This past April, The world’s largest crowd-funding festival, One Spark, allowed the people of Jacksonville, FL to experience new and exciting ideas and projects, the unique foods of the city and wonderful and surprising activities around every corner. For Creators, One Spark was the battlegrounds for competition and the launchpad to success.
One Creator in particular, Dewitt Robinson, came to One Spark 2014 in the #EdSpark venue with just an idea he called “Flip Our Class.” He left taking third place in the technology category and a whole lot more. Let’s take a look at where he started and his growing success.
Flip Our Class began in late 2013 when Robinson came up with the idea to shoot hoops for 10 straight hours, hoping to raise money and awareness for his goal to gain greater access to technology for his students. The Shoot-A-Thon fundraiser didn’t raise the money Robinson was hoping for, but something better than money-community awareness-was established.
Local news stations, including News4Jax, told Robinson’s story and caught the attention of Jay and Diane Higbee of Foland and Higbee Real Estate. This couple saw Robinson’s genuine dedication to improve and enhance the way his students learn and stepped in to purchase all 26 Google Chrome Books and the interactive projector Robinson needed for his students.
“Thanks to many generous people, including Jay and Diane Higbee, News4Jax, attorney John Phillips and many others, we were able to kick start our efforts,” said Robinson.
Almost immediately after Robinson’s Shoot-A-Thon fundraiser, the Schultz Center for Teaching & Leadership reached out and invited him to join the education community through the #EdSpark venue at One Spark 2014.
Exhibiting in the #EdSpark venue allowed Robinson to raise the awareness of students’ need for technology in the classroom, and he was able to crystallize the mission and purpose of Flip Our Class in a unique setting.
“I was able to connect with people who had never heard of Flip Our Class,” Robinson stated. “I think being in an environment that challenged me to think critically about my start-up business, helped to validate and add definition to the idea of gaining greater access to technology to engage students and better their academics.”
Robinson continues teaching and pursues opportunities to increase the awareness and success of Flip Our Class.
“One of the great things that happened as a result of One Spark 2014 is the relationship that was established with the #EdSpark committee,” said Robinson. “As a result, I have office space at the Schultz Center where I can work to further the mission of Flip Our Class.”
Robinson is bringing Flip Our Class back to One Spark in April 2015, focusing on social innovation. The Flip Our Class team plans to show people a newly revamped website that better explains its mission and vision, as well as introduce its new socially interactive app. The team is also working on an initiative that will empower Flip Our Class to give back more to the Jacksonville education community and eventually others nationwide.