There were any number of approaches Jessup could have started to tackle the issue.
He started with technology. And he felt certain of the solution: equip classrooms with computers.
Jessup worked with the Knight Foundation to build a U.S enterprise for One Laptop per Child, an international organization that provides one-to-one devices to kids. He implemented the program with resounding success in Miami.
He moved to Charlotte and implemented the same program in seven of nine West Charlotte schools in Project Lift.
The opportunity to do so was both exciting and challenging. As much as the devices were critical components for math, reading interventions or learning incentives, there was so much more the technology could be used for.
“I realized that the way the devices were being used still looked a lot different to how I remember using technology [as a kid in school],” Jessup recalls. “[We weren’t] really getting down to the idea of creating or building or exploring or self-directed exploration.”
The computers were means by which to consume content versus create it. That bothered Jessup.
While still working as a U.S. Project Manager with One Laptop per Child, Jessup began dreaming of more for the classroom. He was then asked point blank how successful he felt the project was and what success would look like moving forward.