Interview | Transition to Transformation with eGenio

A product to revolutionize today’s classroom experience is what Don Greenberg had in mind when he co-founded eGenio in 2009. An easy-to-use, digital learning platform that integrates technology and multimedia content to engage all students, eGenio seamlessly integrates technology for K-12 with unique tools that support 21st-century learning. Here’s a bit more from Don on what makes eGenio so unique, what his thoughts are on the future of education, and what makes him think so.

Victor: Why did you create eGenio? 

Don: eGenio Education Solutions was created because we wanted to create a product that would revolutionize today’s classroom experience by empowering students and teachers to use technology in beneficial ways to truly enhance learning. Our goal is that our product will help prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s opportunities!

Victor: What does the name mean?

Don: The name eGenio is a play on the word Genius. The “e” is in reference to the digital world and e-instruction. Together, the name means “digital genius.”

Victor: What is it? Who created it?

Don: eGenio is an innovative and unique learning platform for K-12 that allows teachers and students to incorporate technology into their daily learning. eGenio seamlessly integrates with district programs, resources, and curriculum, creating an Integrated Learning Environment (ILE). It has been a true team effort to create eGenio. Through the collaboration of our employees, Educational Advisory Board, and our team of developers we have created an innovative solution that will improve education for students, teachers and administrators.

Victor: What does it do and what are the benefits?

Don: eGenio is a robust learning platform because not only does it contain effective teaching and learning tools, but also integrates district tools, data, and curriculum bringing everything into one place. eGenio benefits administrators, teachers and students by streamlining instructional management and delivering all digital content through one platform. Teachers will streamline their lesson planning, easily utilize digital materials and reduce paper usage. Students will benefit from the differentiation tools; with lessons personalized for individual learning needs, they’re better positioned to understand and master material. Administrators can approve content and curriculum, control permissions and generate relevant real-time reports to assess both teacher and student progress.

Victor: How is it unique from other similar products/services? What companies do you see as in the same market? 

Don: eGenio is unique because what once took multiple programs is now possible with one single platform. This will be not only a cost saver but also a time saver for school districts nationwide. eGenio can also be customized to meet any district’s specific goals. The platform is SIF compliant, so it can integrate with most tools directly and users don’t have to toggle between multiple programs. And, because the platform is cloud based and web delivered, it can be accessed anytime, anywhere the Internet is available.

Our Integrated Learning Environment truly sets us apart from competitive products. eGenio cannot be defined by one type of product, it’s part LMS, part CMS and more.

Victor: When was it developed? What is something interesting or relevant about its development history?

Don: We began developing the product in early 2009. We realized that while there is no shortage of educational content available (from publishers, government departments, open source content and more), there was no product that could utilize all of those resources through a single point of access, making the distribution of digital content efficient and effective for the individual learner. We have developed a platform that is flexible and SIF compliant, which makes it relevant and ever evolving to fit users changing needs.

Victor: Where did it originate? Where can you get it now?

Don: Our headquarters is based in Cleveland, Ohio, and we are available nationwide. Contact us and one of our Customer Experience Leaders will be happy to give you a personal introduction to eGenio and discuss how our ILE can help meet your specific goals.

Victor: How much does it cost? What are the options?

Don: We want to make our solutions affordable for everyone, and costs vary depending on usage. Our platform offers cost savings beyond its pricing model. eGenio is a fully hosted solution, saving districts hosting and storage costs, while also saving additional overhead cost. eGenio can be purchased by the classroom, school wide or for district-wide implementation.

Victor: What are some examples of it in action?

Don: We are currently rolling out Version 1.0 to early adopters. Seventy schools will be beginning deployments starting January 1, 2012.

Victor: Who is it particularly tailored for? Who is it not for?

Don: We developed the product to be easy to learn and easy to use, therefore everyone can use eGenio! The user-friendly interface, featuring drag and drop functionality, can be used by students and teachers at all levels. Our product is currently offered in the K-12 market, but someday may be available for higher education.

Victor: What are your thoughts on education these days?

Don: All of us have a responsibility in educating today’s kids. It’s not only about the teachers and administrators – it takes a whole community of people to effectively educate our students and prepare them for the future.

Victor: What sort of formative experiences in your own education helped to inform your approach to creating eGenio?

Don: My approach to creating eGenio comes more from life experience than my own education. I recognized that there is a strong need to create products and solutions that improve education for everyone: Administrators, teachers, students, and parents. That can be a tall order, but it’s better to dream big. I have a deep desire to improve learning for all kids. eGenio has been my catalyst to do that, because I feel that eGenio has the power to improve efficiencies for administrators and teachers, individualize learning for students, and empower everyone to harness technology to change the way we learn.

Victor: How does eGenio address some of your concerns about education?

Don: Today’s students need to be prepared to compete in a global economy. A big part of preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s opportunities is recognizing that education is not one size fits all. We must focus on educating each student, fitting their needs to help them achieve greater outcomes. One of the biggest benefits of eGenio’s platform is the tools for Differentiated Instruction. Within eGenio, teachers can create a new level of personalization by assigning specific content resources, assignments and assessments based on individual student needs. Teachers can create and modify lessons in just a few clicks, making it easy to create a variety of assignments to fit different learning styles and levels, allowing students to work at their own pace. Lessons, assignments, and assessments can be assigned to groups of students or a single student. This approach to lesson delivery positions the student for greater success when it comes to understanding and mastering the material. By focusing instruction to the individual student, teachers, and administrators can more accurately gage students’ progress.

Victor: What is your outlook on the future of education?

Don: The future of education will be grounded in technology. We need to build cost effective and efficient solutions to help educators teach 21st century skills to all students. By using technology effectively, educators can improve learning for each individual student, and in turn better prepare them for the future. At eGenio we call this “transition to transformation”, where innovative products such as eGenio will help make the dream a reality, transforming traditional classrooms into a place that prepares today’s students for tomorrow’s opportunities.

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Victor Rivero tells the story of 21st-century education transformation. He is the editor-in-chief of EdTech Digest, a magazine about education transformed through technology. He has written white papers, articles and features for schools, nonprofits and companies in the education marketplace. Write to: victor@VictorRivero.com

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