2016. I joined a new, wild, daring school. It’s called Agora Roermond, and it’s a school that doesn’t have classes and homework, but that does have enthusiastic students.
Why did I want to switch to this school, from my safe, previous school?
It’s simple. Agora Roermond implements the Agora theory, and that means that students can do what they want to do. They step forward, grab with both hands their development, and make themselves the owner of it. While being supported by their coach, Agora students create their own journey of learning. Actual learning, not playing grade games. Students truly develop and grow themselves, and learn very, very valuable skills along the way.
Is this not fantastic? It is to me. When I truly understood what Agora is, I realised that I had the responsibility towards myself to switch to this school, so that I could and can become the best version of me.
And it has worked. I have enjoyed tremendous growth, and have developed skills that are crucial parts of my identity today.
But I was not alone. There are others that have joined me in my journey. With those others, I have developed two product and founded a company. And remember, we’re all three still Agora students.
I have briefly described for you — a part of — my Agora journey. I have also mentioned that I have founded a company. This company is Egodact, and this article is about it.
I have mentioned that I haven’t done the latter alone. I couldn’t have. Without my fellow team members, Egodact wouldn’t be, and its software would be awful.
Before any development was even started at all, I searched for fellow students to work with. Baruch joined me, and so did Ruben later on. I reached out to Baruch because I knew he’d been doing design for ages at that point, and Ruben joined in because he wanted to learn new skills. I, myself, was only the programmer.
There were also three others involved, and I thank them for their contributions to our software, but they’ve decided not to be a part of our company, since they felt their learning journeys didn’t entirely match it. That’s fine, and also part of our Agora journey.
So, the three of us it was. Rafael, Baruch and Ruben; Egodact.
The latter, Egodact, was eventually founded because we believe that our software, created as a part of our own learning journey, can significantly contribute to the quality of Agora education — or Agora-like education.
Towards the end of 2016, we started working on Agora ProgressMonitor. The idea for it was given by an Agora coach, who described that at Agora, we didn’t have a good way to record growth and progress in skills. Our answer was ProgressMonitor, and by now it’s matured to become an efficient, yet tremendously simple and easy-to-use, platform in which students can record their own, personal growth in rubrics.
In October 2017, we also started developing another platform, one that would become an integral part of the Agora learning process as well. This platform is Agora ChallengeMonitor.
You see, at Agora, we work with challenges — projects, if you will, but their length can be as short as an hour — that are created and managed by students. In order to properly and easily manage these challenges, we have created ChallengeMonitor, which facilitates this challenge-based learning process in the simplest way possible. It provides a standard way to learn just about anything, but is very easy to use.
Usability happens to be a significant factor in our software, you might have noticed that.
Anyway, while we were developing these platforms, our learning goals shifted. We no longer focused solely on what we could do, but also about what new things we could do. Our software grew more and more serious, started being used by Agora Roermond, and became compliant with all kinds of quality standards.
Then, around the beginning of 2018, the news came to us that new Agora schools would be started after the 2018 summer holiday.
This was, to us, a great opportunity. We could broaden our skills even further, and we could get real-world experience in publishing software. We could provide true value to those new Agora schools, given that our platforms perfectly match their needs.
So, a business plan was written, parents were informed, a bank account was opened, and our company was founded. Egodact would be its name.
We immediately received great interest in our software by those new Agora schools, but also by other changemaker schools. Today, we have deployed our software to two of these schools, and we’re very actively improving our software based on the tremendous amounts of feedback that we receive from them, but also from our own Agora school, Agora Roermond. Furthermore, we’re talking with other changemaker schools as well, and we’re looking for other fields in which our software could provide value.
That being said, our company today is still in its early stages. I believe we have made a great start, and we’re very excited about its future.
And, of course, we’re learning as we never have before.