When was the last time you felt like a nervous teenager? For me these past few weeks that DiaryZapp has gone out to press and teachers made me feel as though I was at school again. I’d just handed in my homework to be marked, effectively a year-long project called DiaryZapp which I’d burnt the midnight oil for and then … all I could do was hold my breath.
PR is the unknown. I wonder if journalists know how terrifying it is? They can make or break us with a few printed words. Of course we’ve tested and re-tested the app so we know it works, but the tension…
We’re not a big corporate that have churned out yet another app, we’re a family that have poured our heart and soul into trying to provide a better future for our children and others. It’s nail biting stuff waiting for the press to come back with their opinion.
Almost more terrifying than sending it out to the press has been sending it over to teachers to appraise.
We dreamt that long term we’d like to collaborate with teachers and schools to do focus themes on words and campaigns to support their work and the children around the school year. But what if they didn’t like it? We sent it over to the Educational App Store for independent teacher review and also over to one of my favourite and respected blogs Two Teachers One Blog.
Five gold stars came flying back from the Educational App Store. Five in an independent teacher review. I’m not sure I ever got that many gold stars at school. After using it extensively they summed DiaryZapp up as:
‘This is an excellent, interactive diary that encourages young children to keep a written and visual documentation of their lives. It is fully interactive in the sense that the user can use a fully extensive set of tools including editing tools, picture uploads, paint and drawing tools. The user really can tell the story of their life through the app creating a way to keep all their memories and experiences in one place.’
Not only that, but we really felt as though they understood our journey as a family in creating this app. We’ve brought our children up to study when it’s expected and to explore and have adventures at any given opportunity. As a family we try and make each day creative or active to stimulate and recharge all of our senses.
It is obvious from the developer’s website that they are passionate about creating fun experiences for young people and they have clearly created this app from their own experiences as parents.
Words like ‘excellent’ and ‘fantastic’, Jon and I just read them over and over again completely exhilarated and relieved.
Sarah at Two Teachers One Blog came back to us a few days later after a week of playing on DiaryZapp. Again I clicked on the link with my breakfast holding my breath … Their review was astounding.
‘This will be a fantastic way for a teacher to see the progression of their students learning from the view of their students. It also then becomes a digital portfolio of their work to share with their parents.’
Not only did they play with it to get to grips with it, they’ve completely reviewed it as a means of exploring further engagement and learning within the classroom. From asking kids to create holiday diaries to prevent summer learning loss to writing mini reflections of their day and supplementing it with drawing. Sarah your blog blew me away. Thank you so much for your time and deep consideration. People globally respect your blog and this is why. We’re looking forward to collaborating with you in the future.
So there you have it.
Some of my friends have asked me: ‘What would you have done if the reviews hadn’t been good?’ Well we’d have asked them for feedback on how we could make it better and kept pushing forward. That’s all you can do really. However, they loved it and after a year of working in the dark trying to bring this concept to life we needed a pat on the back just to top up our resolve for the hard work ahead.
Our vision for DiaryZapp to culture good social etiquette for children whilst being fun and boosting literacy skills, is stronger than ever now. All re-fuelled by a few positive words.