Check back for Q&A profiles on all the competition finalists.
The first-ever InvestMaryland Challenge is down to its final round with just 33 companies competing for more than $300,000 in grants and business services. The final winners will be announced during the Governor’s Cup Awards Ceremony on April 15.
One of the companies, selected out of more than 250 applicants, is Baltimore-based Common Curriculum, founded in 2009. To find out a little more about this innovative education company, we spoke with co-founder Robbie Earle.
Q. What does Common Curriculum do, and how would you explain it to the average person?
A. Common Curriculum is like the Google Docs of lesson planning. The average teacher has to manage between 800 and 5,000 word documents per year. Most teachers create all of those lesson plans and worksheets and calendars by hand or using Microsoft Word, and the tools they have currently are just not good enough. The complexity of lesson planning really gets in the way of a teacher’s long-term vision, so they lose sight of where they’re taking their kids, because they’re so focused on “What am I doing next week?” The kids gets confused and their teaching suffers. On top of that, it’s impossible to share ideas or pull courses from people who can help improve the teacher’s method. Common Curriculum, on the other hand, offers really elegant lesson planning designed to help not just teachers, but also schools, mentors and teaching coaches. Everyone gets to share in that vision and design the curriculum together.