Coming Soon: A New Confusion Barometer

GoSoapBox most talked-about feature is the Confusion Barometer. When media outlets write about our award-winning, easy-to-use student response system, they are drawn to this widget.

The Confusion Barometer is a simple concept. When students join your GoSoapBox Event, they are automatically assigned the status “I’m Getting It”. As you are teaching, they can change this status to “I’m Confused”, and when they do it sends a signal to your teacher view.

Despite the name, the Confusion Barometer has never resembled, well — a barometer.

Photo Of The Old GoSoapBox Confusion Barometer

See what we mean? There’s a lot of information AND the look is boring. This has bothered us for a while, but we’ve been busy with other soon-to-be-announced functionality projects. Continue reading

GoSoapBox Blogosophere Roundup

A lot of people talk about GoSoapBox, but previously we have done a poor job of acknowledging what’s being said. In 2013, we’re going to fix that by rounding up references to GoSoapBox on the web. We don’t care if what’s being said is positive or negative – if someone has taken the time to write about us, we want to thank them for their feedback.

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GoSoapBox Year One: A Visual Story

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It’s been just over a year since we opened our Beta for the first time, and it’s amazing for us to look back to where we started, and where we are today.  We truly consider our users as part of our team and are so appreciative of all your support.

We want to share some of the data and insights that we’ve collected to tell the story of GoSoapBox’s progression through this first year. You’ve all played a part in our journey so we thought it was only right to give you a behind the scenes look at our story.

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4 Ways Monopoly™ Teaches You About Startup Success

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It has been a long time since our last Blog and we apologize for the recent silence. We’ve been working hard on improving our product and appreciate all of the feedback we receive. We’re going to make sure to post more frequently on here.

This post is not related to product updates or features but is a unique recap of what we’ve learned about entrepreneurship through starting GoSoapBox, and what advice we’d give to students interested in starting their own company.

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New Features: SMS Integration, Quiz Progress and More

MobileDevices

We’ve recently rolled out a few exciting new features that we think you’ll enjoy. The development of GoSoapBox is driven by user feedback so if you ever have any suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me at john@gosoapbox.com

Social Q&A Reply Icon Upgrade

Each Social Q&A entry will now show the number of replies that have been added to it. This allows users to identify when a new reply has been added that they have yet to read.

Quiz Progress Indicator

Instructors are now able to view progress information about their Quizzes. Instructors can now see how many people are currently taking the Quiz, and how many have already completed it.

Re-Ordering Quiz Questions

Instructors now have the ability to re-order the questions within their Quiz. Re-ordering questions can be helpful to fix errors, as well as randomizing the order of questions for different classes.

SMS (Text Message) Integration For Social Q&A

We’re exciting to announce that we’ve now integrated the ability for students to text message in questions to Social Q&A. This assures that every student is able to participate during class, whether they have a ‘smart’ device or not!

Polling and Instant Polling SMS integration will be rolled out very soon as well.

* Due to costs incurred on our end, the SMS functionality is only available for students who have subscribed to GoSoapBox and is limited to U.S. users.

 

COMING SOON: PowerPoint Integration For Polls

Within the next 2 – 3 weeks we will be launching functionality that allows Instructors to embed the result graphs from Polls and Instant Polls directly into a PowerPoint presentation. Students will be able to respond to the Polls via GoSoapBox or SMS and the results will be displayed right on the PowerPoint slide. Instructors will no longer need to exit PowerPoint and open the GoSoapBox window in order to see Poll results.

Integration with PowerPoint has been our most frequently requested feature and we are very excited to roll out the integration. Once our prototype is available it would be great to test it with a few users before we fully launch it. If you are interested in gaining early access to the feature please let us know.

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Major Update and Changes

We’ve recently made some major decisions in terms of our business model, and want to give you insight into what decisions we’ve made, why we made them, and how it affects you.

We’re a bootstrapped company, and have opted to not raise outside funding because we feel it’s in the best interest of our product. We’re focused on making a great product, and we want to be accountable to our users, not our investors. By bootstrapping we are able to focus on making decisions that lead to the best product possible, and avoid the pressure of making decisions based on a return on capital investment.

Bootstrapping though requires generating enough revenue to support ourselves as we continue to build and unfortunately we’ve determined that our current business model will not be scalable enough in the future to allow us to grow and compete with competitors who have raised outside funding.

So what’s changing?

We are no longer going to offer the individual teacher subscriptions to GoSoapBox. Instead we are introducing an alternative model that keeps GoSoapBox totally free for educators.

Here’s how it works…

  • Instructors can ask or require students to use GoSoapBox in their class, just like they do with textbooks and clickers.
  • Students purchase a GoSoapBox subscription at a very low cost ($10 per year). This subscription entitles them to use GoSoapBox with any class.
  • Each student will now receive their own account to sign in with.
  • Instructors will have access to use GoSoapBox for free

Integrating student accounts also opens the door for improving student performance tracking and analytics in the future. We have some exciting ideas on how to innovate this aspect of the product.

What this change means to you…

1. If you are a GoSoapBox user you can choose to upgrade to the ‘student account’ model. Each of your students will create their own account, and you will be eligible for the additional benefits in the future (Text message response integration, student performance tracking, etc.)

2. If you signed up for a trial of GoSoapBox before August 1st you are eligible to continue with the original subscription model as promised ($90 / year)

3. We will continue to offer volume discount pricing & pilots for Schools, Universities, and Districts. For more information please email john@gosoapbox.com

4. We will also continue to offer free trials for new users, and students are not required to create accounts during the free trial period.

Thank you for all of your support along the way. It’s been an exciting few months since our initial launch and we really appreciate all of our users’ help.

We have some exciting new features that are ready to be rolled out so stay tuned for those!

Using GoSoapBox With PowerPoint

The most common feature request that we receive is for polling integration into PowerPoint & Keynote. A full integration is something that we are working towards but requires a heavy development effort.

We know that many teachers use PowerPoint slides to guide their lectures and we feel bad that we aren’t able to offer full slide integration yet, so we recently developed a new feature called ‘Instant Polling’.

Instant Polling is a simple feedback tool that relies on external sourcing of questions. If you have put together some questions in PowerPoint or Keynote, and don’t have the time to migrate those into GoSoapBox’s Poll or Quiz features, you can use Instant Polling.

Students get a simple menu of choices (you can control the number of these), and you see a real-time histogram of their responses.  When you are ready to move onto the next external question, select “Clear Data” and the histogram readies itself for new responses.

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TechInspire.Me Talks with John Pytel

Photo of Erica Grigg

Erica Grigg of TechInspire.Me

During Techweek 2012, Erica Grigg of TechInspire.Me stopped by the GoSoapBox booth to interview our company’s glorious leader, John Pytel.

Erica is the blogger behind TechInspire.Me and, in her free time, serves as the Director of Marketing for KeyLimeTie, a full-service web and mobile app development shop located in Chicago.

You can listen to the audio interview over at the TechInspire.Me website.

This interview is part of a series of Erica’s ambitious “50 Startups in 50 Days” project, where she is interviewing CEOs and Founding Members from startups around Chicago and beyond.

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