Pivoting: From Penpals to Cupboard to Connect

With our Penpal idea, we wanted to allow kids to connect with other kids and benefit from peer mentoring. However, we realized that our service would put too much pressure on the teacher, and it wasn’t really solving the communication issue that was internal to schools.

Storyboard of Our Penpal Service
How can we strengthen communication between the parent, the teacher, and the nurse?

Through additional interviews we started to realize the role the nurse played in the system, and the impact of the nurse not always being there.

We pivoted to include the nurse and focused more on communication. We came up with the idea of a dashboard that was basically an electronic Emergency Medical Record. It would provide passive updates to the parent, the nurse, and the teacher. We also thought of a cabinet that contained the the child’s medicine, which would be accessible by the teacher and the nurse.

As we continued to refine the idea, we realized that the initial meeting was an important touchpoint, so our service shifted to consider that as our main focus. This aligned with the feedback that we received, and we decided to pivot to a different service.

We started looking more at how to facilitate communication between our three main stakeholders (parent, teacher, nurse) and how that initial meeting would look like.

Reframing the problems we’re trying to solve

One of the biggest challenges we faced was finding a way to allow all three stakeholders to connect with each other, since everyone had a busy schedule. We thought about providing some kind of an online platform where they could video call virtually, but through our conversations with parents we realized how important it was for all the stakeholders to meet in person to attain alignment.

Thus, we thought that having some sort of school-wide event would be a great initial touchpoint for the parent, teacher, and nurse to have the opportunity to come together for that important first meeting. We decided to name our service Connect.

Storyboard Process for our service Connect

Once we had this idea, we moved on to thinking about what happens at the meeting and how our service would continue to help facilitate communication beyond the initial meeting.

To read about more details in our workflow before and during the meeting, please see our post here and here.