HAVE YOU EVER BELIEVED IN SOMETHING SO STRONGLY THAT YOU FEEL YOU COULD SHOUT IT OUT AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS—BECAUSE YOU KNOW IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO HAVE A GLOBAL IMPACT?
That’s how we feel about ISABEL.
When you support ISABEL, you will be helping us provide advanced software to educators, students, and parents. FREE.
But there is more to ISABEL than meets the eye. Driving this project is a powerful concept that can profoundly change children’s lives all over the world.
When we launch ISABEL, it will also create a self-sustaining platform—an economic ecosystem, if you will—that can help schools and communities that results in new jobs, not only here in the U.S. but in other countries too.
All our users need to do is use ISABEL and other applications we will be creating thereafter. And it all begins here. With you.
WHAT IS ISABEL?
ISABEL is a powerful suite of web-based tools that will serve students and their parents, teachers, staff members, and professors from elementary schools to college. Isabel will give its users the benefits of advanced design, modern social interaction and information sharing and yet remain circumspect and mindful of every individual’s and group’s privacy.
This cool and awesome project is the first level and first software suite of a larger, longer-term effort that is designed to create a new framework for tomorrow’s technology. It will make traditionally tedious and time-consuming education processes easier for everyone. Like homework, class projects, calendar, quizzes and exams, tracking classes and grades, classroom materials, fund-raising for school projects, communicating with teachers and classmates, and much more.
ISABEL is our first Crowd Funding Project. We hope you like it enough to fund it. It stands for Insanely Supremely Awesome and Brilliant Ecosystem/4 Learning. (We love the name so much, we’re printing it on T-Shirts. We had a more official-sounding acronym but it was too boring.)
Some of the sample tools shown here, on our video, and on our website, will be the first tools we build.
WHERE WE ARE ON THE PROJECT
ISABEL is just a few weeks away from ALPHA. Design is complete, coding is going strong. We finished our technical proof of concept and are currently working on implementing the functionality we plan to include when we launch ISABEL. (In tech-speak, we’re selecting the final use-cases that will go into version 1.0).
The pilot version was tested by several teachers in Eugene, OR., from February through June of 2012. After getting feedback we completely redesigned the system from the ground up. We estimate that we’re 3-4 months away from a fully operational release that will be available to a select audience, and 6 months from a full launch available to the public. Sooner if we are able to raise more funds.
NOT A CHARITY NOR CAUSE
Metroleta was created to help children, teachers, and schools—but it is not a charity, a philanthropy, nor a cause. It is not a non-profit corporation. At its core it is a Silicon Valley-style start-up with advanced technology, brand-engineering, and high-level design as its core competencies.
The INTERSECT and ISABEL software will create a product platform that will enable users to practice mass philanthropy. But it is not truly free. The cost to the user will be the time they spend on Metroleta.com. The same is true for teachers, who will directly benefit from using the system.
Metroleta will raise funds through advertising, product sales, and software licensing to businesses and larger organizations such as colleges.
GOOD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN YOU FUND ISABEL
- ISABEL will be completed and released for use by teachers, parents, professors, students, and the public—for free.
- The framework and first subsystems of the advanced technology called the INTERSECT will be created.
- Metroleta will start to build revenue from advertising and sales, and then create jobs and hire additional programmers to build the next subsystems.
- We will build an ecosystem that creates the revenue to help students, makes life easier for teachers, saves schools cash (to perhaps hire new teachers), and makes businesses and advertisers happy and proud. And puts school supplies and food in the hands of children in need.
IF YOU SPEAK NERDIC...
Warning. Technology content follows.
ISABEL is a non-linear graph-based online application designed with deep interoperability among its user-base, functions, and peer-systems. It addresses use-cases and actors common to the non-administration side of education (i.e. students, faculty, and parents). We intend to create a follow-up peer subsystem to address the needs of the Student Services and Administrative sides of any educational institution, be it school, district, or college.
Conceptually, ISABEL’s design takes graph theory and social-oriented design and pushes them further into deeper dimensions. It is considerably different from procedural or “process-driven” applications typically found in education and business. It should be noted that version 1 of ISABEL is intended as a bridge app to span the chasm of today’s traditional Internet systems and tomorrow’s INTERSECT framework. In the following versions, ISABEL will be refactored to fully capitalize on the INTERSECT’s advantages.
WE HAVE EXPERIENCE, KNOWLEDGE, AND SKILLS
Success in software, like any other effort, is predicated on the diverse skills of its team. True, it requires high-level technical expertise, but also demands a deep understanding of business and marketing, and social media savvy.
Our founder Robert Cura is an experienced Chief Technology Officer, Advanced Systems Engineer, and Technical Architect steeped in business, marketing, and technology. Much of his 33-year broad-based background was honed in Silicon Valley (that’s where he met his wife Alice, who’s currently our Marketing and Design Director. She started her career in Silicon Valley too!) A full set of bios for our founders and our team is available on our website http://metroleta.com.
For this project, Robert has assembled a team with diverse skills and experience, all working together towards the success of ISABEL. We have social media specialists, user interface designers, web-content writers, graphic designers, photographers, and so on.
That we have an active team of over 20 people ALL VOLUNTEERS, is the tribute to his considerable ability to gather people around a purpose.
OUR TOKENS OF APPRECIATION
One of the things we’re proud of is the design skills of our graphic design team. They have created a set of LIMITED EDITION designs that will only be available to our sponsors.
Please consider this as our modest way of saying Thank You for backing ISABEL:
- Special Metroleta Stickers
- Limited Edition Tote Bag
- Limited Edition T-shirt
- Limited Edition Polo Shirt
- Limited Edition Sweatshirt (This one’s specially cool).
Backers in the business community will have the option of choosing a special “ISABEL Supporter” advertisement on Metroleta.com.
We also will publish a special “ISABEL Supporters” web page, listing our backers (unless they prefer to remain anonymous, of course).
RISKS AND CHALLENGES
We have taken steps to mitigate those problems that, from long experience, typically occur in software development. It is the unique issues of this project that we are preparing ourselves for so that we can meet them confidently.
Delay is certainly an issue, but that risk is somewhat mitigated by the fact that much of the framework of ISABEL’s code is already written.
Beyond the technical abilities of its engineers, 70% of the success of any piece of software is dependent on its usability. The success of this project depends on getting users excited about the broad functions and usefulness of ISABEL. Our technology design has been under development for quite awhile now. This is the reason why we have been able to devote a lot of care and time in designing the ISABEL’s user interface.
We are also well aware that our success depends on achieving a critical mass of users beyond the regional education arena that METROLETA is currently in. This is also the reason why we have been diligently preparing our marketing, communications, and social media campaigns.
ISABEL is a much-needed alternative to what teachers, professors, parents and students have at their disposal today. We are confident that ISABEL’s advanced design will help create a vibrant community of users around it.
IT ALL DEPENDS ON YOU
How much we will be able to build initially will depend on how much funding you help us raise. The more funds we raise, the more functions we will be able to include in the first release of ISABEL.
One thing is sure. When you help fund this project, many teachers and students will have more than just a powerful tool, they will have a resource that can help make life a little easier for the children.