History of Feedback Genie

Just in case you wanted to know a bit about our journey.

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How Feedback Genie 
was Born

This story begins with Brian Woods—the founder and of Feedback Genie.  Brian enjoyed teaching and taught for the better part of two decades.  His school required him to write narrative progress reports several times each year. Like every other teacher, Brian didn't exactly love writing narratives but this task simply comes along with the territory.

Needing to continually find different ways to express similar ideas he frequently encountered writer's block. More often than not, it'd take a three-day weekend to complete dozens of narrative evaluations.  After finishing, his fingers would ache and he always felt mentally exhausted.  Brian would often mumble to himself, “There’s gotta be a better way!”

Our Mission

School/home communication is an important way for teachers to keep parents informed about a child's progress and needs.  But let's face it, no teacher enjoys writing narrative evaluations. It's not because teachers lack a good reason, it’s the sheer amount of work they need to tackle and the focus required.  Our mission is to make written communication easier for teachers so they can provide insightful, actionable and comprehensive feedback with ease.

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Online Comments And
Resources

To find different ways to express his thoughts, Brian sought comments from books and online resources. To his surprise, he discovered these resources weren't entirely helpful:

  • Comments were rarely organized by grade or subject

  • Most comments focused on behavior and personality traits

  • Comments were geared towards primary-age students

  • Suggestions always lacked connecting threads

  • Comments of varying achievement were difficult to find

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Creating Feedback Genie

Brian tried many approaches.  Exhausted, stressed out, and somewhat demoralized, an idea struck him one day.  He noticed the  communication apps on his smartphone had different purposes. Several of Brian's smartphone apps were better for communicating with individuals while others were better for group communication.  Of course, some apps had features for specific tasks.  It dawned on him that using a word proccessing document or a spreadsheet would be insuffient.  Instead, a special solution was needed for this purpose.

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The Feedback Genie
Culture

In the software industry, most companies rush to market with what's called a "minimal viable product".  This is done for many reasons, but largely to get a return on investment as soon as possible.  It took several years to create Feedback Genie.  We could've released a simpler version much earlier.  However, we resisted the temptation to develop a lesser product which would have steered Feedback Genie toward being less connected with good writing techniques and less reflective of good teaching practices. We're committed to 

high standards rather than making an extra buck.

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We strive to be the very best

Feedback Genie promotes a culture of outreach, inclusion and collaboration to guide development. Since then, Brian has surveyed hundreds of teachers and interviewed dozens of principals to better understand their individual needs as well as the schools they serve. The most recent beta version of Feedback Genie features numerous enhancements: a more modern design, increased functionality and improved security.

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