While most people focus on curricula, much of educational reform will require revolutionary ideas on teacher professional development. Tioki, an award-winning online professional network exclusively for the education community is one such idea. Dubbed âLinkedIn for Teachers,â Tioki helps people passionate about education connect with each other, discover opportunities and share information.
founder of Tioki Mandela Schumacher Hodge will join Black Enterprise and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for âToday’s Business Crisis: Educating Tomorrow’s Workforceâ, to be held on May 15, 2013.
Along with other EduTech entrepreneurs who have a particular interest in expanding and implementing new technologies in classrooms to help teachers, students and parents, Schumacher-Hodge will share solutions to critical challenges facing l American education is facing. Ã Mandela has had the unique experience of seeing the education industry from a variety of perspectives – as a teacher, associate administrator, education researcher, and co-founder of an education technology company.
Before Tioki, Schumacher-Hodge was a Teach for America member of the corps and has three years of classroom teaching experience in public district and charter schools. As COO, the 27-year-old empowered woman leads Tioki’s product development from vision to implementation and is responsible for driving strategic partnerships, sales and overall marketing strategy.
Tioki has grown into an international platform used by teachers in over 28 different countries, as well as many of the country’s top performing schools and educational organizations.
As we prepare for tomorrow’s symposium, BlackEnterprise.com asked Schumacher-Hodge to deliberate on the challenges teachers face and provide advice on using social media and technology as a stopgap for these issues.
What inspired you to launch Tioki?
During my teaching career, I had two particular experiences which subsequently influenced my decision to launch Tioki. The first was a graduate of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the second largest school district in the country. The layoff was a seniority-based process. Rather than taking into account factors such as the ability to effectively educate children, student performance, and teacher evaluations, the district made its decision solely based on the number of years the teacher had spent in school. ‘school.
The second incident that played into my decision to launch Tioki was my experience hiring new teachers. After being laid off from LAUSD, I was rehired to a charter school in Pacoima, California, and had administrative responsibilities in addition to my general education duties. For the very first time, I was on the other side of the hiring table, reviewing applicants and trying to determine the criteria I would enlist to determine who was best suited for an open co-teacher position. I spent many hours in this selection process and gave up my own classroom five times to accommodate the candidates’ demonstration lessons.