Web Address: https://goformative.com
Youtube video introduction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keB7CkAgT5E (Apologies – the embed link option seemed to change the page layout)
Formative (sometimes known as GoFormative) is a web based service which teachers can use to enhance and simplify formative assessment in the classroom. Formative allows teachers to create formative assessment pieces which can incorporate various multimedia (videos, pictures and websites) to help inform and instruct. Teachers can then assess understanding through quizzes, flipped classroom interactive documents, and exit ticket activities.
While there are already several services in this educational space offering similar services such as Google classroom forms, Moodle, Kahoot!, Quizziz and Socrative, Formative offers several enhanced features not yet available on these other web services. Using Formative, students can also include show-me-what-you-are-thinking drawings (using a touch screen, tablet or by drawing on a touchpad) as assessment pieces as well as an easy to use direct feedback option where teachers can view all of the classroom’s live responses to an assessment question and provide individual feedback to students. Formative also aspires to become a repository of online assessment pieces created on the formative website where teachers can share, collaborate and edit goformative assessments from around the world. Teachers can use Formative to track which areas students are having difficulty with and require further review. Students can also use Formative to track and measure how well they are progressing through a course and get specific feedback on where and how they need to improve. This growth tracking can be matched up with education standards and providing valuable accountability for teachers and students.
Currently Formative is offered as both a free and premium subscription service. The free service limits the number of enhanced features which are available to the teacher, whereas the premium service ($12 per month) offers more options and uploads.
Craig Jones Biography
Craig Jones’ professional background indicates that he has many of the qualities of a strong entrepreneur. After earning a degree in Finance, he became a middle school science teacher as part of the Teach for America program. Participants of this program are top university graduates who commit to teaching for at least two years in a low-income school. According to his interview with the mytechtoolbelt (2018) podcast, he focussed on ensuring that students would master the standards based curriculum by using spreadsheets and data collection tools, such as google forms and responders, to guide and target his teaching He claims to have found strong success with his system (99 percentile academic growth). After being laid off as a teacher, he went to UCLA to start his MBA where he met his then roommate and now co-founder, and COO and CTO, Kevin McFarland. It was here they developed the idea that evolved into Formative and won the Knapp Venture competition. Following the win, the educational technology accelerator Imagine K12 provided support and expertise to help grow the company.
Craig Jones appears to have many of the necessary skills and attributes to be a successful entrepreneur. He comes across as charismatic in his interviews and appears to have the necessary business and entrepreneurial background to make this venture successful. His previous experience as a teacher will earn him both goodwill and credibility with his individual customers and his focus on a quantifiable measure of success and accountability to education standards will ensure that he has some support from policy makers. According to Angel List (https://angel.co/formative) two of his early venture capital investors have had an educational focus (Rethink Education and ImagineK12) which have provided him with further expertise and advice.
Personal reflections this analysis has inspired regarding your own entrepreneurial potential
I really enjoyed reading about Craig Jones in part because his background is similar to mine. I also had a business undergraduate degree and later pursued a career in education. Like Craig, I also like to use data from formative assessments (Moodle quizzes, Quizziz, responders etc) to provide transparency and accountability for curricular standards. I appreciate that he has come up with such an effective tool which closely aligns with many of my thoughts on education.
Jones, Craig. (n.d.) Posts [LinkedIn page]. Retrieved September 28, 2018 from https://www.linkedin.com/in/craigcarterjones
Argano, B., Tabaldo, S. (2018) go Formative – Student Growth Made Easy – Craig Jones, Danielle Moore. Retrieved September 28, 2018 from http://mytechtoolbelt.libsyn.com/mtt008go-formative-student-growth-made-easy
Anderson, C.G., (2015) Upholding Standards: The Founders Of Formative Offer Teachers and Students a Deeper Way Of Comprehending Knowledge. Retrieved September 28, 2018 from http://blogs.anderson.ucla.edu/anderson/2015/09/upholding-standards-the-founders-of-formative-offer-teachers-and-students-a-deeper-way-of-comprehend.htm