A Long and Winding Road – Update on Digital Learning System Aug 1 2020
Another glitch. Another solution. Now to just go from one to the other…
WordPress, the platform from which our website was constructed, uses something called “plug-ins” to maintain the system. Apparently, some of these plug-ins were customized to our original site. When WordPress updates plug-ins, the customizations sometimes get lost or no longer work. This affected our site, wiping out two weeks of coding that Nesda had completed to transition the “shopping cart” for new customers. Michael S and his crew had to recreate all of that work before Andrew could make any changes to the site for our launch.
Andrew will begin making those changes this week. It has shortened a critical time period and could effect our planned launch date of August 12. It is too early to know what will transpire.
Meanwhile I have been doing webinars with a number of behaviorally-based interviewers. All five have been well received. The next one comes up on August 14 with Behavior Development Solutions as a repeat of the one we did on July 17th. I will continue to do more webinars as the opportunities present themselves. We have copies of each webinar which we can parse into small units to use in our marketing and advertising.
Mark Bishop in now in control of our marketing. We have settled on five companies with whom we will advertise in a variety of ways. Four of these companies serve the homeschooling market across North America. The fifth company serves 40,000 therapists and therapy centres. Mark has created an advertising budget to keep these costs under control. We will make adjustments once we see the early results.
We will also be posting to several specific websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others. The work for the advertisements and articles involved has been completed and are ready for launch.
We still have some work to do on a landing page that subscribers will see when they first click on an ad. We also need to add some detailed instructions to help subscribers to navigate the software more easily.
Our New Orleans charter school project has launched thanks to Rotarians Wilf Wilkinson, Sharon McConnell and Brian Hall (from Mississippi). I will be contacting charter school principals to determine their willingness to receive help from a Rotary club to purchase subscriptions. Wilf and Brian will be contacting Rotary clubs to help them complete their literacy commitment by aiding a needy charter school. Again, it is too early to call this one.
With this software glitch, we have now overrun our development budget. Thankfully we have a line of credit to help us through these unexpected events. This project has seen more than its fair share of setbacks, but it has never faltered and will not do so now.
I believe that putting online some 400 free, easy-to-use lessons back in April has bought us a huge amount of credibility with our potential clients (homeschoolers and therapists). So far, more than 40,000 lessons in reading, spelling and math have been downloaded by hundreds of families globally. Since we required them to submit a lot of information to get the free lessons, we can easily follow up to see if they are willing to purchase a subscription.
We are not currently dealing with schools. There is too much uncertainty and they are already underwater trying to deal with the plague’s impact.
Keep the faith. We are headed for the finish line and running hard. We will soon be able to help thousands of children who are needlessly struggling to learn to read. Thanks for you help.