The ELTjam Product Development Collection

What goes into making a successful digital product? This series explores some of the principles of good product management and shares examples and case studies from across the world of ELT.

Developing an ELT product based on machine learning: Write & Improve

We believe that artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and natural language processing are going to have a massive impact on ELT, and probably more rapidly than many might expect. A fascinating example of this is a new product from Cambridge called Write & Improve, which aims to provide automated help with writing. Diane Nicholls is one of the team behind the product, and we asked her to tell us more about it. In this in-depth interview, Diane talks about how the system works and, perhaps even more interestingly, how it was developed and what was learned in the process. We think it encapsulates a lot of where ELT is heading – both in what the product itself is trying to do, but also in the way the project has brought together the worlds of ELT, academic research and technology in a way we haven’t seen before.

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Your digital product is never finished. (Until it has to be)

We’ve always believed that a digital product is never finished – it should always be evolving and improving in response to user needs and changing technology. But a project we’re currently working on in Brazil has challenged that assumption, and taught us valuable lessons about how working within strict limitations can improve everything you do.

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Grassroots language technology

In an update of a post from @muranava’s excellent EFLNotes blog, Mike Boyle, ELT author and editor, talks about why learning to code and taking on technology projects to help language learners is a career boost for EFL teachers and materials writers.

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Applying the Pareto Principle to ELT Publishing

The acronym MVP, or Minimum Viable Product, seems to be popping up in conversations with ELT publishers all over the place right now; and that’s odd, because up until about 2013, I’d never heard a publisher mention it. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, an MVP is a tactic used in product development to gauge customer interest in a new product or product feature. The idea is that you don’t build the whole thing; you just build enough to see whether people might be interested in what you’re proposing. What many people seem to actually be doing with their MVP is applying the Pareto Principle. Otherwise known as the 80–20 rule

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Contact us

Got a suggestion for a post to add to this collection? Or maybe you’d like to write a guest post? We’d love to hear from you.

We develop products with many of the biggest names in ELT, including most of the major publishers. If you’d like us to help you develop digital products, let’s talk.

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Other collections

Publishing

How are publishers responding to the digital revolution? What should they be doing?

New ways of working

Lean, agile, kanban, scrum and how they can be used in ELT. Productivity tools and tips.

Disruption

'Disruption' and 'disruptive innovation' are a core part of the high-tech startup and EdTech lexicon. What do they mean for ELT?

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