| By Liz Collins, K-12 Product Manager |
“No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” The sentiment of this quote, attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, rings true for product managers who are trained to think about problems or “pain points.” We turn challenges into data that can be used for evidence-based decisions about potential solutions. The key to product management, however, is to not become disconnected from the people having the pain.
I’m fortunate that Gale affords me the opportunity to travel and meet educators at schools, in district offices, and at conferences and events. Those conversations are critically important, not because of what I’ll have the chance to say, but because of what I’ll hear. Many of those conversations inspired Gale In Context: For Educators.
When you read about K-12 educators today—classroom teachers, librarians, curriculum coaches, technology integrators, and administrators at all levels—you’ll be struck by their passionate commitment to student achievement. And, you’ll also notice the atmosphere of persistent, often overwhelming, expectations they navigate every day, from evolving standards and curriculum to conflicting funding and strategic priorities. The digital shift amplifies these challenges, while adding a complex layer of new concern; not the least of which is a constantly changing definition of what it means for students to be future-ready when the future is uncertain.
These challenges stop being theoretical and start getting real when a person is telling you about their own experience:
- classroom teacher who is sourcing content on Google because his or her main resource is an aging textbook and the school isn’t sure it wants to replace it.
- curriculum director fielding calls from app salespeople, knowing her teachers haven’t been properly trained on the ones they adopted last year.
- librarian with a treasure trove of resources to curate curriculum, but doesn’t have a seat at the table.
- chief technology officer wondering how to keep track of all the new tools and ensure they work together.
- superintendent expected to tailor curriculum to the unique needs of his or her community and provide equity of access to diverse populations.
We built Gale In Context: For Educators with people and purpose in mind. Our goal is to help them better leverage the expansive digital learning resources of the Gale In Context database suite, tackle some of these challenges, maximize their investments, and ultimately improve student outcomes.
Gale In Context: For Educators offers a unique user experience that simplifies content discovery and targets features to educators’ needs. This helps teachers discover, curate, personalize, and use standards-aligned Gale In Context resources to supplement curriculum and create engaging, customized learning experiences for students. It’s a platform that allows teachers to place resources seamlessly in students’ workflow, share content with colleagues, and collaborate with other educators in their building, district, or across districts. Most importantly, For Educators is a vehicle for schools to foster collaboration between all those educators I mentioned earlier, to connect people and products and the most important function they serve—educating students.
The educators I’ve had the opportunity to meet, with their goals and challenges, were the north star that guided us during development and kept us on course to reach the milestone of launching Gale In Context: For Educators to the public. I look forward to listening and learning from them as we continue to grow this solution together.
Learn more at gale.com/foreducators.
Meet the Author
Liz Collins joined Gale as a product manager in 2017 and has worked in publishing for schools and libraries for more than 15 years. In addition to her passion for education, she loves film and travel. She is a proud parent to two tabby cats.