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EssayTagger is a web-based tool to help teachers grade essays faster.
But it is not an auto-grader.

This blog will cover EssayTagger's latest feature updates as well as musings on
education, policy, innovation, and preserving teachers' sanity.

Monday, June 13, 2011

School's out! Let's get started!

From: Des Plaines, IL

I am super proud of what my Senior English classes achieved this year, but I am totally exhausted! As a second-year teacher I'm still struggling to figure out that life-school balance. So far: All school, no life.

Look at all that learning going on!

The killer for me is that I also coach. Girls gymnastics begins in mid-November and then runs straight into boys gymnastics (for which I'm the head coach) and that season runs almost to the end of May. Between teaching and coaching I've just been through five straight months of 80-hr weeks!

So I've managed to barely crawl to the finish line at the end of Year Two.

Celebrating graduation with one of my seniors

But there shall be no rest this summer! I have a vision for how essays can be graded faster and better than ever before. This summer is going to be all about diving into building this technology and building this company.

This approach will be the future of grading essays. Of this, I have no doubt.

English teachers, Social Studies teachers, and college instructors will suddenly find themselves with HOURS of their lives back, their students will get incredible feedback on their work, and administrators will have a plethora of real-world data that is more reflective of actual student achievement and critical thinking (or so I think) than any standardized test score.

How am I going to do this? Well, before I was a high school English teacher I was a professional programmer in the dot-com world for nine years. I graduated cum laude from Princeton with a degree in Computer Science. And I know a ton of super-talented, super-resourceful people who can offer whatever expertise or experience I lack.

We are currently in stealth mode so I can't share too much just yet.

But I can tell you that we are aiming at a mid-August demo/beta and a full-blown launch in September. It will take a ton of hard work throughout the whole summer, but words cannot express how excited I am by this idea and by this challenge!

Watch this space for updates on our progress, ruminations on the state of education in America, a lot of tech gobbledy-gook (despite being an English teacher I am a super-geek at heart), advice and lessons-learned for other startups and entrepreneurs, and other random tidbits.