Since our last blog in April we have again been so busy that we haven’t even had time to catch our breath. Writing this piece allows us to ‘take
five’ and reflect on what we have undertaken and achieved.
The main focus of our activities has been on piloting and receiving feedback; as an organization we are driven by the need to be ‘technology fed NOT technology led’. Accordingly, we have showcased and tested our platform with over 40 target organizations across a number of countries (Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, UK and USA, for example) and in three main sectors (Charity, Education and Health). Here our aim has been to get honest feedback on the appeal and functionality of the Rolling Stories platform; put differently, to identify further the scale and scope of our market and what we need to develop from a business and technological point of view. As part of this exercise we also exhibited at the University of Helsinki’s national event for educationalists focusing on multi-literacy in Finland.
The feedback has been both positive and encouraging. One colleague (Professor of Education) from the University of Cambridge summed up the feedback very neatly for us: “We tend to understand things through stories. Explanations in science mostly take the form of stories. But stories are hard to represent with concept maps or through PowerPoint. ‘Rolling stories’ is a simple way to tell multi-media stories that could make it easier for children, working in groups, to explore and develop their understanding of causal relationships in science and in every area of life.” Of course, there is a lot we need to work on following the feedback most notably improving the UI/UX and making the platform more ‘intuitive’. This is what we will focus some of our effort on in the forthcoming months.
That noted, apart from the piloting and feedback we have undertaken a considerable amount of technical work including fixing numerous usability issues and bugs and creating a first set of admin tools for easier handling of the database. In addition to the piloting, feedback and technical development we have also worked on our IPR and reviewed our monetizing model. And we have met our mentors and the coach and kept them in the loop with developments – thanks for your input to date.
Naturally, given our constraint in resources some things have not really taken off, such as our social media presence (but then, for the moment, we believe it makes more sense to get meaningful feedback on our platform at this point).
Going forward, apart from preparing for the Competition, our main focus will be threefold: technical development following feedback from the initial phase of piloting; further piloting with a wider group of users; and exploring funding and financing opportunities.
Not surprisingly, we won’t be having much of a break over the Summer – see you in September!
The Rolling Stories Team
Ps. Below is a Roller created during the pilot from one of our younger users (Aava aged 5! Texts added by her father as instructed.)