At Soficreo we believe that one of the most important human virtues is the ability to help one another. Therefore, starting on the 27th of April 2020 we have decided to offer our educational platform Teemea to primary schools and high schools in Slovakia for free, until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are convinced that Teemea will help teachers and students to continue in the educational process and push it forward.
What do we do at Soficreo?
We have founded Soficreo, our Touch4IT EdTech division in October 2019, unaware of the perfect timing. Soficreo is a „studio of many creators“. It’s composed of experts from various fields – designers, teachers, trainers, game experts, coaches, AR and VR experts, psychologists, developers, composers, artists, and others.
At Soficreo we create and develop digital educational apps of the future. Our apps enable children and adults a fast and playful acquirement of skills and knowledge necessary for life. Our goal us to provide users with simple and efficient apps that delight and educate.
Our tools not just simplify the educational process on the side of teachers and students, but shift this process to a new, qualitatively superior level.
Today I would like to present to you one of our tools that we consider to be an ideal solution for the times that we live.
An educational app, not a communication app
Since the beginning, Teemea was conceived as an educational application, for schools and businesses, or any other institutions and individuals who educate. Teemea can cover this wide use because on one hand it’s flexibly designed, but on the other accomplishes all requirements of the mentioned areas. We know, because we have tested it in different environments: primary and secondary schools, art schools, but also big corporations. Currently we have users in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. We are honored that Teemea is also being used by the Research Institute for Child Psychology and Patopsychology, to educate teachers of special educational needs and pedagogic counselors.
So what makes Teemea different from all the other options of distance teaching that started to be frequently used, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
First of all, Teemea is an educational app, not a communicational one. The difference between an educational and communicational app is fundamental. Let’s use an example. A lot of teachers of primary and secondary schools nowadays use the popular ZOOM platform for teaching. Imagine, that your tool would not only enable you to communicate in real-time, but it would also hold all of your educational material (in a visually attractive format). At the same time you could give creative assignments to your students, that can be completed not only through a textual answer, but also through a photograph, sound, or video recording. I suppose by this point the fundamental difference is already clear. And how about testing directly integrated within the tool?
A tool for many years
And that’s not it, by far. Everything that teachers create, is educational material that has immense value for children and pedagogues not just during the pandemic period, but also during the pos-pandemic period. A lot of the content that the teachers share through emails, on various cloud services, ZOOM talks etc., similarly vanishes in history as we know from social media. Online courses mirroring live education will stay forever as the intellectual wealth of the school and the team of teachers. Next year, these online lessons will help children that stay at home, are hospitalized, or travel with their parents. They will help teachers to enrich live education or help parents with homework. They will help school principals in a situation when one of their teachers is on sick leave. The substitute teacher suddenly has a tool with which he can instantly take over the educational process and continue with the topics. The know-how in digital form can also be a great help for students during studying for final tests. Teemea has one more crucial advantage: the form of education through saved lessons can much better integrate children with special needs, because suddenly they are able e.g. to regulate the speed of the studied topics to fit their needs better. And this is a great difference in comparison to other educational tools.
So, what can Teemea do?
I hope that at this point I have either persuaded you, or at least piqued your interest. Now it’s time to present what our tool is capable of. I think it’s best to summarize all functions in points:
- Create an online school and learning teams – the teacher can create classrooms, invite students to join them
- Create lessons and courses – the teacher can create courses and lessons, that he/she then assigns to the respective classrooms. A great option is the possibility of creating prerequisite lessons, so that e.g. before finishing lesson A, the student will not have access to lesson B.
- Save courses into a library – all courses will stay safely stored in a library to be used at any time in the future.
- Give assignments and calls – the teacher can give assignments to the students during the course of a lesson. The answers don’t have to be only textual, they can also be in the form of a longer text, photograph, sound, or video recording. This completely changes the possibilities regarding the nature of the assignments and the type of interaction with students.
- Discussion (chat) in teams – it’s possible to have discussions in the teams, the students can give likes to the comments, which give the discussions a new, playful edge
- Private messaging between team members – apart from the team discussion Teemea naturally offers the option of private messages between the members of teams
- Tracking of learning progress – the teacher has access to well-arranged data on the time the students have spent with the texts, videos, assignments, etc. This is a great advantage since the teacher is well-informed about the students’ studying time also beyond the real-time online classes.
- Live webinars – Teemea offers the option of live webinars in groups.
Simplicity is key
To round this up, I have to focus on one last important point. When we have pondered with the idea of creating educational tools, we have set intuitiveness and simplicity as some of the most important attributes. If we want to redefine education on the level of the school system, we need the tools that we offer to be “accessible” for all teachers. In this sense “Accessible” means for example that the Teemea platform is simple enough to be used by a 9-year-old pupil and her 70-year-old teacher. Of course, without elementary computer skills we cannot be of help, but we always strive for our tools to be intuitive and easily mastered also by those who don’t have a lot of experience with computers. We do it this way so that teachers can focus on what is important: creating great and inspirational lessons; and students can focus on the quick and playful acquirement of skills and knowledge.
I hope that you now understand why we do what we do.