We’re excited and humbled to share that Labster was recently featured in Forbes and Newsweek as one of the companies that “stepped up to help” during the COVID-19 pandemic. In early March 2020, as the crisis began to unfold and in-person classes could no longer be held, we decided to make access available to Labster’s online science labs for individual teachers, departments, and entire school systems at deeply discounted rates, with free access options available for high schools.
Thousands of you took us up on our offer. Almost overnight, students transitioned from traditional science classes to teacher-led online science courses with Labster virtual labs for learning biology, chemistry, microbiology, genetics, organic chemistry, physics, ecology, and more at both the college and high school levels.
Our Key Takeaways:
Responding to this unforeseen crisis required Labster to stretch and grow in new ways. While many schools are on summer break, we’re reflecting on our own key learnings so we can better prepare ourselves to support students, educators, and institutions for the semester to come.
Stay focused on educators
Over the past few months, we’ve set up more than 20,000 teachers and 1 million students with Labster access. That’s more students and teachers than we’ve ever supported at one time before. We’re prioritizing access to our science simulations, staying focused on making the greatest possible difference to students and educators. This has been both exhausting and inspiring, just as it has for all the educators who transformed their teaching approach almost overnight.
We soon discovered our large number of new customers had needs that we couldn’t solve with our current approach. We made the bold decision to rapidly refocus our entire organization on expanding access to as many schools and learners as possible.
- We invested in new, faster onboarding processes, new ways to access simulations, and new tools like live chat to encourage more direct communication between our scientific experts and our users.
- We reimagined our approach to Support by improving user guides and expanding our team around the world.
- We updated and improved over 70 simulations, about half of the simulations in our catalog, with improvements to individual simulations’ content and usability as well as technical upgrades such as added compatibility for laptops with lower memory capacity (eg most Chromebooks).
This period of intense growth has changed us, for the better. Our growth will continue, and we will continue to communicate with you about the ways we are improving your Labster experience.
Keep your vision alive
Increasing access to our online science simulations was in alignment with our mission “to empower the next generation of scientists to change the world.” That isn’t a slogan we came up with overnight or as a result of the pandemic; it’s been at the heart of every choice we’ve made since the beginning. And we believe that’s how we were able to make sweeping changes so quickly.
Consciously working according to our mission and vision, and sharing it as we refocused our team, meant we could rely on everyone at Labster to understand the “why” behind decisions. This expanded our capacity to mobilize every part of our organization to onboard and support educators and students as quickly as possible.
We’re always aiming to improve students’ learning outcomes. To do that, we’re always seeking to improve our products and our organization. Like our students, we’ll try new things, fail fast, and keep learning. We are always looking to partner with educators, so please reach out to us with any feedback or suggestions – or if you’re willing to help!