Since the meteoric rise of technology, the trajectory of e-learning has followed a similar path. E-learning spawned everything from “on-line education” to various learning applications, including Kahoot and Khan Academy. Another critical application born out of e-learning is the digital portfolio, a collection of multimedia artifacts that showcase students’ learning experiences, goals and achievements.
bulb is a simple, easy to use digital portfolio for students and educators, that allows anyone to create, share and showcase their work. Launched in 2011 and headquartered in Colorado, USA, bulb is purpose-built for learning at all levels. bulb makes it quick and easy for students to tell their learning story from their laptop, tablet, or smartphone. From an educator’s perspective, bulb Digital Portfolios can be used to document the learning process, encourage peer review, facilitate project-based learning, promote collaboration, and foster the development of healthy digital citizenship. Most importantly, the company states, “bulb is yours forever; it’s not a system owned by the school district, hence you always have a place to create, refine and share your work for a lifetime.”
The Ambitious Entrepreneurial
Passionate about education, the founders of bulb recognized a need. With over a dozen school aged children among them, bulb’s founders watched their children yearning for a place to create ideas, share projects and ultimately showcase their best work. Throughout the 20th century, student work has ended up gathering dust in filing cabinets and the teacher’s work buried in piles of three-ring-binders. With design and development backgrounds in software development, the founders designed a practical, simple and beautiful solution. bulb offers students and teachers a way to efficiently create a portfolio of academic and professional work that will grow with them for a lifetime.
Eric Goldreyer, the CEO and Co-Founder of bulb, is passionate about creating new ways for learning to prosper. The consummate entrepreneur started BedandBreakfast.com in 1995. He grew the company into a top specialty lodging brand, and expanded its offering through the acquisition of several websites and lodging software companies.
Overcoming Challenges and Creating a Milestone in the World of Education Technology
bulb has always held steadfast to a vision anchored beyond the most popular, current trends. The purpose of the company is to modernize the most significant, fundamental principles of education by transforming them into beautiful, practical, and easy-to-use 21st century technology.
“At our inception, we knew if we could establish a shared vision that stayed true to the effective, time-tested pedagogical approaches, we would weather inevitable storms,” Goldreyer said.
Six years later, the bulb team is still pursuing that vision, with more strength, success and conviction than ever.
Designing the Exceptional Strategy that Counts
bulb is the only true “K-12 and beyond” portfolio in the market. One very important element that makes bulb unique is their clear purpose: build the most beautiful, reliable, easy-to-use digital portfolio. This is the sole focus of the company. Another critical element is that bulb is about a philosophy of education rather than a tool. bulb’s clear focus on how users teach and learn as well as their impeccable design and commitment sets them apart from most EdTech companies. bulb belongs to the user so they can leverage their portfolio wherever they go. Once a student or educator leaves the classroom, they are able to continue to build and refine their body of work, anytime, anywhere and for a lifetime.
Additionally, bulb balances the demands of IT professionals and educators, offering everything an educator or a school district needs to succeed, including: Learning system integration, Auto-rostering, Administrative dashboards, On-site professional development, Robust privacy & data security and Custom education pricing and more.
“Education needs products designed by educators. The bulb team is made up of several talented teachers who know technology and know how people use it,” Eric said.
EdTech Challenges Down the Road
School districts, teachers and anyone in education are currently confronting a major challenge in the EdTech market today, we call it the “flood” of disparate EdTech solutions. Every day teachers, administrative leaders and students are bombarded with shiny, new tech tools.
“We’ve found that the edtech industry is quick to offer fast solutions to very complex education challenges. These ‘easy-fix’ solutions don’t often acknowledge the depth or expansiveness of the learning process and therefore don’t stand the test of time,” Eric said.
Additionally, within that flood of solutions it is nearly impossible to find a well-designed, easy-to-use, beautiful product.
That’s why bulb’s top priority is to build an attractive, relevant and easy-to-use product. Very few companies actually spend the time and money it takes to develop thoughtful and beautiful education technology despite the fact that the future of learning depends on it!
Enriching Client Experience
First and foremost, investing in bulb means not only investing in a life-long product but in the processes of critical thinking, selective curation, narrative-making, vision-casting, reflection and collaboration.
Additionally, bulb makes customer care a fundamental part of their mission.
“bulb took everything I’ve learned from the service industry and applied it to serve education,” Eric said.
Clients are supported by the most responsive care team in the business, offering highly individualized technical support, near-immediate feedback and highly responsive design reflecting their clients’ unique needs.
Investing in the Future
Through a partnership with Future Ready and Digital Promise, bulb continues to listen and learn from a talented group of like-minded partners. This year, alongside the best and brightest in the industry, Eric plans to further invest in the product and continue to bring digital learning opportunities to all students and educators.