Today, we are introducing you to the proud leader of our Content Team, James.
James joined EP in 2015 after ten years of Secondary Maths teaching and leadership. He continues to drive our content forward today and does so with the utmost passion. James has a love for how technology can provide teachers with greater insights into student learning and this is what continues to drive the content agenda and ongoing improvement of the EP resources.
Hello, James here. I’m the Head of Content at EP. I’ve been with this awesome group of people for about 4.5 years, although back then we were about one fifth the size! I met founder Craig in my previous life as a Maths teacher, and he twisted my arm into joining the team and helping to make the NZQA pilot online Maths assessment in 2015 a reality. Absolutely loved seeing NZ Maths teachers get in behind this wild idea, and see it become a raging success.
I taught Maths for about 10 years, mostly in Wellington. My parents were also teachers (Dad a Maths teacher) so they were a great inspiration. I met my wife Katie through a teaching connection and twisted her arm into being a Maths teacher too – we even taught together for a couple years. So it’s fair to say teaching has been a defining part of my life in many ways. Katie and I have two beautiful kids and are happily settled in Wellington. I’m a huge fan of LEGO and now have the kids as a great excuse to enjoy a bit of building. Also a passionate supporter of the OKC Thunder basketball team and Steven Adams. I enjoy long walks on the beach and… but really, I do love the beach and feel lucky to be so close to the sea.
I love my job and quite often reflect on how fortunate I am to work with such a talented bunch. More than that, we also get to have a real impact on teachers and students. Whether it be troubleshooting a problem for a busy teacher, inspiring a student with an engaging Maths lesson (yes, it is possible), or providing insights for teachers into where a student is finding something challenging – it’s all such a positive thing to be part of.
As the Head of Content, I lead a team of super creative, passionate and downright intelligent Instructional Designers who design and build our resources. They have varying subject background and interests and work collaboratively in small teams to make world-class resources. Being remote from my team is tough, but thankfully my Team Managers and Team Leaders do a wonderful job of leading and caring for the team, while also adding their own top-notch subject expertise.
Guiding it all is the group of subject heads, all ex-teachers are all passionate about their subject and EP. This group works closely with customers and uses this insight and their own to guide the direction of the product.
With so many subjects and levels on offer on EP, there is always lots going on! It’s never hard to know what to do, because we have such a vast group of teachers and students who are on this journey with us and provide constant streams of helpful feedback and guidance. Some of the big picture focuses at the moment are broadening the range of subjects for juniors, building new resources for seniors and listening to user feedback to continue to tweak and refine our existing resources. Plenty to keep us busy. The thing that drives us is making sure we help teachers and students with what they truly need, not what we think they need.
The other project I’m super excited about is our improvements to the Content Authoring experience. This will have a really positive impact on my team, but beyond that it’ll make it so much more accessible for teachers. Building our network of teachers who create and share content with each other is now going to be a far easier and more rewarding experience, and I am excited to see what we can create together.
We have a bunch of very cool features; Peer Review, Targeted Remediation, Five(!) modes of vocab learning and many, many more. But what we often take for granted and what I love the most is how we structure our learning material in our Smart Lessons. Carefully scaffolded and built on a mastery model with feedback every step of the way, these are a truly inclusive way to learn that allow all students to experience success no matter where they are in their learning journey.
I just love hearing success stories from teachers about personalised learning, and about developing student agency. Awesome to know we are having an impact. This quote in particular is my favourite:
Education Perfect is the perfect learning tool. I love sending my students on individualised learning journeys. The website is well designed and easy to use. This program is perfect for a school that is encouraging self directed learning.
I’m constantly amazed and excited by our pace of evolution. Our value continuous improvement is baked in to the core of our being, and means there is always something new around the corner. We’re always pushing for a better product and better support for our users. Never a dull moment. This value extends to our team too, and it’s great to see people’s growth in their existing roles or as they move into new ones.
At EP we are all about our people. This includes our teachers, students, partners and very importantly, our team. We hope you are enjoying meeting the EP family.