Classroom, Inc. (CI) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to close the achievement gap by using technology and the world of work to engage, teach and inspire adolescents.
Classroom, Inc.‘s curriculum improves students’ reading abilities, empowers them to be critical thinkers and helps them envision their future. Through online workplace simulations, students become virtual bankers, sports network executives and magazine editors. They work individually and collaboratively to solve problems and make decisions using academic skills. Classroom, Inc. believes strong programs start with strong teachers. Every teacher receives professional development and on-site coaching and Classroom Inc. also provides a variety of instructional and assessment resources that support the online simulations. The programs are used in public and parochial schools in a variety of instructional settings, e.g., the summer, school day and after school. Founded in 1991, Classroom, Inc. has served schools in 25 states and has worked with approximately 700,000 students and over 10,000 teachers.
Classroom, Inc. recently won a Gates Foundation “Next Generation Learning Challenge” grant to develop a game-based, 20-hour module to improve the literacy skills of struggling 8th and 9th grade students. Thus far, CI has developed a prototype that incorporates gaming elements and individualized learning paths into the module to engage and improve student achievement. Classroom, Inc. piloted this prototype with hundreds of low-achieving 8th graders in NYC and Chicago last spring, and early results for students using the new module are extremely positive. Over the next three years, Classroom, Inc. will develop three “Reading in the Real World” next-generation learning programs. These 80-hour modules will engage and empower 6th to 9th graders, use game elements and individualized learning paths to improve student achievement, build in mentoring programs to deliver one-on-one experience, and employ next-generation teacher assessment tools.
With decades of achieving strong results and with the alignment of two driving forces in American education -- the adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the emergence of next-generation learning tools to help students become college and career ready – Classroom, Inc. is committed to being a leader in the education reform movement.
Classroom, Inc. is now seeking a VP, Product Development who will report directly to the President of the organization and oversee the development of Classroom, Inc.’s next-generation learning programs.
This is an ideal opportunity for an entrepreneurial, creative and collaborative leader who has developed and launched web-based products in the K-12 education sector and who is excited about playing a key role in the growth of a mission-driven organization.
This is a new position and this person will work closely with the organization’s senior leadership team as well as a team of product developers. This is a full-time, exempt position, which will be based in Classroom, Inc.’s New York City office.
The VP, Product Development will oversee all aspects of production for an innovative, next-generation learning product. He/she will work with key members of the team to develop both online and offline parts of the program.
Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to the following:
- Serving as thought partner to the President on Classroom, Inc.’s ongoing product vision
- Refining and maintaining the overall strategy for the product throughout all aspects of production
- Leading implementation of the product vision by managing full-cycle, iterative product development of three next-generation learning programs
- Overseeing all aspects of educational technology development including integration of curriculum, assessment design, content, game mechanics, individualized learning paths, and art and animation
- Leading the development of non-simulation parts of the programs, including instructional resources in print, online and video form (e.g. teacher-directed lessons, class discussions, non-fiction reading component), along with licenses/partnerships with other content providers (e.g. mentoring program)
- Collaborating closely with Classroom, Inc.’s implementation, sales and research teams to obtain product input and user feedback
- Building and managing a high-quality team composed of staff and contractors in the areas of project management, product development, technology and curriculum development
- Working with Classroom, Inc.’s leadership team to develop and implement a long-term sustainability plan, including participation in high-level conversations with existing and future funders
- Troubleshooting development issues as they arise
The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:
- Bachelor’s degree
- A minimum of 10 years of work experience, with at least four years of experience in product development
- Passion for technology as well as domain expertise and experience in instructional/next-generation learning technology and game design, preferably in K-12 education
- Deep understanding of educational curriculum, instruction and embedded assessment
- Robust experience overseeing the full product development cycle including ideation, design, project management, technology and content
- A strong strategic vision, with a track record of developing an effective product roadmap with input from internal and external constituencies
- A love and appreciation of good design and aesthetics
- Demonstrated track record in leading and managing significant, complex efforts and maximizing their impact
- Proven success in managing and motivating diverse stakeholders on complex, challenging projects
- Commitment to the mission of Classroom, Inc.
- Entrepreneurial spirit, self-direction and results-orientation, demonstrating initiative, resourcefulness and follow-through
- Exceptional interpersonal skills combined with excellent verbal and written communication skills
- A sense of humor and high level of energy
OF TECH TALENT