Get 24/7 Access to Tutors via Twilio-powered Wonder-Space Mobile

Emmie ChangWonder-Space Mobile (WSM) focuses on developing education-based mobile applications for grades K-12. WSM develops all content in house and is focused on the Android platform for the 2011-2012 academic year. Currently, they are contracted in Texas and Michigan to work with low performing schools to improve their academic skill levels. Students access the content via web and Android devices that either WSM or the school district provides.

Wonder-Space MobileThe Wonder-Space Mobile program gives students access to tutoring services 24/7, including the ability to meet a tutor one on one. What’s unique about the program is that when students complete their program, they get to keep their cell phone through the end of summer and get unlimited use of Lesson Line, which gives students access to pre-recorded lessons taught using an engaging story line.

Wonder-Space was founded in 2002 by Emmie Chang and Josefa Marquez, two graduates from Rice University’s Electrical Engineering Program, with the ambition to teach kids about engineering principles in a fun, engaging environment. We spoke with Emmie about Wonder-Space and their Twilio integration with their latest project, Wonder-Space Mobile.

Can you describe how you’re using Twilio and Force.com? Why did you choose to build on these platforms?

For Force.com, we wanted a single platform that could provide all aspects of running our business including invoicing, hosting lesson content, building an interface for our Android app, maintaining our student and staff records, and tracking all interactions. Force.com and Salesforce.com was well suited for our needs. We used Twilio because it was a one-stop shop for both voice and SMS notifications. Twilio provides a core platform for our emerging mobile strategy, starting with SMS and evolving to a potential deeper use case with Twilio Client.

Tell us about the Twilio implementation: how long did it take? Were there any challenges you faced? 

The whole Twilio part was built in a matter of days. We used both internal and third party developers sourced from Twilio’s developer gallery and Twilio’s oDesk group. We were able to build the standalone solution with Twilio very quickly, and then integrate the whole thing with Salesforce.com using API callbacks with custom notification objects.

What advice do you have for other companies getting started with Twilio?

Use the existing resources available! We were able to repurpose a lot of the code found in Twilio’s quickstart guides. There’s also tons of great stuff on Force.com’s developer forums and GitHub.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Emmie! If you’d like to learn more about Wonder-Space and their Supplemental Education Services, be sure to visit their website or shoot them an email.