Head of Products
Connecting innovation and education to dramatically transform the way students learn, LEAP Innovations® leads the nation in developing and scaling personalized learning practices, technology and innovations in classrooms throughout the U.S. Located at 1871, Chicago’s premier incubator for technology and entrepreneurship, LEAP is quickly positioning Chicago as the national hub for education innovation. LEAP has also launched the country's most comprehensive personalized learning framework, as well as the first survey tools to measure practice in the classroom.
Sponsored by major foundations and donors, LEAP currently works with over 90 schools across the Chicagoland area, improving the lives of thousands of students. Winner of the 2016 Chicago Innovation Award for social innovation, LEAP Innovations is poised to increase reach and impact by deploying thought leadership, services and tools across the country.
The mission of LEAP Innovations is to create access to equitable, high-quality personalized learning experiences for all learners, ultimately helping each one to reach their full potential. LEAP operates at the intersection of educators and edtech innovators—researching and implementing personalized practices and tools.
LEAP is defining and articulating the teacher practices that best meet individual student needs; determining the school- and classroom-level models that best personalize learning; and constructing the research methods and tools to best evaluate the impact of personalized learning and edtech programs on student achievement. Similarly, from the edtech side, LEAP aims to help edtech companies utilize LEAP’s research and educator feedback to create tools that are more aligned with teacher and student needs.
LEAP has built a scaffolded trajectory of programming to accomplish these goals, including the LEAP Pilot Network, in which school teams select, pilot and evaluate personalized learning technologies and practices within individual classrooms, as well as whole-school redesign programs, in which school teams design transformative, school-wide personalized learning models.
- Every person deserves the chance to reach his or her potential
- Quality education should be available to everyone: anytime, anywhere
- Innovation can transform teaching and learning
- The private and public sectors must collaborate to advance education and keep our country competitive
- The time is now.
VISION FOR THE FUTURE
The team at LEAP envisions a future in which there are no boundaries to learning – a future in which each and every student’s learning experiences in and out of school create a seamless, accredited, unique pathway that is tailored to that student’s needs, strengths, interests and limitless ambitions.
Over the next five years, LEAP will work toward this vision in two key ways:
Regional Expansion: LEAP will strengthen its impact by expanding its local work, serving an additional 165,000 students at 325 schools and developing additional focus areas such as early childhood, after school and juvenile justice.
National Impact: Through its work in Chicago, home to the third largest school district in the country, LEAP will build the foundation of tools, resources and knowledge to scale its personalized learning work across the country. These tools and resources include the LEAP Learning Framework, which defines and provides strategies for the implementation of personalized learning, and the LEAP Personalized Learning Surveys, which measure the degree of personalization in a learning environment and are now being used across 11 states. Additionally, LEAP will conduct rigorous research to aggregate and analyze data on teacher practice, student outcomes and product efficacy.
OVERVIEW OF THE ROLE
The LEAP Head of Products (HP) will be an accomplished general manager who will be responsible for overseeing development of a suite of technology-enabled products that allows LEAP to scale its innovative model nationwide. The HP is responsible for product vision, product strategy, product design, and the delivery of customer centric solutions. This individual will partner closely with LEAP’s professional development team and Chief Marketing Officer to codify the current innovative practices, translate them into a virtual environment, and successfully bring them to the K-12 education market. Success for the HP is defined as scaling LEAP’s model using technology and generating a sustainable revenue stream that will eventually reduce/eliminate LEAP’s dependence on philanthropic funding.
Product Roadmap & Development
- Build the roadmap for developing and launching the suite of products and align stakeholders around innovative product suite
- Evaluate, select, and manage external vendors (domestic and overseas) who will build the technology platform
- Lead a regular process for gathering input from internal and external subject matter experts to prioritize product requirements
- Collaborate with the Chicago Learning Design team to translate and package the LEAP Professional Development (PD) model for the scalable environment and to manage ongoing product development
- Conduct market research through an external vendor to deeply understand the needs of the buyers and users of the product
- Develop deep expertise on the competitive set and how LEAP should be positioned vis-à-vis current market leaders/offerings
- Cultivate deep expertise on the virtual learning environment to ensure LEAP’s platform reflects cutting edge models for engaging adult learners
- Map out the customer journey and ensure that the product addresses needs as they emerge
- Recommend the pricing models for different tiers of usage and conduct market testing on their attractiveness
- Partner with the CMO and external vendors to brand the product and develop the supporting collateral
- Develop the launch strategy and refine revenue projections based on continual market testing and refinement
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
The ideal candidate will be a proven leader with 10+ years of experience as a Director of Product or similar, product and general management responsibilities, oversight of a high performing team, and experience in bringing a new product to market. She/he will have:
- A bachelor’s degree, MBA or equivalent is preferred
- Demonstrated experience with development and deployment of a learning product to at least .5 million active users
- An understanding of the adult e-learning marketplace and/or the market for K-12 professional development
- Successfully integrated and deployed a research-based solution related to educational technology at scale, and translating research-based solutions into successful commercial products
- Produced large-scale products that made a significant demonstrable impact on student learning
- Demonstrated experience developing greenfield products from original product concept through successful market deployment
- Extensive experience in the K-12 and/or postsecondary education markets, including conducting market and competitive analyses, executing go-to-market plans, and supporting sales/business development with school districts, states, and colleges/universities
- Well-versed in Agile and Scrum methodologies
- Success in change management and maintaining stability during times of rapid growth, ambiguity, and uncertainty
- Ability to rapidly shift altitudes from strategic to executional and to proactively identify and remove obstacles
- Proven ability to foster a healthy organizational culture, to encourage teamwork and collaboration, to make it safe to learn, and to build a sense of community and pride
- A passion for education as demonstrated through academic study, volunteerism, or work in public sector roles, and a commitment to LEAP’s mission
- A positive outlook and appreciation for working in a dynamic, results-oriented environment in which expectations are high for both the quality and speed of work
Compensation: Commensurate with experience. Excellent health benefits, 403(b) plan, group life insurance and generous PTO.
Start Date: Position currently available.