Press Release: New Ed Tech Platform Recognizes Extensive Contributions Professors Make to Higher Education

MADISON, WI:  Prof2Prof announces a new cloud-based platform for the higher education community, designed to support a repository of tools and resources created by academics around the globe.  The platform is the brainchild of Kristen Slack, PhD, a Professor of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

“The mission of Prof2Prof is to recognize a broad range of academic professionals and the many contributions they make, across and for the higher education arena,” states CEO & Founder, Kristen Slack.  “Academics are constantly creating intellectual products, many of which do not get formally published in the traditional sense. What matters most in academia is that your knowledge contributions make an impact. Prof2Prof facilitates a broader impact by enabling faculty around the world to find and use your tools and strategies.”  Site members can set the terms of use for their resources, and most ask only that they receive attribution when their items are used by other academics.

Teaching faculty, in general, create an enormous amount of content for the classroom, which Slack views as a form of scholarship influenced by disciplinary training and expertise. “A relatively small percentage of higher education faculty conduct research, but most faculty teach.  I wanted to create a platform that elevated teaching contributions to higher education on par with research, and that recognized the synergy between teaching and research,” states Slack.

The “professor-centric” platform allows members to easily create and manage a professional profile, as well as a broad range of resources related to research, teaching, higher education administration, and the delivery of student support services.  Slack reports that “it’s been incredibly rewarding to see the resources our members have shared, and to connect with scholars doing innovative work.”  Site members have contributed items such as class assignments, group exercises, syllabi, textbook information, videos, and podcasts, in addition to research and administrative tools.

“Faculty represent the start of the value chain in higher education, in that they are typically the ones creating the tools and strategies for helping students learn,” says Slack.  “The resources shared on Prof2Prof contribute to the growing trend of ‘open access’ content,” which embraces the creation and use of free and low-cost educational materials.  Slack explains, “In countless conversations with faculty over the years, I have found that most are willing to share their materials, and recognize that they have benefited from resources shared by their colleagues.” “After all,” says Slack, “the whole reason our jobs exist is to educate students.  I believe we get better at this by learning from the best examples of our peers, with continuous improvement as our goal.”

Slack sees Prof2Prof as a higher education ecosystem, where highly relevant resources are more discoverable and networks and collaborations more easily established and maintained.  Slack was especially motivated to represent the contributions made to academia by those more tenuously tied to higher education institutions, such as adjunct faculty, who may teach multiple courses on short notice, sometimes across more than one institution.  Having a central place to maintain a professional presence and a time-saving tool for finding useful course material is particularly important for this segment of the academic workforce.

Since going live in August 2017, the membership has increased steadily, and includes participants from multiple countries across six continents.  Members must be academic professionals affiliated with a higher education institution, doctoral students, or emeritus professors.  The platform is free to individual members who can network and share resources with academics within and across disciplines and higher education institutions.  Over the course of 2018, more features are planned that will further enable resource-sharing and academic networking in unprecedented ways.

Prof2Prof received some of its initial funding from Doyenne, a Madison, Wisconsin-based organization that supports women-owned businesses. Slack is part of a year-long accelerator program offered by Doyenne.  Additional organizational support was provided by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation’s Upstart Program for entrepreneurs, and the Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

CONTACT:  Kristen Slack, 888-966-9727, (requests email for first contact)