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Featured Alumni Business: Design by Educators, Inc.

Name of Business:
Design by Educators, Inc.

Mission/ Description:
Design by Educators, Inc. was founded to harness the power of formative assessment – and technology – to empowers teachers with a tool to gather, aggregate, and use real time data to significantly improve student performance. Most K-12 software makes work for teachers; Design by Educators makes software that works for

Alumni Name and Contact Information:
Isaac Van Wesep M’08 Cum Laude, President of Design by Educators, Inc.

Cambridge, MA

Inspiration/ Business:
Isaac’s Story
My good friend Walter and I were talking, when the subject of stress came up, regarding Walter’s job as a teacher, and the amount of grading he had to do. With a little persuasion from me, he came up with the idea for Quick Key. We researched the idea, and the rest is history!

Walter’s Story (Walter is a friend of Isaac’s):
From 2007 until 2011, our Co-Founder, Walter O. Duncan IV, was a teacher at one of the nation’s leading charter schools. Teachers and students at his school were hard-working. And they were academically successful, even though nearly all the children we from impoverished neighborhoods. One reason for their success was a policy of daily exit tickets – short quizzes given at the end of a lesson. When the exit ticket policy was working, teachers knew what their students had retained…each and every day. And this let them plan accordingly for the next day, and teach more effectively and efficiently. But there was a cost: grading of the exit tickets was done by hand, and all results had to be entered into the school’s central digital electronic grade book, or school management system. With some 90 students in his care, Walter was spending nearly two hours a night, just grading the exit tickets, and transcribing the results. It was mind-numbing. Needless to say, the effectiveness of the exit tickets was greatest early in the semester! But it wasn’t until some years later that Walter realized how to not only solve the “exit ticket problem”, but also supercharge the power of exit tickets: scanning the tickets with the camera on his phone. And that was how Quick Key was born.

Favorite Thing About The Business:
Helping close the achievement gap between kids with computers and kids without computers.

Worst Thing About The Business:
Not enough time with my two kids!

Most Recent Business Accomplishment:
We recently completed our prototype, and a demo video we posted on YouTube has gone viral since we posted it a few days ago.