Career Path, CEO and Founder of 7Potato

Posted by Ronald | June 24, 2014  |  No Comment

Laura James is the former children’s TV producer and creator of Together Time, an app for parents and educators that provides activities to promote learning. James is also the CEO and founder of 7Potato, the new online activity library for kids, parents and educators. An excerpt of the interview with James follows:

What career path led to your profession, CEO and Founder, 7Potato?

My career to enter digital was a long and winding road. I do have some partial Early Childhood Education training and child psychology from when I studied American Sign Language to work with deaf children. However, I began to get so busy as a children’s television producer and director, I had to put that on the back burner. I helped launch a preschool network in Canada called “Treehouse TV.” When I saw the industry was viewing less of television and more online, I took a post-grad in Interactive Digital Media and created the “Together Time” app. It’s the app that really started the momentum and led to 7Potato.

What educational background and/or professional training are essential for this profession?

 As a CEO and founder, it’s really helpful to have a varied background and at least some business basics since you do everything yourself until the world realizes that what you are creating is amazing. I really enjoyed reading the Steve Jobs biography as it is inspiring to hear that most people had no idea what he was trying to do and he could envision it long before the market was ready for it.

What influenced you to pursue a career in your profession?

I think education technology is truly the most important focus for the future of our world. If you have an internet connection (we need to address this for those in the world who still don’t), you can learn almost anything your heart desires. Children are becoming highly resourceful at a young age, and they have access to all sorts of educational support materials. Nothing will ever replace the one-on-one connection of teacher and student, but it’s really great to see all the products that help make a teachers’ job simpler, clearer or more efficient.

What professional, civic or community organization do you belong?

I have affiliation with MaRS Commons – it’s a government program in Ontario, Canada for entrepreneurs.

What advice do you give to students who desire to become an entrepreneur or founder of their own company?

My advice for those wanting to found a company of their own is to focus on the goal or “keep your eyes on the prize.” All of the steps to get there will work as planned if you focus on the goal. You may find many, many obstacles, as well as people saying you can’t do it.  As long as you have your eyes on the end goal, you will be able to tweak and make adjustments to get to the end result. If you, instead, focus on the little issues along the way, you will be pulled in too many directions and begin to lose your momentum.

Describe how students, parents, educators, etc. can use the online library of 7Potato?

Play has long been underrated as an educational tool. People forget that the majority of our skills as a functional human being came from our youth such as listening, facial/emotional recognition, listening, speaking, walking, running, fine-motor and gross-motor skills. All mammals learn through play; it is essential in their development. A momma bear wouldn’t teach a cub how to climb the highest tree but talking about it (even if they could). She role models what it looks like to change your center of gravity and grab a tree and pull up. Our hope is that parents will use the site to remember how to play again.

To re-connect with the type learning that can only happen in its due time when a child is developmentally ready (i.e. you don’t teach marbles to a 1 year old – since they don’t have the fine-motor skills developed to master it – but you can build the foundation of those skills with finger plays that get those hands moving (fine-motor and gross-motor) and touching “head and shoulders, knees and toes, eyes, ears, mouth and nose” (spacial and coordination). Parents will be able to make the connections and see how they can better support learning though play to prepare their child for life. Lucky for us, educators are already so well trained and skilled at doing this. What we hope they will gain, is a community to share all that is available to them in one, easily accessible, place.

Dr. Ronald Holmes is the author of six books, “Education Questions to be Answered,” “Current Issues and Answers in Education,”  “How to Eradicate Hazing,” “Professional Career Paths” “Your Answers to Education Questions” and “How to revitalize the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.” He is publisher of “The Holmes Education Post,” an education focused Internet newspaper.  Holmes is a former teacher, school administrator and district superintendent. He can be reached at rwh@theholmeseducationpost.com.

 

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