Chris Hull is the Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Otus, a Chicago-based edtech company. After 13 years as an educator, Chris wanted to minimize the chaos of disconnected
edtech tools for K-12 administrators, educators, students, and their families.
Otus is one system to teach, grade, analyze, and plan. With Otus, school leaders can focus on student learning, not technology.
In this episode:
1. Chris shares his journey from Middle School Social Studies Teacher to startup founder. It started back in 2010 when he co-authored a proposal to bring a device to every student. Handing an iPad to middle schoolers presented new challenges and exposed inefficiencies in education. This sparked the beginning of Otus.
2. Otus is used in over 160 districts which includes 1 million monthly users. The onboarding process with each district starts with identifying the specific initiatives. This allows the Otus team to really identify the key metrics for success to get the most value out of the system.
3. Pre-Covid, Otus was well-positioned as a remote or hybrid eLearning platform. It was the official system approved in Illinois for "snow days".
4. Chris shares his lessons learned from becoming a startup founder. Mainly, his best practices of teaching apply really well to leading in any situation. He also shares that authenticity is key to gain buy-in. Finding the right teammates that you trust is also important to move the company forward.
5. Chris shares some key market trends within edtech - mainly, identifying "learning loss" and re-engaging students. We are facing an engagement crisis and focusing on measuring learning will not help support the students on a path forward to create lifelong learners. The market is trying to figure out how to handle both. Schools are mostly funded by public dollars and had many unexpected expenses with Covid. There is a long road ahead to figure out these challenges.
You can learn more at Otus.com
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