trovvit

remaster your record

When we were designing trovvit we thought hard about the name of the thing we were asking people to create to help organize their learning.  “Post” seemed impermanent - like a Facebook post - a missive that disappeared into one’s feed.  History? Intimidating.  Log Entry? A little Star Trek-y. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that).  Card? Postcard? Too cute.

We liked “record.”  As a noun, and as a verb. Noun: She set a personal record.  He has a fine record. Verb: Record your memories.  

Are we the sum of our records?  So much of our life seems subject to records from institutions - which may or may not fairly reflect anything about us.   I think that my public record - grades, addresses, tax record, voting record, job record - gives only a rough outline of who I am.  

I would prefer to set my own record - choosing what is important to me to recordwhat makes a fine record.  A grade from a school might reflect how hard I worked in a class - but it  won’t reflect what I pursue with passion - a record of books read, mountains hiked, gardens planted.  A record of failures and successes.  I want to record what I have learned, why I learned it, how I changed in response to failure.  My track record.

I am interested in mushrooms.  I bought a book.  Skye’s math teacher, Nick Fiori, and his wife Kristin, are amateur mycologists.  They spent a day with us in the woods, collecting.  We powered up the microscope, we poured over images in the books, we sorted, looked, talked.  With a little wine and butter, Nick cooked the chanterelles and the boletes.   In trovvit, I have a mushroom hunting record.  Photos of the mushrooms we identified, a description of where we found them, how we identified them, what they tasted like.  The next time we go, I'll create another trovvit record.  And so on.

 In this internet age it is common wisdom that, increasingly, people will learn outside traditional schools - in MOOCS, online language courses, certification courses in coding or designing.  I think that is probably true.  

But I think that another kind of “extra-curricular” learning - acquiring knowledge through experience and study -- on a hike, in church, at a public lecture, sailing across the bay, painting a picture -- is not revolutionary but actually pre-dates traditional schooling.  

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We designed trovvit to encourage people to recognize that these pursuits are a valuable form of learning.   The Oxford English Dictionary defines “learning” as: Noun: The acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, study, or by being taught (emphasis added).  trovvit encourages you to record what you choose to experience and study - your track record - and fill in that rough outline . . .

30 second pitch?

We owe a huge thanks to Sheknows The Pitch, who gave us the opportunity to make this terrific piece.   

In October, Sheknows, a media platform for women, invited us to make a video about trovvit for their new program, The Pitch.  The Pitch supports women entrepreneurs by giving them the opportunity to put together a 30 second video pitch about their business and then publishes the videos on their platform.

At SheKnows, Jen Denton and Julia Cannon helped us refine our ideas and language and director Melissa cajoled, kidded and conned me into a lightning performance.  We owe them (and Sam Skey) a huge thanks times two, because they filmed us not once, but TWICE!

We think The Pitch rocks!  To check out our fellow entrepreneurs go to: http:// www.sheknows.com/special-series/the-pitch

 

 

remember filofaxes?

The world is so full of a number of things
I’m sure we should be as happy as kings”
— Happy Thought - Robert Louis Stevenson
    Filofaxes?  Remember them?  I did, the other day, sitting in a cafe while it rained outside, and I smiled.  I had a British boyfriend in the late ‘80’s who was very stylish and I was super impressed by his Filofax - all those tabs and receipts and tickets and contacts.   Evidence of his super busy but super organized life.

 

Filofaxes?  Remember them?  I did, the other day, sitting in a cafe while it rained outside, and I smiled.  I had a British boyfriend in the late ‘80’s who was very stylish and I was super impressed by his Filofax - all those tabs and receipts and tickets and contacts. Evidence of his super busy but super organized life.

    And CD towers?  When I was first dating Torrance in the late ‘90’s, he had one.

 

And CD towers?  When I was first dating Torrance in the late ‘90’s, he had one.

And photo albums?  After our 2001 wedding Torrance and I received a binder full of 4X6 photographs - proofs from which we were to choose images for our wedding album.  They are still in that binder.    All the “things” that were in those Filofaxes are now tucked away in our phones - easily accessed, shared, backed up.  We still own those CD’s, but we saved them into our iTunes/hard drive and we can (and do!) easily listen to any track, any time on any device.  No dusting.  Our wedding photos?  Torrance scanned them in and made several books we shared with our families.     Saving our kids stuff to trovvit is just a natural progression.  Yes, in the moment it feels a little overwhelming - where do I start?  But just like we loaded our contacts into our phone for the first time, we upload a photo of the first bike ride, scan in a poem, share a video of the kindergarten graduation on trovvit. With trovvit we can "play" the records of our kid's moments, anywhere on any device.  Like the wedding album, our parents have a "copy" of what our kids make and learn and do.  And though we keep some hard copies of their work - we don't have to worry about losing Charlie's National Parks Junior Ranger Badge.  It's in trovvit!    Over the next few weeks, as kids bring home work from their first semester, we will post how-to videos about saving your kids “things” to trovvit.  And then we will be "as happy as kings!"    I promise you will look back at the folders, boxes and portfolios and think, Remember that?

And photo albums?  After our 2001 wedding Torrance and I received a binder full of 4X6 photographs - proofs from which we were to choose images for our wedding album.  They are still in that binder.

All the “things” that were in those Filofaxes are now tucked away in our phones - easily accessed, shared, backed up.  We still own those CD’s, but we saved them into our iTunes/hard drive and we can (and do!) easily listen to any track, any time on any device.  No dusting.  Our wedding photos?  Torrance scanned them in and made several books we shared with our families.


Saving our kids stuff to trovvit is just a natural progression.  Yes, in the moment it feels a little overwhelming - where do I start?  But just like we loaded our contacts into our phone for the first time, we upload a photo of the first bike ride, scan in a poem, share a video of the kindergarten graduation on trovvit. With trovvit we can "play" the records of our kid's moments, anywhere on any device.  Like the wedding album, our parents have a "copy" of what our kids make and learn and do.  And though we keep some hard copies of their work - we don't have to worry about losing Charlie's National Parks Junior Ranger Badge.  It's in trovvit!

Over the next few weeks, as kids bring home work from their first semester, we will post how-to videos about saving your kids “things” to trovvit.  And then we will be "as happy as kings!"

I promise you will look back at the folders, boxes and portfolios and think, Remember that?

What trovvit is teaching me . . .

By Laurel Watts

Is trovvit just for recording my kids’ passions?  Using trovvit, I discovered something about myself . . .

In early September, I was walking down Clinton Street after drop off and ran into my friend Alison.  Direct as always, she asked how I was, and reported that she was feeling antsy. “Everyone else in my family is headed back to school – what am I doing new?  What am I learning?”  By chance, that week, I came across a blurb in a parenting magazine, “It’s back-to-school season!  What do you want to learn next?”  Editors from the magazine had answered, “I want to learn to be a strong swimmer” and “Archery!” and “I’d love to start playing the piano again.”

When I first set up my trovvit account, it defaulted to my (empty) feed and a bummer of a notice that said, “Your story has not yet started!  Post an achievement here!”  I would quickly click off this page into Charlie and Skye’s feed, which I had begun to populate with photos of their art work, travel, riding, cycling, LEARNING.  

My feed remained . . . empty.

“Here goes!” I thought.  Since I was cleaning all the old photos off my phone and into trovvit, I began to look for photos I could put in my feed. Lumped in amongst hundreds of other pictures, I found shots I had taken of things I cooked. Organized in my bin I could see a pattern:

 

“Aha!”  I thought.  “Apparently, I make sweet things – I pick blueberries and make pies, strawberries and make jam, apples and make sauce.”  I photograph them so I can learn what I liked, what I did well, how I would do it better next time.   So I do have a passion I pursue!  It took organizing them in trovvit to see what I was learning.   I wonder what else I do . . .

TROVVIT ANNOUNCES BROOKLYN BETA!

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK -- October 12, 2015 -- Avidly anticipated by busy parents across the borough, trovvit took its first step toward wider availability by soft launching to a beta group of 100 lucky, lucky people.  

Brooklyn’s groovy apartment dwelling families breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that the brown paper bags full of artwork that have colonized the coat closet, can finally be uploaded to trovvit.  Now, those spectacular works can be seen on Dad’s trovvit bin board, delighting him daily, along with other bins, such as Robotics Camp, Circus Flying and John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth.  Grandma and Grandpa in El Paso, Texas, hooked on trovvit’s private feed, pull up a video of Trey doing a 360 spin in the Bay Ridge skatepark.

All kidding aside, trovvit is a vital tool for 21st century learners and their parents. Increasingly, kids can and expect to learn from a variety of sources, both online and around the corner, formal and informal.  But there is no report card for these successes and failures.  trovvit is a report card for the 21st century.  Using trovvit's private feed and public portfolio, a kid can show running multi year growth.  Visual, fun, full, narrative.  Kids can keep these records private or share them with mentors, coaches and colleges.

Really?  Ain’t it just some fancy scrapbooking?  A humblebrag book for GenX parents? Anybody out there really care?

Yessir!  On Tuesday, October 29, a coalition of 80 colleges (all the Ivies plus) announced that they will begin accepting student portfolios as part of online applications in 2016. Will they accept a trovvit portfolio?  We’ll have to see, but until then, it’s a good idea to start corralling those poems and sculptures and science projects and novels and circus tricks all in one place.

And now that we’re talking seriously, the BIG idea is that trovvit could be the bridge between a kid who doesn’t know that what he DOES (perhaps not an obviously academic thing) may be exactly what a college is looking for . . . Captured on his phone and shared with a college through a trovvit portfolio, this can become his calling card.  In an effort to find this kid, colleges are shifting their applications away from rote, and into reality. trovvit is ready to help.