Adapting to a new world

ChatGPT and generative AI have shaken up the world as we know it.

Educators have long called out the importance of students learning socioemotional and creative skills in addition to traditional academic content. Now, many of the tasks we previously assumed could only be done by humans can be outsourced to or automated by AI. In the context of this new economy, what–and how–we teach and learn need to adapt more quickly than ever.

First, that means the days of the 5-paragraph essay or fill-in-the-blank worksheets are behind us. Instead, we should aim for the type of learning that requires students to apply skills and knowledge in authentic, real world contexts. We should use a variety of project- or performance-based assessments rather than uniform, standardized ones to measure what students can do.

Secondly, we need to redefine our standards for technology literacy. Being able to use the latest app is not enough. The students that are intelligent consumers of – and who can create with – AI are those positioned to thrive in this rapidly changing economy.

Our founder's former middle school students participating in a real world project in which they created apps to address challenges in their communities–and received feedback from professional mobile app developers at Salesforce.

The power of the portfolio

“Portfolios are an effective and flexible form of assessment because they can wrap themselves around any kind of evidence, and they enroll the learner in the curation of that evidence.”
-Envision Learning Partners

Research on the capabilities of OpenAI GPT-4 model showed that their AI model consistently scored in 90th percentile or above in standardized assessments like the SAT, LSAT, and AP exams.

What does that mean for how we assess students and learning? It means that we need to shift our focus from assessing simply what students know to assessing what they can do. It means that we need to focus on the process of learning, not just the final product. It means that we need to assess students’ ability to apply their knowledge and skills to do authentic, real world projects. What matters in tomorrow's economy will not be your GPA; it will be your portfolio of work.

While plenty of tools exist for building online portfolios, what makes Inkwire different is that – in addition to being designed specifically for students – it supports both the process and showcase portfolio – what Helen Barrett calls the “the two faces of e-portfolios".

Inkwire doesn’t try to shoehorn both types of portfolios into a single format, but instead provides a separate but integrated set of tools for capturing process and showcasing final products. Teachers can create guided experiences in which students document their learning journey – and then students can separately curate the best artifacts from that journey into an outward-facing story.

Fostering student ownership

At the heart of Inkwire is driving students' sense of purpose and ownership over their learning. We believe that giving students tools to create and share their own stories of learning in ways that showcase strengths is not only required for our changing economy (see above!), but that it also makes the classroom more empowering, joyful and engaging for students.

Read a case study of how we helped West Oakland Middle School foster student ownership by implementing Student-Led Conferences using Inkwire.

One of the most powerful ways to drive student ownership is when students have an authentic audience for their work. That audience could be their parents, mentors, or family members with whom the students shares their portfolio in a student-led conference. Or it might mean a professional in the workplace reviewing a student's project and giving real world feedback on their work.

Because we believe the portfolio will be the currency of tomorrow's education system & economy, our ultimate mission is to help every learner build a great portfolio. A portfolio full of work that they are not only deeply proud of, but that connects them to opportunities beyond the classroom, whether that means admission to their dream university or their next powerful career opportunity.

Who we are

Inkwire was founded by Aatash Parikh. After working as a software engineer at companies like Khan Academy and Google, Aatash transitioned to working in schools; he taught middle school computer science in Oakland Unified School District and completed a residency at High Tech High in San Diego.

Inkwire is informed by deep on-the-ground experience with a diverse set of students and teachers. We’re a distributed team of passionate designers, engineers, and educators.