Teacher By Day, Entrepreneur By Night Launches WeLearn’s eNotebook App

Over the past 70 years, the classroom has transitioned from the blackboard to the overhead projector to the whiteboard – and now to interactive whiteboards. With all of these products, the teacher has been the primary user. However, the student with the old, chalky blackboard 70 years ago is still using the same, old-fashioned notebook from back then.

WeLearn Education’s eNotebook app for iPad gives students the chance to use technology just as cool as their teacher’s. While many people talk about the digital student notebook, this is the first app that has made it a priority.  Developed by a teacher and beta tested by students from all grade levels (including college), the eNotebook app allows students to download their teacher’s DOC, PPT, or PDF lessons and save them in individual class notebooks.  During class, the student can bring up the appropriate file and start taking notes on it immediately.  These handwritten notes are saved in the class notebook as well.  By keeping the class files and handwritten notes organized by class, the students are better prepared and can review their notes as often as possible.

WeLearn Education was founded by Kevin Giffhorn, a National Board Certified math teacher and the 2007 Outstanding Educator with Technology recipient for his 30,000+ student school district. I asked Giffhorn to share some insight on being a teacher by day and an entrepreneur by night:

“Balancing a day job and being an entrepreneur has proven to be a bit of a challenge. By teaching full-time and founding WeLearn Educational Software and the eNotebook app, I have had to optimize my time to meet both needs fully. It is not uncommon to work from 7am – 5pm, come home and eat some dinner, and then work on WeLearn business from 7pm – 10pm. However, I believe this is an amazing opportunity to have a pivotal role in helping change the current paper-based classroom to the 21st century digital classroom that people have discussed for years.”

Giffhorn plans to continue creating technology products that enhance student achievement. Other apps in the works include a review app for high stake tests – AP, SAT, ACT, IB, and the upcoming Common Core exams.

The eNotebook app was featured at our Baltimore Mixer and Startup Showcase last Wednesday evening. You can check out the eNotebook app and learn about upcoming products at http://www.enotebookapp.com/.

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Written by:
Meg Rayford is a communications consultant based in Northern Virginia. She previously spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for a nonprofit startup, where she learned a lot about providing clean water for impoverished countries, even within the confines of a bootstrapped startup. She is the editor of Tech Cocktail, and she develops media strategies for companies in Washington, DC and Virginia. You can read her most recent work in the marketing chapter of the upcoming book, "Social Innovation and Impact in Nonprofit Leadership," which will be published in Spring 2014 by Springer Publishing. Follow her @megkrayford.
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