Scaling A2i: A Conversation with Jay Connor and Sarah Siegal (Part 3)

January 22, 2024 | By Morgan Solender

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This blog post is part 3 in a three-part series highlighting key takeaways from a conversation with Jay Connor, CEO of Learning Ovations, and Sarah Siegal, director of research and practice at Scholastic and former vice president of research at Learning Ovations. This conversation is part of the LEARN Network’s new Stories of Scaling series where members of the LEARN Network team talk to developers, researchers, and industry leaders to provide real life examples of evidence-based educational products that are achieving scale.

A2i is a tool that uses technology and professional development to improve literacy outcomes for students in kindergarten to grade 3. It helps teachers tailor literacy instruction to individual students by providing teachers with real-time data on learning needs, individualized literacy learning plans for their students, and professional development. The Learning Ovations team developed A2i and sold it to Scholastic in 2022. They continue to work closely with Scholastic to ensure their product maintains its efficiency and integrity.

In part 3, Connor and Siegal share some words of wisdom for other researchers who are trying to follow similar paths and achieve scale with their interventions. Read about how the team responded to market needs in designing A2i in part 1 and about their considerations for transitioning A2i in part 2.

Bring together a balanced team. Successfully scaling a product takes a diverse team. At Learning Ovations, bringing together professionals with education research expertise, business knowledge, and experience working with teachers in the field laid the groundwork for the creation of a scalable product.

Carve your own path. Every product and acquisition is different. Knowing exactly what your solution is, communicating it clearly, and negotiating terms that make sense for your specific product and team is the key to growth.

Understand where your product fits. Knowing who you are developing a product for and where it is going to fit in the market creates a roadmap for your research and development.

Follow your true north. Knowing what you want to accomplish and making decisions based on this goal cultivates a scalable, yet sustainable business.

Watch the full conversation here!

Tags: Application Education technology Innovation Literacy Research & Developers Transition