A few years ago, I (Jennifer) was getting ready to do instrument inventory in my band room at my middle school. I had recently found out that the district technology department had gone through the school and “cloned” - essentially wiped out - all of the school computers. I had lost everything including class records, locker check sheet pages, and my entire instrument inventory and repair history. Ugh. The. Worst.
I (sweetly) asked my wonderful husband, Kris, if he would help me re-do the inventory. I didn’t have a district laptop at the time, and my storage room was across the band room from my office. Therefore, we sat on the floor in the hot (read: non-air conditioned in the summer months) room for at least three hours working on this project. We were reading serial numbers, model numbers, and everything else and writing it all on a yellow legal pad. When we were nearing the end, Kris pondered, “Why isn’t there a better way to do this?”
I answered him, “Well, there is a better way, but it costs SO MUCH money; especially since I teach at three different schools every day. I definitely do not have a budget for that.”
We thought about it for a while, and he finally said, “I think that I can build a tool for you and other band directors to make all of this so much easier...and cheaper.”
So we did.
We started to put the idea together at home in Lawrence, Kansas in 2017 at our local library where they have giant, wall-sized, mounted whiteboards. We drew boxes and lines, made lists, erased, argued, discussed, drew some more, color-coordinated, erased, re-drew, argued more, and it all started to come together. We even acquired a large whiteboard for ourselves and mounted it in our garage later!
We told some of our band director friends about our idea, and they all responded positively with lots of excitement for the project. We had a few of them volunteer to test out the early versions of BatonSync and give us feedback about what they liked or didn’t like and what they would like to see added in the future as new features. We have taken all of that feedback into account to develop BatonSync to meet the needs of instrumental, vocal, and general music directors/teachers who are “in the trenches” and doing the teaching and managing.
We have always wanted to develop BatonSync in a way that will be the best to use for directors. We wanted to make a tool that will make the job of being a music director/teacher easier (because directors don’t have the time or patience for something more difficult).
We are so excited to be helping our friends and colleagues in music education to be more efficient at all of the non-music parts of the job, so that we can all have more time for music in our lives!
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