EdFolio, taking educational technology to the next level! A catchy phrase! Who would have imagined that a day will come for me to start something that would help schools and educators fare better in the new normal?
As the tech leader and principal of Bethany Baptist Academy - Iligan City, checking educational apps that can help with the efficient deployment of our virtual classes has been my go-to whenever I get the chance. I always enjoy every opportunity to showcase how we can integrate new EdTech tools and apps into the routines and systems of my colleagues and teachers.
Innovation in Education is something that I am very passionate about, and sharing new discoveries to my colleagues excites me every time. I have been an advocate of educational technology even before the pandemic. I first started way back in 2015, when we first launched our iPad program in our Senior High School. It has been my desire to help my small teaching community and other schools integrate the needed technology with effective teaching practices to be able to efficiently deploy and better facilitate learning in their classrooms. I realized then that educational apps usually have unique features that can help with specific needs. There was not one system or app that we can use for everything that we require in school, but it stirred every teachers’ creativity. Innovating what was available to fit what we need in our classrooms.
Then came the COVID-19 Pandemic. It hit the school community really hard! It was not an easy transition from the face-to-face classes to the remote learning education. Private schools were literally left grappling! We were in the verge of collapse, a 50-50 decision to continue or simply give up. We had to act fast! It’s like a do-or-die situation for small schools like ours. We had to find school systems and apps that can help us with the deployment of our remote learning education. Since there was not one system we could find that can help us with everything, we had to use and pay for a number of apps for different uses like communication and collaboration, learning management, billing and invoicing, and even grading system. It was not an easy first year. Even now that we are on the second year of the remote learning education, we had to change our learning management system again. The free features of the apps we first used shifted to paid. It was too onerous on our budget. We couldn’t afford the sudden price hike. Because of this, the growing desire and passion to create something that can better help our schools with little cost burned inside me, which ultimately led to the birth of EdFolio.
EdFolio came as an extraordinary opportunity that I really took as a blessing from God. Surprisingly, a friend introduced to me the idea and possibility of starting something that I already love doing! Innovate! Educate! And Help!
Just to highlight, EdFolio was created primarily with the heart to help small to medium schools thrive in the remote learning education, because I, for one, experienced how difficult it was first hand.
The struggle with learning new technologies and the challenge with budget constraints are the two key factors that drive every school in making decisions with what educational app or system to use. These are exactly what the EdFolio team considered when designing our products. We wanted to create a helpful and intuitive educational tool that schools, on a limited budget, can use. It was quite a challenge planning and designing an innovative and user-friendly educational digital tool. After months of continuous testing and development, we are also equally excited to launch soon EdFolio’s unique all-in-one solution for schools. We bring you two platforms: a school management system like no other and the e-commerce site for educational content.
We’ll be launching the new educational eCommerce site first. EdFolio is a ready-to-use marketplace for edu books and content, where teacher, writers, and authors can sign up for free and sell their Edu content and materials. Meanwhile, schools and parents can buy their needed content, modules, and books from fellow educators and book publishers on the site. The EdFolio team made this with the thought of creating a safe, easy-to-use, and productive digital space for educators and learners in the new normal. The site aims to bring you educational content made by teachers, for next-level learning.
Putting up a new company is also no joke! We first thought of using the company name SkoolTek, but it’s too close to the name of an international company. Many times, we tried to add other words before and after the name, but the SEC disapproved it every time. We really fought hard for the name SkoolTek, but eventually we had to give in and look for a second choice of company name. Then, EdFolio came to mind! In just one try, the SEC approved it right away! I know for sure this is the name God prepared for us.
EdFolio is my first educational tech startup company, and I admit it is a bit overwhelming at times, and it has not really sunk in yet. Many times, doubt crossed my mind and I thought, "Can I really run EdFolio?" "Do I have what it takes to bring EdFolio to the top?" Then I remembered the verses Proverbs 3:5-6 that says I should trust in the Lord with all my heart, and I should not lean on my own understanding. That in all my ways I should acknowledge that I cannot do anything without God, and He will surely direct my paths and help me with this new business venture, EdFolio. I know if it were not for God and for His grace that abound in my life, I wouldn’t be where I am right now and do what I do. He is my true source of strength every day!
Also, I am glad and super blessed that God gave me a team of seasoned professionals not just in the Education sector, but in the Information Technology Development sector as well. People who helped me incorporate and design EdFolio from the ground up! I am also truly happy to meet new people who believed in EdFolio and invested their time and money to bring EdFolio to reality.
Fast-forward to today, I still can’t believe that we are now going to launch EdFolio, our first digital product, the eCommerce site for educational content. Very soon, the all-in-one school management system solutions will follow to bring small to medium schools in the digital map. I am ecstatic and immensely positive that EdFolio will reach greater heights with God as our guide! For this, I bring back all the glory and honor to HIM alone!