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Early Learning Lab

A "Digital Coach in Your Pocket" For Teachers, Caregivers and Families

Early Learning Lab is a nonprofit organization that works to curate and develop tools and resources that empower parents, caregivers, and teachers with ways to support their children’s healthy development.

Through their years of experience the team at Early Learning Lab has seen that it is often a challenge for parents, teachers and caregivers to actually take what they've learned in their trainings and apply it to the work they do with their children.

To bridge this implementation gap we created Reflectable, an app that provides a platform for self-reflection, goal setting and planning, making it easy to build on best practices in just 10 minutes a week.

The app breaks down training content into bite sized chunks and weekly achievable goals, and provides real time data that allows users to track goals and progress toward desired child outcomes.

“I thought it was more time-consuming work added to my already tons of work. But it was all worth it. I have learned so much and continued to grow”

-Reflectable Beta User

The Challenge

The Early Learning Lab offers a series of curriculums catered to educators, parents and caregivers that help them improve their teachings and promote deeper growth and learning with their kids.

While the curriculums offer many insights into promoting development and improving positive behaviors, there is no way for educators to measure their progress once the curriculum is over as they begin to apply the educational tools in real life.

Because the team at Early Learning Lab recognized that it's often a challenge to actually put these teachings into practice while engaged with a classroom or family full of spirited children, they hoped to create a tool that would help bridge that implementation gap and allow caregivers to fully apply the practices they've learned.

Our challenge was to create a streamlined, easy to use platform that would allow users to reflect and  build on the best practices they've learned, in 10 minutes a week.

Additionally, we needed to create a content admin that would be simple for the Early Learning Lab team to access and update on a regular basis.

“I can see children’s behavior growing over time”


The Solution

To bridge the gap between the learning of principles and practices, and the actual implementation of them, we built the Reflectable app.

Reflectable is a self guided tool that breaks down the curriculum of teacher and caregiver trainings into bite sized chunks and acheivable weekly goals, allowing users to focus on, apply and reflect on the practices they have learned.

Step 1: Get Into A Positive Mindset

To ensure that the user is in a balanced space for objective introspection we felt that it was important to begin by asking them to get into a positive mindset.

Step 2: Choose and Reflect on a Topic and Focus

Before beginning Reflectable, users will receive a welcome email asking them to pick a topic and a focus they would like to work on. For example, the topic they choose might be "behavior expectations" and the focus "using a positive, calm and supportive tone".

Each week users will have the opportunity to either continue with this topic/focus, or choose a new one.

Once the topic and focus have been selected, the user is asked to complete a related reflection once per week.

An email reminder is sent each week to help nudge users to complete their reflection.

This regular reflection on their chosen topic/focus allows users to implement changes and improvements in their practices on a week by week basis, and builds confidence and efficacy in applying training content.

Step 3: Take a Closer Look at a Particular Child

This optional step allows the user to take a closer look at their week with a particular child that may be exhibiting challenging behaviors, by asking some open ended questions.

A few of the questions include:

*When/Where is this behavior exhibited most often?
*Why do you think the child is doing this?
*What are the strengths and interests of this child?

These questions are designed to allow the user to more fully understand the childs behaviors, and help them generate effective solutions.

Step 4: Get Ready for the Week Ahead

During this step the user chooses their topic and focus for the following week. They have the ability to see which items they have already worked on previously, and how many times.

Step 5: Review Your Progress on the Dashboard

On their dashboard the user has the ability to review what they've been working on in multiple ways. The first is by looking back at their progress.

This feature allow the user to view the topics they have worked on and the focuses they have selected, and provides them with additional focuses they may want to explore.

Most importantly, this feature provides the user with graphs that chart each of their responses over time, creating a clear visual map of exactly which practices are working, and what effects those practices are having on the children they work with.  

Additionally, users are able to access their archived reflections if, for instance, they wanted to look back at when exactly a child's challenging behavior began, what occured during a specific period of time, etc.

The team at Early Learning Lab needed a way to continuously update various asects of the application, so we created an easily accessible content admin.

The admin allows the team to add new curriculum, organizations, users and programs to the application in a simple and straightforward manner.

Additionally, the content admin allows indivuduals who are administering the trainings and curriculums to receive data on the users in their programs, in order to allow them to track progress and monitor the efficacy of their programs.

“It helps me structure in time for reflection, which I know I should do, but don’t always find the time for."

-Reflectable Beta User

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