Boom Learning is excited to introduce you to Jewel Pastor, the remarkable STEM publisher behind Jewel’s School Gems. With Jewel’s expertise and passion, learning becomes an incredible adventure! She creates educational resources that make STEM education fun and memorable.
What’s your background, and how did you get started in education?
I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education back in the Philippines in 2003. I taught high school students there for six years before I had the opportunity to move to Australia in 2009. I have been teaching in Melbourne ever since.
What’s your favorite memory from your time as an educator?
I have many but my most favorite would be my last three years in the Philippines as I had a lot of fun teaching the best and the brightest in the country back then.
How did you first hear about Boom Cards?
I first heard of Boom Cards in 2020 during the start of the pandemic. Being an online resource seller, I was a part of various Facebook groups, and a lot of sellers were talking about creating and selling their digital task cards on the Boom Learning platform. I decided to give it a go, and the rest was history.
How has your understanding of “online learning” evolved in recent years?
Before the pandemic, my idea of “online learning” was limited to teaching using a platform like Zoom or Teams. However, teaching during the pandemic opened my eyes to a lot of other resources available out there to make “online learning” happen, and that included the use of Boom Cards.
How did Boom Learning change the way you were thinking about technology in the classroom?
Before Boom Cards, I created and used a lot of PowerPoint and QR Code resources; however, Boom Learning made it possible for me to immerse myself more in gamification (increasing student engagement and learning by including game-like elements in learning) in the classroom.
When did you realize that you might be really good at designing curriculum with Boom Cards?
I realized that I might be really good at designing curriculum with Boom Cards right after I made my first digital escape room. The process was complicated and tedious, but I think the result was engaging and worth all the effort!
Who is your audience when you design new decks?
I usually create with a K-2 or 3-5 audience in mind when I design my decks. It is important to me that my decks are easy to use, but they also have to be a lot of fun for my audience.
Can you describe the sequence of events that led to you becoming a successful publisher?
After hearing about Boom Cards in several Facebook groups I’m a member of, I bought a couple of courses on creating decks. I also asked a good friend of mine to teach me her process in creating them and posting them on other platforms. To be honest, I was hooked right away and started to create decks often. I created a variety of decks mostly for social studies, science, and math. I observed which ones sold more often, and I just created more of those that were selling. I figured teachers need them the most.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get noticed as a publisher on Boom Learning?
Make sure that the decks you create are accurate, visually attractive, and easy to use by both teacher and students. Also, create different versions of one type of deck and bundle! Teachers love a good bargain on high quality resources.
What was the biggest surprise you’ve had while making and selling Boom Cards?
I was surprised that some teachers don’t have time to read deck descriptions thoroughly; hence, the importance of decks being easy enough to figure out.
What trends in EdTech do you find most interesting or exciting?
I’m interested in Artificial Intelligence and how it can help students learn better through my products.
What are some opportunities you see for new publishers that are just getting started?
For new publishers, I think it’s important to find a niche and become an expert in it. Also, I think it’s a natural tendency by newer publishers to try and see what decks other sellers are making and try to duplicate their success, but it’s important to develop a signature look and create decks that are hard to replicate by others.
Can you really make money from selling Boom Cards?
Yes. I’ve just checked how much I made since 2020, and I’d say it’s a pleasant surprise!
Have you always considered yourself to be an entrepreneur?
Yes. I was raised by parents who were entrepreneurs themselves, so I guess it was just natural that I was trying to build businesses since I was a child. I never thought I’d get back to it after college, but after having my first child in 2014 and realizing that I’d need to augment my income, I decided to work more consistently on my store in another platform. I saw an increase year-over-year and that only motivated me to work harder and explore more options, like the Boom Learning platform, as an entrepreneur.
Any last words of wisdom?
This might sound cliché, but comparison is definitely a thief of joy. Focus on your own entrepreneurial journey. Enjoy the challenges and successes that you encounter along the way.
Don’t miss out on the chance to elevate your STEM and Science curriculum with Jewel’s School Gems, our Publisher of the Month! Check out her amazing store, and transform your classroom into a STEM-tastic setting today.