Thank You! 🙏

Update: Jop won in the biggest hackathon in history in our track of remote education: EUvsVIRUS. We have been a finalist in three enormous hackathons since April and triumphed in a field of thousands of other ideas and projects.

What Jop is…

“Hey Jop tell me my grades…” Jop is a chat interface for education. So instead of students and parents having to figure out how to do remote learning software – they just chat. Everyone knows how to chat. You ask natural language questions and Jop sources the answers.

Our Problems 🤕

Because of Covid-19 remote education has become the standard. Kids, parents and teachers are currently confined to electronic education. In this transition away from 1×1 teacher contact and physical classrooms where kids learn with other kids – there’s problems.

Kids experience stress as they adapt to learning entirely at home and staying focused. There is stress on parents as they assume the role of teacher and caregiver – while holding down their jobs and dealing with adult issues.

And there is stress on teachers as they adapt to a completely different mode of education and curriculum. Frequently asked questions emerge that take a lot of time of the teacher. What is my home work? Where do I find my homework? What are my child’s grades? Instead of answering all these questions, the teacher could be using this time to help kids learn. Schools are also stressed by budget – time is money.

Our Solution 🧑‍🤝‍🧑

Jop, an AI assistant (and friend) helping teachers, parents and most of all kids to cope with the education challenges of COVID-19. We aim to take away some of the stress on the short term. But we also use this crisis to kickstart a new way of learning, tackling some of the existing challenges in education.

We provide a careful policy of design thinking with privacy and security built in. Safety in our kid friendly information design and security for the school platforms to ensure the protection and care of students and families.

The premier service of our virtual assistant 🤖

We offer an expert system where the bot is a tool, a teacher helper and a learner. Jop is a tool to help with learning information through presentation and testing. Jop is a teacher helper supporting the teachers’ responsibility to communicate to student and parents.

And Jop is a learner that keeps track of the progress and interactions guided by the methods and skill sets of experienced educators. Our trajectory is to create a central personage that provides a touchpoint for all stakeholders – this is a unique and innovative role for an intelligent assistant – which usually serves individual users one at a time.

Our way forward 🚀

Jop’s mission is to be the best assistant to students, teachers and parents. Because we believe and support that only the best is good enough for children that represent our future. Jop supports and provides relief not only as assistant, but as all rounded support and guidance solution. Jop adapts to needs and styles of children and education specific requirements of schools. It’s a complete solution to child/teacher/parent friendly assistant in any situation of home/remote/online learning situation, such as current COVID-19 crisis.

We work on principles of validated value creation for our customers. Therefore, we are focusing not on one, but two approaches to gathering reliable data in order to continuously develop, fine-tune and validate Jop.

Our focus is on market and customer research done in short term cycles, providing validated data for our constant improvement. But also on academic research, which validates Jop’s ability to adapt to any psychological, educational, and developmental requirements of the children.

Inspiration 💡

This project evolved out of needing a solution for the stress experienced by teachers, students and parents now, during the crisis – but also even during the best of times. We have parents and teachers in our business family who all need a helper to sort and keep track of the details, commitments and requirements of providing excellent education for our children. We formed as an adhoc team for the Dutch hackathon Hack the Crisis and focused on developing a remote education solution.

We have several disciplines represented in the team and when we were all talking together lightning struck and Jop was born. We entered The Global Hack hackathon next – and now have just finished EUvsVIRUS. We performed very well at all three, but most notably in EUvsVIRUS, being the largest hackathon in the history and we won in our track: #EUvsVirus Hackathon (challenge: Family life during remote working & education).

Why Jop 💭

Jop stands out from other solutions in remote education with its possibility to adapt to any environment. Jop complements existing remote education tools by connecting them in one place, guiding the user through its education endeavors as well as establishing fluent communication in education setting.

With its AI component Jop is adjusting to each and every of user needs. Offering a guiding hand for individually tailored education realization on one side (students, parents) and automation and optimization on other hand. (schools and teachers).

Jop makes remote education easier, better tailored, more efficient and enjoyed by all its users. In the future this ability enables Jop to move from home to school environment and back, together with the students. Supporting teachers and students in any situation and circumstances.

Jop in healthcare and special needs settings ⚕️

Jop’s well rounded and flexible approach to supporting implementation of remote education can be adapted for use in hospital-based school education, education of long term absent children due to health issues, children with special needs and developmental disorders.

How we built it 🛠️

The prototype is built with Node-red and Watson AI. Jop currently lives on IBM servers. We are platform agnostic and prefer open source tools. We are an AI assistant chat interface for managed learning systems. We are built to scale.

Challenges 🧗‍♂️

Our challenge to find a central organizing helper for remote education is faced by the whole world today. Diverse skill sets during ideation are a challenge for any team to reconcile – we captured the essential vision of Jop without sacrificing anything to the alter of technology limits. We face scalability and finance issues ahead as well as growing our team’s technical execution.

Our dream is really, really big. Working with a random access, always on intelligent agent in the center of teachers, students and parents can potentially disrupt education – we hope in a good way.

Really proud of ?

Fenne Dijkstra who brought all we had to put it together into an amazing presentation and pitch during Hack the Crisis, and further moved this along in her work on the global hackathon. We finished 7th in the education track, not too bad in a field of over 850 ideas. This really brought our project together and made it real to us. We next placed in the top finalists in remote education in the Global Hack with 12k participants from 100+ countries working on 500 life-changing projects. And we just won first place in remote education in EUvsVirus – top forty out of 2100 international projects.

What’s next for Jop ⏭️

Now that these hackathons have vetted us we are receiving unprecedented interest and traction – Universities are teaming up with us for academic study of our platform. Entrepreneurs are interested in using our product and consultation in their business developments. Business angels are getting onboard. We’ve been invited to provide a front end for machine learning educational system.

What we are looking for ?

We are looking for first national and regional ministries of education to engage us as consultants for enabling intelligent assistant chats into their existing learning systems. Teaming up with local authorities is the quickest way to market that we can see. Every jurisdiction and school creates education according to their local customs and laws.

We are ready to deploy an adaptable solution and plugin to the existing API standards and security protocols. Our solution saves teachers and staff time – and is budget friendly. We need sponsorship next for our IT development and technical architecture. Now to provide consultation and tailor the solution.