Hi!  My name is David Vogt and I’m not a teacher.

I want to get that out of the way early so that you understand where I’m coming from. I don’t know what it’s like to stand up in front of a classroom full of kids and have them stare back expectantly (or not). I can’t imagine the feeling that comes with collecting a big stack of papers, knowing that instead of watching Game of Thrones, tonight you’re going to be grading homework.

I’m no teacher, but I am the father of two elementary school girls. They may not be in your classroom, but they’re in a classroom just like yours. So you see, by helping you, I’m really helping them, or kids in your classroom just like them. I don’t know what it’s like to be you, but I want to build you the best tools I can so maybe, just maybe, I can help you make a difference to the kids in your classroom.

I am the CTO of Canary Learning and what I’m really good at is building software. Together with the engineering team here at Canary Learning, we want to make a deal with you. We’re starting the Canary Learning Engineering blog so that we can share with you what we’re building, how it’s going to work, and why we think it’s a good idea. In exchange, we’d like you to tell us if we’re doing it right and if we’re even building the right stuff. CanaryFlow 2.0 is the result of feedback from hundreds of teachers just like you, but we know that we’re just scratching the surface. To make a truly great tool we need to hear from the folks who are going to use it. As we start adding posts about what we’re working on, please jump in and tell us if we’re making a huge mistake, or suggest a refinement that would make things even easier for you to use. Tell us what we’re missing so we can get it on our roadmap and into your hands!

Let me take a moment to introduce you to the engineering team here at Canary Learning because I think we’re a bit different than everyone else in this space. I’ll start off by saying that we’re not young. We’re not a group of college kids who had a great idea and launched a company. All of our core developers have more than 20 years of experience writing enterprise class software in Silicon Valley startups. Our core team worked together for over a decade before joining Canary Learning so we’re very much a family. This team has built everything from embedded operating systems to websites to large scale distributed systems to mobile applications. We all have kids in school and we’re all here because we believe that the best way for our kids to get a good education is to help our teachers.

I just got back from visiting a school district up in Oregon where I met with a bunch of fantastic teachers who took time out of their busy schedules to help me understand their requirements for rubrics and standards based grading. I’ll be sharing our progress here as well as discussing many other topics that are on our minds here in Engineering. Keep an eye on this space and help us build you the product that you want to see in your classroom!

-Dave