Eric Goldreyer, CEO & Co-Founder
Historically, standardized tests were designed to rate the efficiency of a machine and scored on a scale of one to five, depending on certain performance factors. Ironically, over the past several decades, education adopted this approach to evaluating and categorizing machines and applied it to students. Given the complexity and uniqueness of every human being combined with the multifaceted ways learners process and acquire knowledge, it seems absurd we would base the evaluation of anyone--particularly a student--on such antiquated methods. To put it in the words of Eric Goldreyer the co-founder and CEO of bulb, “Despite billions of dollars being spent on education, the only consistent tools we use to assess student success are standardized tests and GPAs. This is what bulb intends to change.”
The failure of empirical testing is illustrated by the fact that in 2017 a quarter of a million US students graduated with a GPA at or over a 4.0. The problem is how do colleges or employers differentiate between applicants with identical test scores and/or GPAs? bulb, a digital portfolio platform, is a beautiful, easy-to-use solution for students and educators. Bulb provides a rich environment where users can curate, create, share and showcase their learning journey. The company stands on the belief that 1) following a student’s learning journey must be an integral part of the evaluation process 2) students and educators deserve a beautiful place to show and reflect on their development and 3) proof of competency comes through the visual demonstration of understanding over time. This simple yet powerful tool allows students to design a personal portfolio tailored to display their unique skills and abilities, far more comprehensively than a GPA or standardized test.
Having entered the market only two years ago, bulb has already been adopted by top leaders in the field of education technology. The Eanes Independent School District in Austin, Texas sought a district-wide solution that could showcase the full-spectrum of their students’ creative and academic work. They also wanted a tool that was tied to the student so that when the student graduated or changed schools their work was never left behind.
Despite billions of dollars being spent on education, the only consistent tools we use to assess student success are standardized tests & GPAs. This is what bulb intends to change
Eanes ISD found the perfect solution in bulb’s interactive platform, designed to work with student laptops, tablets and smartphones. bulb offered students and teachers a way to efficiently create a portfolio of one’s academic and professional work that will grow with them for a lifetime. Student work that had historically gathered dust in filing cabinets or been buried in piles of three-ring-binders was now providing real education opportunities in the classroom and beyond.
Students use bulb to document key components of a project, writing progression, goal setting and reflection. They also include pictures of brainstorming, video of actual work, embed charts and graphs and screenshots of design work in progress. Outside the classroom, bulb continues to tell each student’s story through their documentation of extracurricular activities and internship opportunities.
Teachers have also benefited from digital portfolios and use bulb to showcase professional advancement and accolades, collect powerful evidence of growth as well as showcase lectures, assignments and classroom work to peers, administrators, parents and the community.
This facet of personalized and reflective learning has proven to be a more efficient way of improving one’s conceptual understanding. According to the International Journal of ePortoflio (theijep.com), students with digital portfolios exhibit a 10 percent improvement in GPA and a 33 percent improvement in graduation rate. Additionally, of those with portfolios, 85 percent believe their portfolio made them more aware of their growth as learners.
Today, there are over a half million bulbs, found across 78 countries. bulb continues to invest in the latest advancements in education technology to provide a world-class experience for their users and disrupt the industry status-quo.