We Teach Science (WTS) pairs students in grades 6 through 11 with adult mentors: STEM professionals who volunteer their time to help build student’s confidence and their skills in math and science. Students meet one-on-one with their mentor once a week in an on-line virtual collaboration room. The WTS collaboration platform provides a voice connection, virtual white board, text chat, and in some classes a video connection.
In 2014, WTS initiated a search to find the best online collaboration platform for students and mentors. The search involved WTS staff and the Tech Committee, a group of industry leaders who volunteered to help with the search. Requirements were gathered and analyzed and an extensive search of the many available collaboration platforms led to the selection of Adobe Connect. Of all the platforms that were evaluated, Connect best met the requirments of our students and mentors. Even then, further work was required to develop a custom white board to meet the needs of the WTS students and mentors. We partnered with eSyncTraining, an experienced Adobe Connect developer with substantial experience in education, to develop the custom white board.
In February, 2016, this effort came to fruition as several classes started using the new platform. Over the subsequent months we plan to move most of our students and mentors from our current collaboration platform to Connect.
We thank the members of the Tech Committee and our partners for their valuable contributions and we look forward to growing and improving this platform as WTS grows to serve more and more students.