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Nicole Li
Nicole Li

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Hello from Elementari / About Us

Hello everyone!

Nicole here from the Elementari team! Our team is made up of myself and my husband David Li (but he doesn't do social media or communications - so you'll just hear from me). So, we’re like the digital version of a mom-and-pop shop (no VC funding nor interest in going down that route at all). All the development is done by us, enabling us to have full control over what Elementari is including its ethical position and mission driven philosophy.

This post is just to give the community some idea about what Elementari is and how we plan to integrate web monetization in hopes to leading to future connections and partnerships with the community!

While a lot of things have changed since we began Elementari from my thesis idea in 2015 (hey we didn’t even know how to build a website back then), we’ve held true to our mission:

Our Mission: Elementari promotes arts, literacy, and computational thinking in an engaging and collaborative way. We want anyone, even kids, to be able to write and code interactive stories. We're committed to building a platform where people can come together to read, write, collaborate, share, and remix stories designed for the screen. Elementari respects student privacy. We are compliant with COPPA, FERPA, and have no ads.

If you are interested, you can see some of the beginning of our journey in the first episode of @ericahargreave Sustainable Funding Series (interviewed in 2019).

Fun fact: I e-met Erica through reddit of all places when I randomly posted about our platform back in 2018. Just shows how you can meet people and make connections anywhere.

Our Sustainability Model

Freemium Model

We have a freemium model which has worked well. Individual teachers, schools, and districts can purchase software licenses to access premium features (accessing the entire library of illustrations/sounds, providing teacher feedback on stories, uploading their own images, etc). Currently the majority of our customers are based in the U.S.

One of our goals for the Web Monetization Grant is to experiment with tipping or ways to profit-share to our contributing educators and artists.

Partnerships / Grants

Recently, we received a partnership with Infosys Foundation USA and the Web Monetization Grant.

With the partnership with the Infosys Foundation USA, all training and professional development are hosted on their website the Pathfinders Online Institute. All educational material is freely available for anyone to view (once you create a free account on the Pathfinders Online Institute). This allowed us to fulfill a goal of ours - to move away from paid professional development for schools/districts and instead to focus on further development of the platform. You can view our announcement for the Storytelling through Coding 2022-23 Grant available to K-12 educators in the US.

If you know of any other grants that synergize with our mission of promoting arts, literacy, and computational thinking - please let us know!

Web Monetization Grant

Our project with web monetization was continuously postponed due to personal events (we wanted to get a dog, but we got a newborn instead - meaning little work got done).

As part of our web monetization grant, we are developing:

  1. Web Monetization for Educators via Coil. This means opening up our lesson plan library so that anyone can view, use, and contribute lesson plan content that can be web monetized. Previously, there have been some universities who have inquired about contributing. Now, we can say yes! And to top it all off - they can web-monetize their content!

  2. Web Monetization for Artists via Coil. Currently all artists are automatically credited when their work is used in a story (page by page and for the full story). We will be developing probabilistic revenue sharing for these artists when a story with their work is viewed.

  3. Help Center. This help center includes articles on web monetization and how to apply to be an Elementari contributor for web monetization. The documentation and source code for our Help Center will be available as open-source material (headless CMS using Nuxt / Nuxt Content).

  4. Elementari Boosts (experiments in Web Monetization - Coil tipping or other). As part of our mission to promote arts, we aim to profit share with our contributors. We have always had profit-sharing in mind since the beginnings of Elementari, and now we are seeing sustainable ways of implementing it thanks to web monetization. We are open to all ideas on how we can easily tip / boost our contributors.

You can read our grant announcement here.

In addition to technical development, we are running art contests, lesson plan contests, a survey targeting educators and their students, round table discussions, and developing web monetization communication slides for educators.

Please share our art contests and contribute any theme ideas you might have.

Interested in how Elementari works?

Here's a quick video that gives a brief overview:

We invite you to try it yourself though. There are no barriers (it's free to get started) for anyone to create, collaborate, code, and publish. You can check out some of these awesome stories:

You can also find a course on Elementari on the web monetized StoryToGo Classroom site.

If you'd like to follow along with creating an interactive story (and listening to some educator stuff), I am holding free webinars on Storytelling through Coding on the following dates:

  1. Sat Oct 15, 2022 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM ET
  2. Sat Nov 12, 2022 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM ET
  3. Sat Dec 3, 2022 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM ET

Community Exchanges!

I'd love to find more ways to collaborate with different organizations. I am also available to help anyone with my expertise in the K12 educational sector.

Also if anyone thinks they have a good blurb or graphics on what is web monetization, coil, etc - please share. I am struggling with explaining things easily to a generic non-techie audience.

Connect with me on social media!
Nicole: Twitter, LinkedIn
Elementari: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn

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