Technology Management Student Uses Technology to Create Change in American Education
Todd Cofer, a student in the Master’s of Professional Studies in Technology Management program, has always wanted to start and run his own company. Now, as one of the co-founders of Bookend Technology, it looks as if that goal is becoming a reality.
Bookend Technology offers two educational tools called GradeCatcher and Life Lesson. GradeCatcher helps monitor a student’s progress throughout their academic career. The tool offers national and local educational metrics that students can use to measure their performance. If a student’s performance becomes “at-risk”, alerts are sent to parents and teachers with resources to help the student improve. The LifeLesson application, which Cofer recently entered into the Hoya Challenge Rocket Pitch Competition, is a crowd-sourced learning marketplace for life-long students. Users can record mini-lessons on topics ranging from knitting to chemistry that are downloadable via iPhone. These lessons can then be marketed for a nominal $.99 fee and money collected from the fees goes toward local scholarships and schools.
A political science major from Southern Florida, Cofer’s passion for education and technology developed when he began working with public sector and education industry clients at Gartner, a technology research and consulting firm. After the company promoted him to their Arlington, Va. office, Cofer felt that to stay competitive in the rapidly changing world of technology, he would need to pursue a master’s degree. He was attracted to Georgetown’s technology management program because of its flexibility. “You can juggle your coursework with everything else in life.” Cofer says, “The program also blends business with technology,” another important factor in his decision to apply.
Since starting his degree program, Cofer credits the extensive networking opportunities available through the professors and guest speakers in his Technology Management classes as well as the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative, run by the McDonough School of Business, with giving him a support structure and the confidence to go out on his own. When asked what his long term vision is for Bookend Technology, Cofer answers, “I want to create effective change in the American education system. If I can prevent a kid from falling behind in school or from failing a class, then I will consider that a success for everyone."
For further information on Bookend Technology, visit their website.