This is really a post of advice to all those “edupreneurs” out there.
Don’t make a Thermomix.
Above is a kitchen appliance that a lot of people think is particularly clever: The Thermomix.
According to this website, the Thermomix can: cook, stew, boil, simmer, chop, mince, steam, blend, mill, grind, crush, knead, whisk, grate, emulsify, puree, weigh, control heat, clean itself.
Sounds amazing right? One tool can do SO MANY THINGS!
So you can probably imagine that professional chefs all over the world are using their Thermomix in their 5-star restaurants to whip up all sorts of things.
No. No they don’t.
Why? Because while it might do all those things, it’s not GREAT at doing any of them.
If you want to cook, stew or boil, use a pot. If you want to chop, use a knife. If you want to knead some dough, USE YOUR HANDS!
But now onto education.
There’s a growing pressure I think for all educational apps to have LOTS of bells and whistles. Mark your roll, manage your class, give assignments, formative assessment, email your class, create presentations, create video, collect data, OH SO MUCH DATA!
It seems that every app wants to be your Thermomix.
Next time you’re at an education convention and the guy from XYZTechEd Co. corners you, ask them what their tool does. If they can’t answer it in one sentence, you definitely don’t want it.
So, enough of what not to do. Which EdTech companies do a particularly good job of avoiding the problem of “feature creep”?
GoogleDrive – Store and Share anything with anyone easily on the web.
PlayPosit – (formerly educanon) – Make videos into interactive lessons
VersoApp – Allow anonymous online collaboration
Screencastomatic – Capture webcam and computer screen videos
PearDeck – Making powerpoint presentations interactive
Scratch 2.0 – Drag and Drop computer coding for all ages
So what do you think? If I missed an app that you love, tell me about it. App makers, if I missed yours and you want to give me your one sentence, give me a yell.