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Bringing the Community Into the Classroom

January 23, 2019
In Atlanta, a new technology platform helps real-world professionals bring curriculum to life

Educator and Teach X CEO Monique Nunnally had an idea: to create a “Task Rabbit for teachers” that would use technology to connect the classroom to mentors, speakers and professionals in the community.

We sat down with Monique to learn more about how support from the Walton Family Foundation is helping Teach X scale up their technology, train more teachers and serve more than 2,000 students throughout Atlanta Public Schools.

The grant is part of the Ambitious Ideas Challenge , an initiative supporting Atlanta-area nonprofit organizations to drive community transformation.

What can Teach X bring to the classroom?

Monique: Teach X is a training and technology platform that allows community professionals to connect directly with teachers to bring meaningful and relevant learning experiences into the classroom. We think the biggest way to move the needle in classrooms and with students is to design learning around authentic experiences. We want to give teachers a way to rethink and imagine new ways to deliver current curriculum content.

Teach X CEO Monique Nunnally (center) aims to "design learning around authentic experiences" for students.

How does it work?

Monique: The crux of the technology is logistics. There is a huge population of people in our communities who want to support students and give back. But there remains a mismatch of who can actually get into the classroom and help get kids college and career ready.

Local professionals might not want to give out their phone numbers. They might not be able to respond on LinkedIn or email a teacher back. Teach X is a low-risk way for professionals and educators to engage. They can download the app or log on to www.goteachx.org and create a task or project for community “helpers” to fulfill.

Teach X makes it possible for teachers to ask for what they need. They might be looking for someone to speak about cyberbullying or host a girl’s chat. Once they provide the details on the platform, it goes to the curated helper community and helpers can log into the platform and message with the teacher, schedule a meeting, solidify a date and time, and be reminded of their appointment.

Teach X uses technology to connect students to mentors, speakers and professionals in Atlanta.

What will this additional funding allow you to do?

Monique: This grant specifically supports the training of teachers on the technology. We’re hosting four workshops over a three-month period, walking teachers through the different phases of developing an authentic learning space. It will also train teachers in how they advocate for this space with administrators at their school.

Before being selected as a winner of the Ambitious Ideas Challenge, Teach X was just a technology. This funding has allowed Teach X to begin building our ecosystem and forging community relationships that will build the practice of teachers, especially in high-need communities. This fall we hope to serve about 2,000 students through classroom units created by Teach X teachers and supported by the Teach X community.

Who do you hope to serve?

Monique: Our target is someone who has been teaching for about five years, wants to innovate and is serving high-need students.

We have one teacher right now who is working on a networking fair with students. Using the app, they are creating their own networking banquet and inviting professionals on their own. If you want to change classroom culture, put the student in charge and see what they do. Students are more motivated and engaged with the work when its relevant. We want to be supportive of these efforts.

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