Insights from LabXchange Interns

Carly Stevens/ May 31, 2019/ Partnerships

We are a buzzing hive over here in Cambridge, Massachusetts with new perspectives and visions shaping LabXchange each day. Over the past few months, we piloted a semester-long internship designed to engage students from among HGSE’s thirteen M.Ed. concentrations, which focus on a wide range of topics — from education research, policy, and practice, to the thoughtful use of technology-enhanced educational innovations.

With their unique, interdisciplinary perspectives on education, informed by diverse career paths in education, our HGSE spring interns, Haneen Abdo from the Technology, Innovation, and Education program and Jacob Margolis from the Mind, Brain, and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, were a natural fit as LabXchange collaborators and co-developers.

We asked Jake and Haneen to share more about themselves, the work that they did, and the insights that they have for the future of educational technology.

Jacob Margolis

This January, I received an email that included a list of internship opportunities from my cohort’s administrator. LabXchange was at the top of the list. It felt like a perfect fit. Prior to being admitted to Harvard’s Mind, Brain, and Education program, I acted as a science department chair and taught 11th and 12th grade AP science. My experience, combined with my program interests, put me in a position to help develop content for LabXchange.

It took less than a week to feel like a part of a team that values innovation, interaction, science, and education as much as I do. Collaborating with team members could be difficult at times, as we didn’t always share one another’s visions, but that type of interaction led to a more diverse and comprehensive product. After adding, subtracting, and tweaking our work countless times, the “Critically Reading Research” pathway was completed. I think I speak for the entire team when I say that it will be an enjoyable and informative tool that will benefit any student that utilizes it.

The experience I gained from this position is invaluable, and I couldn’t be happier to have worked with LabXchange.

 

Haneen Abdo

Initially, I was interested in interning at LabXchange mainly because it is a Harvard edtech organization. However, when I started working here, I grew more fond of the platform, the mission and the professionalism of this organization. The fact that LabXchange is driven by the mission of providing students with free state-of-the-art education in life sciences shows the values and virtuous intention behind the creation of this platform. Also, the team here is great: flexible, professional and insightful!

As someone with a background in partnership management, consulting and marketing, I was able to transfer some of my technical and soft-skills into my work here at LabXchange. I also learned a lot about the competitive landscape of the edtech industry that focuses on life sciences. The topic of life sciences itself was somewhat challenging and harder to grasp in the beginning since I do not have a background in life sciences, nor do I have a background in teaching. However, with time and research, I was able to understand more about how life sciences can be delivered and tailored to different learners and teachers. I would say one of the most valuable lessons I learned here, is how different platforms, including LabXchange, deliver complex subjects in a manner that is well-suited for every learner’s and teacher’s needs.

My internship at LabXchange served as a gateway to understanding the world of edtech and online education. The research I conducted in order to deliver some of my work, specifically a competitive analysis of comparable platforms, gave me the opportunity to learn about how different edtech platforms use different interfaces, cater to different audiences, focus on different topics and reach their audience in myriad ways. As a student studying tech, innovation and education, I feel that LabXchange sits at the heart of these three topics.  In general, I am very happy to have chosen LabXchange to intern at – it was a great experience!

UPDATES