Method Test Prep Spotlight seeks to highlight MTP clients, friends, and acquaintances who are doing amazing things in education. For each installment of the Spotlight, we will select a dedicated individual or organization to profile, and will then interview the awardee to share their story. Through the Spotlight, we hope to develop a bank of successful experiences and practices for other schools and educators to learn from.
This month, Method Test Prep would like to welcome all of our clients and users back to school by highlighting you with our Spotlight. This may bring to mind Time magazine’s 2006 Person of the Year issue, whose cover featured a mirrored insert that reflected the faces of all those who picked up a print copy. The message—that the millions of digital content-generating individuals of the Information Age were transforming humanity—is as relevant today as it was 13 years ago. It’s time again to stop and think about where the Information Age has gone since, and to consider its impact on the future of education.
Journalist and author Lev Grossman, one of the main contributors to the 2006 Time story, captured the sentiment as follows.
User-generated content has the ability to not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes. The World Wide Web allows for the many wresting the power from the few and helping one another by using the small contributions of millions and making them matter.
Just one month before Grossman’s writing was published, Google had purchased YouTube, which was then generating 100 million daily views—a staggering figure at the time. Today, YouTube serves more than 5 billion videos (like this one) per day. As if to drive home the dominance of streaming video, projections suggest that by 2025, half of viewers under the age of 32 will not subscribe to traditional cable television service. What’s more, we can follow the money. Today, the earnings of YouTube’s top content producers rival those of Hollywood A-listers starring in blockbuster movies. Take, for example, Ryan Kaji, the 7-year-old star of YouTube’s Ryan ToysReview: last year, he earned a cool $22 million, the most of any YouTube producer. Profound as it is, YouTube provides just one example of how technology and individual content creation have upended an institution—in this case, traditional media—that seemed so indomitable to entire generations. In this sense, Time’s message was both pinpoint and prescient.
The mid-aughts were also years of transformation for Method Test Prep. I can remember attending our first national education conferences during the 2005-2006 school year, when our program met considerable resistance from teachers, counselors, and administrators. We were representing a small company with a simple mission: leverage technology to deliver high-quality online test prep whose price schools could absorb. We were confident then—and are certain now—that this business model would enable schools to provide score-changing ACT and SAT prep to every student. For those who had already given us a chance, we had seen the score increases and life-changing merit-based aid that would provide us the impetus to forge ahead. Of course, there was resistance from parents as well—if we had a dime for every time a parent said, “my kid won’t learn online,” we’d be retired by now. But MTP President Tom Ehlers offered a salient rejoinder that holds to this day: “A child who won’t learn online will get left behind.” So to all those parents and students who took a leap of faith to work with us over the years, to all the teachers and administrators who have been with us since our earliest days, and to those who have joined us more recently and continue to support our mission, we shine the Spotlight on you. We shine the Spotlight on you for being the ones who seek the cutting edge and give us the ability to sustain, to grow, and to help others.
Your enthusiasm in adopting Method Test Prep, finding ways to incorporate our program into the school day, motivating students to use the program, and providing copious feedback about content and user experience has helped our organization evolve enormously. We don’t like to boast, but the statistics speak loudest. During the 2018-2019 school year, over 600,000 students used Method Test Prep, collectively answering over 17.5 million questions—a scale we never imagined in the beginning. Our still-small organization owes much of its outsize impact to the passionate, dedicated educators who use MTP every day, some of whom have logged on more than 1,000 times. Without their efforts, our reach simply could not have extended as far—a fact we acutely understand and wholeheartedly appreciate.
Now, with the end of summer break and return to school, we sincerely thank you, and wish all of you—the brave, competent stewards of our students and their futures—best of luck in the 2019-2020 school year.
More About Method Test Prep Clients
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: We love helping students achieve all they can and go on to live successful and productive lives.
Q: Do you have any hobbies?
A: We love the outdoors, the indoors, movies, sports, reading, golf, fishing, running, hiking, scrapbooking, volunteering, dancing, cooking...you name it, we do it!
Q: How do you like to spend your summers or vacation time?
A: Traveling, dreaming, driving, reading, getting outdoors, staying indoors, being active, resting and restoring, massages, swimming, playing fetch with our dogs, spending time with our kids, grandkids, parents, and significant others.
Thanks again to all of you for being a shining example of great things happening in education!
If you would like to nominate an individual or organization working with MTP to be considered for a Spotlight Award, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Spotlight. Please also share this story with people in education as well as with parents and other interested parties!
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