Early in our respective teaching careers, we came to the all-important realization that you don’t get into education to make money: you get into education to make a difference.
Each year in our own classrooms, we spend hundreds (if not literal thousands) of our own hard-earned dollars to re-invest in the students that we serve. Magic markers, extra pencils, construction paper, folders, LEGO bricks, Story Cubes, role-playing-game dice, clear plastic page protectors, trading card sleeves, magnets, cards, stickers, board games, chart paper, action figures — you name it! Those costs can absolutely add up over time. But we’re found that spending a few bucks (ok, maybe more than just a few bucks) on those little things that add an extra pop of life to a classroom can ultimately pay tremendous dividends in terms of student engagement and buy-in for the tasks at hand. Students can feel the difference between a teacher who’s just showing up to cash a paycheck and those who go the extra mile because we are seriously invested in the work that we do.
Student engagement is not magic. It’s the byproduct of serious work behind the scenes and a lifelong commitment to serving the ever-changing needs of the people in front of you. Last year’s lessons don’t always work with this year’s students.
You get out what you put in. And when a person is captivated, they don’t need to be held captive.
That’s why here at EMC², we try to bring that same formula that has served us so well in our own classrooms to the shared commitment that we bring to our outstanding community of Engagement Engineers all around the world. We’re not some big, fancy tech startup who rakes in the dough and spends millions on splashy advertising campaigns to hoodwink the next customer into buying a rehash of yesterday’s news. We don’t just sit back on our laurels and let the site do all of the heavy lifting with a bunch of years-old lesson plans from our first or second books. And we simply refuse to settle for the easy way out by slapping a new coat of paint on the same old, same old.
In the immortal words of a fellow dreamer and personal hero of ours:
That’s why in the weeks and months ahead, you’ll continue to see more and more evidence of our continued commitment to creativity, imagination, and growth. As author Robbie Kellman Baxter once observed: “innovation is mostly a function of understanding and imagination.” With each new Engagement Engineer who joins the EMC² Learning Community, we’re able to reinvest in making this ever-expanding site a home to the absolute highest quality resources, artwork, images, videos, and assets that we can provide.
Here are just a handful of ways that we’re putting this mindset in action on the site:
- Running a massive online platform like EMC² Learning requires dozens of fancy schmancy plug-ins, apps, and software extensions to work together behind the scenes. Recently, we indexed some 36,000 (yes, thousand) images to make sure that things continue to load and look all pretty no matter what browser or device you’re using to view them. In short, it’s a ton of work! And your support makes it possible.
- In the days to come, you’ll be seeing a brand new addition to our ever-expanding library of self-paced video courses. And while we are serious about playful learning, we don’t pretend to be the experts on all things education. That’s why we are partnering with talented, dynamic educators from around the world to offer an all-new lineup of GUEST COURSES featuring jaw-dropping displays of teacher creativity on all things sketchnoting and video editing.
- For every video that lives inside of our site (we’ve got over 100 and counting), we are honored to have partnered with Rev for their incredibly detailed closed captions. Transcribed by a real-life person, not a machine. This means that every one of our instructional walkthroughs and self-paced video courses can be more accessible for each of the members of our community of Engagement Engineers. We believe that ableism is awful, and everyone deserves a place at the teacher’s table.
- Custom artwork is one of our favorite features of the EMC² Learning library of resources. That means every single image that appears on the site has either a) been legally obtained from a content creator who makes their work freely available through the creative commons license, b) been created in-house by John and/or Michael, or c) been purchased at our own expense through paid commission-based partnerships with talented artists and/or image repositories.
In short, we believe that content creators and artists deserve to be fairly compensated for the great work that they do. So unlike many other off-the-shelf-worksheets-for-sale websites, you’ll never find any dinky clipart or Google searched copyright violations inside of the EMC² Learning resource library. We’re committed to playful pedagogy that’s seriously high quality. And thanks to the incredible support of Engagement Engineers around the world, we look forward to reinvesting our continued time, talents, and resources into making this site the absolute best that it can be for many years to come.
We hope you’ll consider joining us as an Engagement Engineer to unlock a full year of site access. For complete details including our exclusive limited time offer for annual site membership, click here.