I’ve written on this blog before about BERG; they were the inspiration for my weeknotes and I was massively impressed with the Popular Science/MagPlus stuff they did for the iPad but actually the reason I initially subscribed to their blog was a 4iP funded project until recently codenamed Ashdown.
Schooloscope (Ashdown) launched today (I think) and essentially is an app aimed at parents that takes all the Ofsted data about schools (and maybe some other sources?) and presents it using a written and visual language that aims to translate it from civil-servant speak and complex tables into something understandable.
Many moons ago in my very early days at Jiva (or just before) I wrote a proposal for something extremely similar that I intended to pitch as part of the Show Us a Better Way ‘contest’ but I never really had a vision of how it would look and at the time didn’t really have the technical know how or the contacts to actually make it a reality. I dropped it as I had the excitement of a new job that was proving challenging enough at the time.
Looking at Schooloscope (this should link to my Junior school!) I think the world is a better place for my failure to get my act together as this is a truly slick piece of work that I am sure will rapidly become a must visit site for both parents and teachers. The design is really lovely and the language used is straightforward and clear without being simple and patronising. A real triumph I think and I’ll be emailing it around to my parent and teacher friends asap.
Not quite sure how they can make money from it (or even if they have to) but it is another very nice addition to the 4iP portfolio which is building nicely. There have been a few headscratchers but by and large it is an impressive group of products. Look forward to seeing what BERG and 4iP do next.