Guido has founded five companies, the latest being Nearpod, an educational technology company that turns mobile devices into teaching assistants. Nearpod gives teachers the opportunity to extend their day’s lesson to their students’ mobile devices, creating an up-close-and-personal interactive classroom experience. Today, Nearpod has over 400,000 users, and has been included by Apple in its exclusive “Teacher’s Starter Kit”
The project: 'Nearpod Marketplace'
There are roughly 5 million teachers in the United States, all of whom face the day-in-day-out challenge of designing their class flows. Guido came to the d.school eager to take on the challenges teachers face in sharing information with one another. He has observed that the way in which teachers design and share their lesson plans happens at varying degrees of complexity. So, he tested ways to convert Nearpod into a platform around teachers’ ability to share with one another, not only their students. Guido found, in the fellows program, the freedom to fail, experiment and test at a far faster rate than he had been doing in Nearpod previously. He has managed to rapidly increase the product development cycles at Nearpod in addition to finding key collaborators within his fellows cohort, particularly with Matt Haney, a commissioner on the San Francisco school board. That collaboration led to the launch of a district-wide Nearpod mathematics project in San Francisco Unified School District. Design thinking, says Guido, is now part of the DNA of Nearpod, with everything from new-hire interviews to meetings that now hew to design-thinking principles. Nearpod now seeks feedback from users more regularly and incorporates that into their product development.
Equipped with the tools of design-thinking, Guido plans to transform Nearpod from a software to a content platform. This includes developing methods for teachers who offer lesson plans through Nearpod to receive feedback from students in any classroom where that lesson plan is used. Thanks to his time at the d.school, says Guido, Nearpod’s mission has never been clearer.
Guido is a 2013-2014 d.school EDUfellow and can be found at @GuidoNearpod.