Happy (Fiscal) New Year!

Happy (Fiscal) New Year! I am Spenser Mix, COO of Thinking Nation. We have grown significantly this past year in many ways. I am taking this moment to reflect on some of our larger accomplishments, none of which would be possible without our dedicated staff. Not only has our team grown in size, but through our shared efforts we have also grown closer.

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AI IS HERE!!! The team pulled together and revolutionized our platform in ways previously thought unimaginable. AI has allowed us to offer our services instantly and with more fidelity. In 2020, when earning my MBA, I spoke with an engineer from Amazon about an idea to automate essay grading through AI. I was told AI should not be used in this capacity because (in their limited opinion) it eliminates the human aspect of education. Four short years later, here we are integrating that original idea. Today we understand that AI has the potential to enhance the human experience for teachers instead of depleting it. These tools are in place to lighten teachers’ workload, not eliminate them. As a former teacher, I understand how grading papers on the weekend drained me as a professional and made me a less effective teacher during the week. Thinking Nation embraces these tools so teachers everywhere can be their best selves in the classroom and spend more time living their teaching passions. This is only the beginning of our AI capabilities. Many more projects are soon underway!

Another large accomplishment for us last year was the company rebrand. After many attempts to curate the perfect depiction of Thinking Nation, the leadership team unanimously adopted this new design. The colors are engaging but not abrasive. The logo is simple yet impactful. What do you see first when looking at our logo? Do you only notice the two comment bubbles forming a “T”? Or does your artistic eye notice the “N” formed through the negative space between the two bubbles? The logo is meant to represent the ongoing civil discourse that is necessary to have an informed and active citizenry. A continued dialogue where opposing views can debate for the betterment of democracy. Needless to say, we love our new logo and its embodiment of our nonprofit mission, to cultivate thinking citizens. 

As a side project to this rebrand, we commissioned the creation of historical thinking icons. These icons are basic, yet thought-provoking. Just like the rest of our rebrand, this careful balance of meaning and impact is perfectly executed through these icons. They are quickly becoming a central part of our curriculum and soon to become iconic in their own right. This year we plan to incorporate these icons into student portfolios providing a visually pleasing and effective way for teachers to demonstrate student mastery of historical thinking skills. AI will become central to the creation and implementation of these portfolios. 

The achievements of 2023 are quickly becoming the foundations for 2024’s goals. The best is yet to come!