IMAGINE a system that allows students, teachers and even parents to contribute ideas to improve their school without putting a huge weight on their workload.
Every1Speaks co-founders Peter Hirst and Jeremiah Alexander are hoping their platform can manage that feat.
The Newcastle company has been developed with the help of 19 early- adopter schools, and has ambitions to go nationwide and even international in the next year.
It has been boosted by a £100,000 investment from the Northstar Ventures Finance for Business North East Proof of Concept Fund, and now has high-profile help in the form of digital education expert Ewan McIntosh.
Alexander said: “We’re looking to create a collaboration and communication platform for schools. If you’ve got 1,000 people collaborating on something, you’re going to get the best vision and something more powerful than if there’s just five people working on it.”
Every1Speaks offers a secure and customisable web-based platform based on “gamification” principles, in which those involved with the school can post ideas or suggestions to an “idea map”.
Each idea is represented by an image, which grows as more people add feedback, discussion or votes. Teachers can help focus debate and introduce other people such as school governors and parents.
Alexander said: “In something of the size and complexity of a school, there are so many stakeholders.
“People want to involve others in discussions, but don’t often have the resources to do so.
“Frankly, they have enough on their plate, and expecting them to do more is a big ask.
“We’re talking about creating an enterprise-standard product, but tailored toward schools. Companies sometimes think they can afford to cut corners or build something second-rate because it’s for education, but the needs and challenges of schools outweigh those of many businesses.”