EQAOquizzer is an online mathematics tool designed by teachers, for teachers and their students. It offers students practice tools with fully worked solutions to improve their math understanding, on any device, anywhere, and gives teachers the ability to quickly create their own assessments and evaluations using extensive question banks. Teachers can also track their students’ progress easily with user-friendly tools and dashboards. Student math success is the goal and the mission is to provide the best online math and EQAO learning/assessment tool for teachers and students.
We chatted with EQAOquizzer co-founder, Cyrus Tehrani, to find out about the inspiration behind the company and his team’s plans for it’s future. Here’s what Cyrus had to say:
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR COMPANY?
The idea for EQAOquizzer came from our founders – myself included – who are educators. It was conceived as a tool that we were personally looking for, so much so that it inspired us to develop it ourselves. The initial ideas and planning focused around a technology tool that supported student engagement and complemented teaching practices. That led to the development of the EQAOquizzer application, which we prefer to think of as a tool more than just an application.
WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF WHAT YOU DO ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
Getting positive feedback from users about what they like about the application as well as those inspirational “Aha” moments on something that will incrementally make it better, no matter how small or big an improvement that “Aha” moment leads to.
WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART?
Taking an idea and creating something that you nurture and grow into a product that brings value to others. It’s a journey filled with challenges, doubt, and frustration. Not giving up and having a singular drive to turn an idea or possibility into a reality – with a large helping of sweat, tears and caffeine along the way. It can be a roller coaster of highs and lows but the process itself is satisfying regardless of the challenges and hurdles that need to be overcome.
HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS?
Success partly comes from the perseverance to see an idea become a reality. But the ultimate measure is positive user feedback that can be as simple as “this is exactly what I was looking for” or “my students really like it.”
WHAT IS THE BEST RECOGNITION YOU HAVE RECEIVED?
Since we launched in December 2015, we have attended two educational conferences. Feedback and enthusiasm from teachers, school, and board administrators we have spoken with has been extremely positive. Teachers have commented on the value and benefits it would bring to both themselves and their students while school and board administrators have been enthusiastic about the analytic tools and how EQAOquizzer can support numeracy goals that are part of their school and board improvement plans. We were also recently spotlighted in the MindShareLearning.ca 2016 EdTech buyers guide.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE NEXT YEAR AND BEYOND?
Continue to expand EQAOquizzer content offerings across more grade levels and possibly expand to provide French language content and move beyond math to literacy content as well. Continue to add features such as more graphical diagnostic tools for teachers and possibly ways to accept student hand written work directly into the tool. Lastly grow our user base by attending Education Technology focused conferences and targeting Boards, schools and teachers with direct marketing campaigns. We only went live in December of 2015 so are continually looking for user feedback and ways to improve the tool.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR YOUNG PROFESSIONALS OR STUDENTS STUDYING TO PURSUE A CAREER IN YOUR FIELD?
Find something you are passionate about and then find a career where you can use that passion to motivate and challenge yourself. Also learn how to code!
WHAT DIFFERENTIATES YOU FROM YOUR COMPETITION?
We have an intuitive interface that allows users to easily navigate the tool without the need for specialized in-service training, pre-made assessments and a mobile first design. Teacher specific dashboards and analytics that make it easy to gauge student learning. We also target content that specifically supports Ontario curriculum. Plus a cool ‘Q’ logo that also doubles as a James Bond movie character!
WHY IS HAMILTON THE HOME FOR YOUR COMPANY?
Hamilton is our home and most of our families are here so it only made sense to operate our company here as well.
HOW CAN WE CONNECT WITH YOU?