SEATTLE, Aug. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Buckets.co, the growing social productivity and collaboration platform based in Seattle, has proven itself popular with development and enterprise teams all around the world.
But what about for kids in Seattle's own backyard?
Summer can be a challenging time for many parents who not only are needing to juggle their kids' schedules of camps and trips to Yellowstone, but are trying to maintain their children's academic awareness. Dr. Paul Huddleston, a retired Seattle dentist, explains the challenge he faced with his own middle school triplets.
"My wife and I were concerned about helping our children maintain a mastery over the academic skills they honed over the course of their fourth grade year. Summer hits, and unless your kids receive tutoring several times per week, which gets costly, they find themselves sporadically brushing up on their skills, at best. So we turned to Buckets, which provided a natural platform for creating an engaging curriculum; nothing too onerous, but just enough to allow them to enter fifth grade sharp and focused."
Of course parents talk, and when word got out about Dr. Huddleston's enrichment program, people wanted in.
"I mentioned to a couple of my friends about the curriculum I was developing, and their eyes lit up," Dr. Huddleston recalled. "They were excited about the ease of the program. Some even offered to compensate me, which made me laugh. Truth is, it's so easy to share projects and integrate information on the platform, I was more than happy to include them."
The pilot program took off, and student engagement was impressive.
"What started as an in-home attempt to keep the summertime peace evolved into a pilot program in educational enrichment," shared Dr. Huddleston. "The challenge of course was introducing the concept during the summer, a time during which extracurricular activities and vacations are tugging on people's attention. The cool thing is that since the curriculum can be accessed from everywhere and on almost any device, engagement was easy. And once the new user explored the platform, it was natural and intuitive."
The enrichment program paralleled what one would expect from an advanced productivity platform for information management among corporate teams, without the roadblock of tech intimidation. In fact, the definition of 'who a student is' started to resemble more of a project itself.
Dr. Huddleston explains, "It made perfect sense to start seeing students as 'evolving projects', followed and managed by a number of concerned overseers. The beauty is that these overseers can easily steer pertinent content toward or away from the student, thereby directing the 'project' based on dynamic input and sensible course corrections. It's all about helping the user define pertinent content and manage that flow with precision and ease."
While the platform set the stage for a tailored approach to content, it capitalized on capturing the best input for the next iteration of the enrichment project. "Next summer we will be poised to resurrect the content tested this year, and tweak the program as needed. It will be so nice not to have to recreate the wheel, and simply build upon the tested information and content from the previous summer," said Dr. Huddleston. "Buckets allows for what I call 'workflow libraries' to evolve against the backdrop of the dynamic canvas that is the student, which is a pretty powerful concept."
Parents have been impressed with the ease of the enrichment program as well. Yasuyo Hoover-Harai, the mother of one student, stated that "the program and its projects were very well-organized" and "combination of videos and other online activities made the learning more fun than simply reading or doing other activities that might seem more like school homework."
The students found the platform helpful and engaging. Mia Soli, 5th grader at St. Joseph School in Seattle, shared that "Buckets motivated me to get things done. I liked trying new things and it helped me stay on task. If I didn't feel like doing something, it would help me remember that I had to get something done."
Going forward, Dr. Huddleston would like to see the summer enrichment project evolve as a foundation for managing students, educational content, and school-to-parent communication year around. "I think that most parents can understand how fragmented email and text messaging can be, as it concerns their own children or classroom related activities, especially when multiple parties are involved. An educational program like this one can surgically cut through that noise and allow for greater focus and efficiency. I'm pretty excited about that prospect."
For more information about Buckets, go to www.buckets.co.
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