The Wellington School develops an app to make feedback more easily given and received; unused Port Columbus Terminal and Administration Building tapped to become innovation center.

Launch Pad: PeerView Makes Feedback More Accessible

As the school year came to a close this spring, The Wellington School finished its second year using an in-house app that's out to improve teaching through frequent peer reviews and timely feedback. The app, PeerView, allows teachers to give feedback to peers instantly.

The app—developed by John Kruzan, director of technology, and Jeff Terwin, assistant head of school and head of upper school—came from a desire to improve student engagement.

Though the app has been used only by Wellington teachers, that is about to change. This summer, PeerView will release its beta version after receiving interest from schools in California, Missouri and Florida.

“As far as monetizing (the app), that all depends on the market. You know, if the market proves to be quite interested, then yes, we might monetize it,” Kruzan says. And a package deal might make the app more marketable.

“We have another tool that we've been working on that we call the Wellington Engagement Index, which has been getting quite a bit of traction with other schools on ways to measure student engagement. This is all part of an attempt to perhaps create a suite of tools that would be useful for other schools,” Kruzan says.

Outside of marketability within the academic sphere, both Kruzan and Terwin recognize that the app has potential to streamline peer review in the corporate world.

Tech at the Terminal

Plans could be in the mix for a symbol of innovation to turn into a nesting ground for new innovators.

The original Port Columbus Terminal and Administration Building, which dates back to 1929, sits unused after a recent roof replacement and interior tear-out. Paul Proffitt, chair of SunDown Foundation, looks to change that with a funding campaign to convert the property into a business development center and an interactive museum that will pay tribute to Columbus' aviation innovation.

The campaign is out to raise $800,000 with a stretch goal of $1.8 million. Supporters raised about $120,000 by mid-June; the campaign will end in April 2018.

According to Proffitt, the development center would replicate business incubators of the late 1990s, which he says were “spaces where a company would come in, get access to a ton of resources to help grow their business, then within three to five years a company graduates outside of that business incubator.”

Within that model, Proffitt would cater to specialized startups to honor the building's history and location.

“Our main focus is going to be attracting startups that are in the transportation/logistics/aerospace areas. So really, these startups can potentially be the next NetJets, the next Spirit Aeronautics or the next Lane Aviation. Those all grew up around the airport to begin with,” Proffitt says.

Campaign information is available on sundownrundown.org.