Hello Christopher. I think this venture is a great idea. I like that it is learner focused and the elevator pitch was thoughtful and intriguing. My only concern is that one of your competitors has a stronger footing in the educational research market, especially in some districts in BC. Gale Learning Systems and more specifically Research in Context is an established database in several schools through out the province. This is database provides engaging reference, periodical, and multimedia content supporting national and state curriculum standards for grades 6 to 12 in language arts, social studies, and science. Middle school students will benefit from an interface that delivers a combination of the highly visual design and navigation preferred by younger users as well as the authoritative content and user-focused tool set needed to support middle school assignments and coursework. Gale also has a database that is designed for high school students as well. The teachers in our district currently use it and more and more students are slowly becoming familiar with the Gale database system with more of an emphasis for improving research skills over the past five years.
It will take some time to convince some teachers, more specifically librarians, who are the ones who would share the benefits of databases to their fellow colleagues, to shift away from Research in Context and move to the Lurnt platform. However, the learner focused approach can differentiate Lurnt from its other competitors. With a friendly interface, Lurnt can really apply to the students who struggle. If the upvotes can be managed effectively, this is another tool that can help students avoid endless hours of searching for the right article or source for their assignment. The upvote can be the key in reducing research time as well for students who will be able to find the right information that was highly ranked by their peers. I think with the right approach, Lurnt can have a solid footing and rival Gale Learning Systems and Google as a place where students will seek to do their research on assignments and projects.
Overall, this was an insightful, thoughtful and creatively venture!