Outreach and engagement go hand in hand at Citelighter. We’re always eager to introduce ourselves to educators and students, get our tools in their hands, and solicit their feedback to further help us help them.
I recently sat down with our two guys in charge of outreach and engagement—Kevin and Sheraz. They work closely together and sit across from each other in the office, with Kevin’s legs dangling precariously closely to the sole blasting heat radiator, and Sheraz’s hand sometimes hovering over a giant red kill switch for the whole floor’s electricity system that looks suspiciously like a nuclear launch code trigger. I asked them to share what their roles entail and what projects they’re working on that are geared toward benefiting you, the user, when they’re not busy braving the hazards of life in the office.
What are some of your key long-term goals with outreach to teachers and experts in the field?
Sheraz: My key long term goal is to build a robust community of subject matter experts to curate Knowledge Cards. Bringing in high level experts, or curators, ensures a higher quality of information and analysis through Knowledge Cards and the new comments we’ve added for them. From a viewer’s perspective, you can learn about a topic and how the curator analyzes facts from a very professional standpoint.
Kevin: Our goal is to help teachers, flat out. More often than not, they are given subpar resources and are under-appreciated, and we want to change that by providing them with quality, cost effective tools that meet their needs. The Ambassador Program we’re developing serves as a bridge to connect Citelighter with teachers and to create meaningful relationships with educators and schools worldwide. Our Ambassadors are not only proponents of Citelighter and of useful technology in the classroom, but also of teachers.
In the course of your work, you’ve had to explain the concept and reality of Citelighter to folks many times over. What about the company’s vision really resonates with people?
Kevin: Surprisingly, I’ve found that there are multiple aspects of our vision that resonate with people. Educators especially see benefits or have ideas about how to use Citelighter that we never even envisioned, and it’s rewarding to know that you are a part of a company that empowers people through it’s intended uses, but also by allowing them to creatively mold the product for their own uses.
The time-saving and the efficiency aspect of Citelighter is key. Our goal was to give people their time back and unclutter their minds while allowing them to absorb content, not process, and this seems to be a real plus with users.
Sheraz: To add to what Kevin said, at the end of the day, we’re here to provide information in a way that’s conducive to learning. Our tool allows for an organized way to gather research, and our Knowledge Cards allow us to capture information. The key is taking all this information and making sense of it so people understand it.
What aspects of Citelighter’s work do people seem most excited about or have the most questions about?
Kevin: I can certainly speak to this. The major thing people ask about is the development of a Citelighter app. People love Citelighter for itss intended purpose and are incredibly creative in new ideas for how it can be used, but without fail they always ask about when we will be developing an iPad app. iPads are a central focus for many schools now because of their effectiveness for teaching and also the cost-saving measures associated with them, so naturally people want to know 1) why a tech company doesn’t have an app and 2) when it will be in development.
What role does social media play in your efforts to reach out to educators?
Sheraz: Social Media is pretty much my area. It’s one of my go-to sources for consuming information. It allows me to connect with teachers, experts, etc on platforms like Twitter. I can identify with teachers who may be looking for a tool that will enhance their teaching experience–in other words, ours!
What kind of feedback have you received about Citelighter that has helped inform changes in how we actually develop our products and shape our work?
Sheraz: There’s been a lot of feedback rolling in every day that’s seen by the whole team, and it’s definitely allowed us to essentially tweak our product to the way people use it. PDF functionality, for one, has been in high demand and should be out shortly.
Kevin: We get feedback all the time and put it to use in the development pipeline. I actually received a message yesterday that inquired about our functionality across multiple sharing platforms that we will most likely put into development this week. It honestly just never crossed our mind but once it was presented by a teacher directly to us, it seemed so natural and obvious.
If you have your own question for our outreach team, feel free to leave one in the comments section and we’ll aim to address it!
Citelighter PR Director