much of the scoring is done instantaneously and automatically, allowing Teachers to provide instant feedback to students. With TeacherMade, Teachers no longer have to lug around piles of papers to grade, and they can devote more time to personalized instruction with students. What’s more, since TeacherMade integrates with top learning management systems (LMSs) such as Google Classroom, Canvas, and Schoology, Teachers can directly assign tasks to students through one of those LMSs as well.
We envisioned TeacherMade completely for the school Teacher who can assign interactive, digital assignments to students and provide real-time feedback, while saving chunks of precious time with its auto-grading features
TeacherMade was built from the ground-up for digital learning and contemporary approaches to teaching. For example, a current best practice is for Teachers to adopt a cohesive and coordinated approach to teaching, grading, and progress reporting, to better collaborate across subjects and grade levels. Teachers work in cohorts to plan curriculum and prepare a comprehensive overview of the student’s performance across all subjects. TeacherMade helps with this by enabling Teachers to share their assignment activities with colleagues so that every Teacher is aware of a student’s overall performance.
Another noteworthy aspect of the platform is its flexibility. TeacherMade is tailored to the requirements of every Teacher, irrespective of grade or subject area. For example, an elementary math Teacher can use the platform to prepare study materials with images, matching exercise, and math expressions that allow students to grasp mathematical concepts easily. The high school math Teacher, on the other hand, can use advanced in-built tools such as a full-blown algebraic equation editor that serves various mathematical purposes across multiple topics.
The fact that TeacherMade has accrued over six million users within nine months of going live is in itself a testament to its unprecedented success. Numerous teachers across the US are using TeacherMade as their ‘classroom workhorse’ to effortlessly shift between different levels of complexity and adopt higher-level thinking for creating classroom assessments. The synergistic effect of instant feedback, flexibility in formatting, and the ability to quickly modify assessments make TeacherMade invaluable to a Teacher. Teachers can now provide scores, comments, and corrections within a short time and give specific instructions to students.
But the company is not one to rest on its laurels. The experts at TeacherMade have been expanding the TeacherMade feature set in tandem with constructive feedback and recommendations from Teachers around the world. Moving ahead, TeacherMade plans to broaden the platform’s scope by adding exciting new features and shared digital resource libraries for building interactive digital worksheets from scratch. “As we keep our eyes set in the future, we are evolving TeacherMade into a premiere ecosystem for Teachers to provide more quality assessments and thoughtful interactivities for the classroom,” concludes Laura.