When I Met Tim Cook to Present My Edtech App

An edtech entrepreneur shares his moment and rededicates his efforts.

GUEST COLUMN | by Frank-David Cohen

Two weeks ago, I received a phone call from Apple saying, “We have an opportunity for Klassly” — the app I created as a solution for parent-teacher relationships.

It seemed mysterious at first, a few days later on another call I was told what every app developer dreams to hear: “You’re going to meet Tim Cook and you’re going to present your app Klassly.”

Apple is particularly special to me, one could almost say I was raised with Macs. My father was already an Apple II developer back in the 70s. And in 1983, a few years after I was born, Apple gave my father a Mac, 3 months before the launch, to bring his software from Apple II to the Mac. So my father was one of the first Mac developers in the world. I grew up with Apple and its “Think Different” motto.

‘I think part of why I was chosen is the relevancy of our mission. We strongly believe that parent’s involvement in their kids’ school life is crucial. The app is designed to address that.’

I’ve been watching Apples Keynotes religiously since my childhood, the idea of having a videoconference with Tim Cook, as I’ve been doing for the past year, in slippers in my living room seemed surreal! There were three of us facing him. Me, and two other outstanding entrepreneurs: Lucie Basch, co-founder of Too Good to Go, and Matthieu Rouif, founder of Photoroom.

We had Tim Cook all to ourselves for 45 minutes!

A Real Role to Play

As I pitched my edtech solution, Tim was very open and curious about the solutions we are bringing to the world through our apps. It’s a great feeling to know your work is recognized for what it is, edtech for good!

I think part of why I was chosen is the relevancy of our mission. We strongly believe that parent’s involvement in their kids’ school life is crucial. The app is designed to address that. We want parents to have a real role to play, to team-up with teachers. Our app has a social network look and feel, with the added value of respecting users’ privacy. It creates a private, non intrusive and secure environment for teachers and parents. Teachers are able to share pictures, videos, announcements, polls, documents, homework assignments, etc. They can also easily transition into remote or hybrid learning.

With 1.2 million users and thousands of testimonies later, there is no doubt, our app is a game changer. We asked over 5,000 of our teacher users and 92% of them agree parents are better involved in their kids’ progress in school.

Today, because of the pandemic, the world is experiencing increasing inequalities. During the first school closures, many children were able to pursue remote learning while others lost access to school completely. The covid learning slide is now becoming one of the biggest challenges the world of education has faced in a long time. The only way we can help children overcome these setbacks will be with families and teachers working together.

Technology clearly has a role to play in helping kids recover from the covid learning slide. The way our app succeeds in involving families will be paramount to accompany teachers in facing these challenges over the next few years.

Our values are inclusivity, accessibility, privacy and unity. Every family can access their childs’ education, all exchanges can be automatically translated into users language of choice, the simple interface is intuitive for any tech fluency level, users data is safe and never shared, teachers can manage the chat and when and how they choose to be accessible, Families are guided in their communications with school to enable clear messages and respectful relationship building.

With our app’s dashboard for school principals, some of the features include access to every class to broadcast school-wide messages, contact families, and keep track of statistics.

Besides being able to pitch, having this conversation with Tim Cook felt important. I know education has always been a priority for Apple, but we each have a role to play on some level. Technology is bringing new possibilities. Now more than ever it is the right time to use tech for good.

Frank-David Cohen is CEO and co-founder of Klassly, an app for teachers to better involve families into their child’s education. Open a free account or see a demo class at WebApp: https://klass.ly/ or on the Apple store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/klassroom/id964833134 or through the Google play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=co.roomapp.klassroom&hl=en&gl=US To contact Frank-David, write to: [email protected]

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