Interview with Angela Matheson
Gundogdu (AGK) represents an education sector which believe in the modern trends. They’re building contemporary and prestigious schools and they have created the best school environment in the region. Thanks to award-winning educational programs, adapting modern technology into daily academic life, building intensive student/teacher exchange programs and other superb activities. AGK started with 2 pilot projects and just after 2 months they’ve upgraded to CoverPage UNLIMITED plan. They have over 20 applications live, more to come.
Angela was back then Chief International Development Officer, one of the most important people at AGK from the technology perspective. She works at the School management since September 2009, responsible for new technology research, implementation and constant improvement on all levels – management, students, alumni and parents.
When and why did you start thinking about going digital with your School materials?
It was in June 2015, when we discussed with in our team and management the options of being digital. We have seen an opportunity to make things easier for students mainly. They have to carry lots of books every day. Another thing was the depreciation of the books we have to face every year. Last but not least – a very prosaic reason – kids who are always forgetting their studying material. Well, they have no excuse anymore.
What was the main content you’ve digitised? Who is it dedicated to?
We have 20 applications so far. We have started with School journal for kids and their parents. That was one of the pilot projects. It was followed by another 11 apps – each application for each school grade. Those are reading books for children that are used at classes and homework. 7 more applications were created for preschoolers starting with publications for babies and other more. Everybody loves it. Kids love it and teachers too.
Are you using interactive features?
Not at the moment. We are using just the basic navigation through the projects. We don’t need it really for the books. But we will surely use it in the future for our marketing purposes.
What were the biggest barriers to start with digital content generally?
Well, to prepare all the graphics for the app. First you have to think how do you want your apps to look like. But soon after we’ve started, we got all the guidelines and templates from CoverPage. When we were working on second and third app, everything was way easier. And Apple! Well, Apple App Store is a chapter itself. But what I’ve appreciated the most, was support from CoverPage team. We were given the greatest measure of assistance for the process to run smoothly.
What other platforms did you consider?
Honestly, we didn’t consider any other platform.
How did kids and teachers adapt to digital content usage?
The students found it useful as they can read a book at home on their phones and tablets instead of carrying everything all the time. And another thing is the modern technology generally that they are interested in and they are enjoying it. Funny thing is teachers point of view. They like that there is no excuse to forget the books.
What devices are used the most to preview your apps?
We have discussed that with many parents at official meetings. Students are allowed to bring whatever they want and have at home – tablets, smartphones, computers. That is why we needed the multi platform solution. Of course we have more devices at school available for kids if needed.
What do you like about CoverPage?
It was really easy for us to understand all the workflow and things we had to do before starting. Also the training we’ve done over Skype helped us to develop what we needed. (Editor’s note: Dedicated workshop delivered to each client that has yearly plan) We like the team just the way it is. They are always very very helpful, responding to our needs, they’re flexible and reliable.
Would you change anything if you can?
The amount of time it takes for an app to be approved by Apple. But that has nothing to do with CoverPage platform.
Last word for CoverPage?
Just keep doing it the way you’re doing it now. Keep enhancing the product and keep the level of assistance and support.
School website: http://www.agk88.com/tr/