My 3 year old thinks that all I do at work is having lunches with my coworkers and going for coffee with Cat. But it’s not entirely true. I am a product manager for a small Enterprise Software-as-a-Service unit within a gigantic world-famous technology company. For almost 20 years now I’ve been working for financial institutions and technology companies. But I have a dream. I would really like to work for an educational software company that is moving to the web or to mobile platforms. I already wrote that I think that the school of tomorrow will be very different than it is today, and I would love to merge my personal and professional passions. My desire to work in this field grew even stronger when I had my first look inside Time4Learning.com. I got accepted in their review program and have one month of free membership with them. I felt about their site the way I feel about my own “software children” – I love them, but they didn’t quite meet the vision I had for them in my head. I’ll share first what I like about Time4Learning.com, and remember – it’s only “the first look”. I plan to write more about my experiences at a later date.
Content – I appreciate having access to a full online curriculum, and I found it fairly well organized. It’s also very nice that they give you a preview of thw whole curriculum before sign up.
Website could be a bit less cluttered, but I could find everything I wanted easily. One suggestion – make your facebook fan page and other social media presences (if you have them) more prominent, because I don’t see any link to facebook on your front page.
Passion, idea development and customer support – I can feel that the organization really cares about its business, especially while visiting their facebook page and parent forum.
Now let’s move on to negatives:
Security breach waiting to happen. Dear time4learning.com! Have you ever heard about bad people called hackers? Will you please move your login to be on https and not on http? And while you are at it, do not collect password information in the sign up form and do not display it as a clear text in the login form. I was very dismayed to see those glaring security issues. I am very paranoid about the loss of my personal data and I wouldn’t consider giving you my credit card information, because it’s linked to my password, and in my opinion you don’t protect my password well enough.
Pricing. I heard some people complaining about the cost of time4learning.com. Actually, I think that the cost is reasonable if you have one child like I do. But I think it’s unfair to ask big families to pay $14.95 for every extra child. This can really make the cost too expensive for large families that could really use your great services. I would suggest having rather something like buy 2, get 1 free approach or some sort of site license.
Playground. This is one example of a good idea that went bad in your design and development cycle. I think any normal child would spend all its allowed time just deciding what game to play or would pick something at random out of a million games that are dumped there. I wish I could see only age-appropriate games, I wish to have parental control over what games are available to my child and I wish you would provide me with a wizard to help me choose good games based on my knowledge of my child’s interests.
I did introduce Anna to her new “computer time” yesterday and we started with the very first activity in K Math curriculum. Her opinion so far? I will leave you hanging, so you can come back and read more :)