Brittany, tell us a little bit about your background.
I’ve loved learning about history since I was a kid! I always had stacks of books in my room from the library on various topics (Ancient Egypt, Pompeii, Titanic, etc.). When I was in high school, we had a career development class where we were asked, “What do you want to do when you graduate?” I knew that I wanted to go to college, and my plan was to be a historical fiction writer or to be a historical researcher. I just loved learning. I ended up attending Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA, and received my BA in History. Although the initial love of history was always there, it was the passionate educators I had along the way that made me love it even more.
Can you describe what you do for Boom Learning?
I help our team monitor the Boom Marketplace. I keep a lookout for trademark and copyright infringement, as well as for odd behavior. If a resource is reported by a buyer for an issue (factually incorrect, bias, etc.), I investigate it and follow up with the seller to correct the resource. I also help monitor to make sure resources do not contain advertisements. Keeping our legal FAQs updated is another part of my job, and I make sure sellers are informed of best practices.
What is the Boom Marketplace exactly?
The Boom Marketplace is where our publishers list their creations! We have so many talented creators that post premium (and free!) content for other Boom teachers to purchase. Some publishers sell full-time, whereas others use the Boom Marketplace as passive income. If you’re already making fun decks to use with your own students, take a chance and list them in the Marketplace! We’re always looking for creative and inspiring content!
Can you explain the policies you use to evaluate content? Why would something be taken down?
There are a few reasons why a resource might be pulled from our Marketplace. If a resource has copyright or trademark infringement (or contains an advertisement), the resource is pulled so that the creator can make the necessary corrections. If a seller isn’t sure why the resource was removed, they can always respond to the automated email that comes with the takedown notice. Our legal team will always follow up. If we have a buyer reach out to us that material in a resource is factually inaccurate, we review the material, verify that the buyer is correct, and then reach out to the creator to ask them to make the corrections. This is the same process we use for materials that are reported for implicit (or explicit) bias. Creators will always receive an automated email if a resource was removed, and we believe in giving second chances to correct materials.
What about religious content? Is that allowed?
Yes! Religious content is definitely allowed. It’s evaluated the same way other content on the site is.
What are teachers allowed to publish to their School Store or private libraries?
If you’re a creator that is publishing content to your School Store, you should always check in with your admin that it’s appropriate content and aligns with your school’s standards. The School Store is a great way for teachers to grab lessons created by their colleagues, and the resources are free to them! It’s an easier way to share self-created decks with each other, as some schools have a dedicated staff member that creates lessons for others to use.
What is Boom Learning’s philosophy when it comes to historical content?
For historical content, we ask that it’s factually correct and free from bias. Creators should also make sure that historical resources are tagged for the appropriate grade levels (3rd graders don’t learn about historical events the same way a senior in high school would). If you’re creating a history resource that addresses a more sensitive topic or event, you should give buyers a warning about that in your description. Buyers are expected to review materials privately before they use them, to ensure that the material is suitable for their students.
What about science?
Same goes for science!
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I don’t know that I can pick a favorite! I love that each day, I get to work with a team that is positive and passionate about supporting educators and their students (as well as supporting each other). On the customer side, I’m constantly amazed by the creativity that our users have when making resources. It’s always fun to browse through the Marketplace to see what new resources have popped up.
How does a publisher get featured within the Boom Marketplace?
We have a form where our publishers can apply to be featured! We do ask that users only submit once per month (we’re a small team, so it takes us time to comb through everyone’s submissions). Our team also posts on our dedicated Publisher’s Facebook page when we’re looking for more specific content like holidays and theme weeks.
How can a teacher find great Boom Cards?
The best way to find relevant materials is by using the search filters in the Marketplace. Refining your search will help narrow down more relevant resources for you. Buyers can filter by grade level and subject (most subjects also have sub-subjects) on the left-hand side. Once they’ve set those guidelines, they can further filter by relevance, newest first, oldest first, or price. Also, if you’ve found great resources from a creator in the past, make sure to follow their store! Users can filter the Marketplace to see content from creators they follow.
What are some of your favorite Boom Cards?
Well, my capstone project for my major was “Diplomacy and Trade in Late Bronze Age Mesopotamia and Egypt,” so I love seeing resources about the Ancient World. I think this deck by Maple and Math is such a great way to quiz vocabulary terms for Mesopotamia. Another store, A Social Studies Life, also has some really great resources.
What trends do you see in the education industry?
I’ve seen an increase in personalization. We also have a lot of creators that are adding audio to their resources to help support learners. Auditory instructions can be so important in helping non-readers, as well as ESL learners. We recently had a webinar on creating Boom Cards with audio (you can find it here!).