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Feb 22, 2017

Meet the Screencastify Team - Keith Jennings

James Francis

Editor's note: This is the first of many "Meet Our Team" features, in which we'll shine a spotlight on those of us behind the curtain at Screencastify. First up is the man, the myth, the customer support legend: Keith Jennings.

What's your role at Screencastify?

I suppose you can call me a “support specialist”. I'm the guy you come to when you need someone to save the day. I take pride in helping people achieve their goals with Screencastify.

So when someone runs into challenges with their project and decides to write in to Screencastify support, I’m the friendly face behind the words.

Why did you choose to work at Screencastify?

Oh man. Let me start at the beginning. I’m passionate about music and am grateful for the gift given to me - the people generous enough to teach me music. I’m thankful for being taught how to play the saxophone, how to read music, and how to explore the vast world of music. I really wanted to give back to people after me. There’s this huge wonderful world of music and I wanted to share it with the next generation.

So I became a teacher! I went to school, learned how to play all the instruments - flute, clarinet, tuba, trumpet - and eventually got a job in the heart of Chicago at Chicago Public Schools (CPS). I chose to work at CPS because I wanted to give back to those kids who maybe don’t have the greatest opportunity learn music.

Eventually I found Screencastify, which I felt gave me a different type of platform to impact those students on a global level. Not just the inner city students of Chicago, but also those in the suburbs, Southern Illinois, Texas, China and beyond - Screencastify truly has a global impact.

What was your favorite part about working with kids?

Kids are the truest form of ourselves. They live every day with unbridled emotion -  joy, sadness, excitement -  just pure emotion And it rubs off on you. You can’t help but be infected by it.

As adults we often lose sight of our younger selves because of the responsibilities that come with adulthood. But it's the things that interest us as children that we often to this day find the most fulfilling.

So my favorite part of working with kids was experiencing what life was like for them, and being reminded of my own childhood. You almost have to be a kid to connect with them.

Tell us something about you that not many people know.

Not too many people know that practicing languages is a big hobby of mine. Like even yesterday, I was lying in bed before going to sleep and was listening to some Spanish, trying to express what I was hearing at the same time. The languages that I have some proficiency in are French and Spanish, and I’m currently learning Russian...slowly.

What is it about languages that captures you?

It goes back to the beginning of our discussion around music. I enjoy connecting with people on a different level. When you speak with someone in their native tongue, they’re more open with you, and you form a stronger bond. You’re showing them that you’re interested in them.

The more we communicate with each other, the more we understand one another as people, the less strife and pain we’ll have in the world.

What's the best part about working at Screencastify?

I love seeing the wonderful creations people have shared with me over the course of my time helping them. From classroom activities to video game guides to slideshows, it seems people are truly using Screencastify for everything imaginable, which was beyond my wildest of dreams for this software. It reinforces my belief in video as a means of communication and it only makes me more excited for what’s to come.

Any words of wisdom for all the Screencastifiers out there?

Keep putting in the time to craft your recordings with Screencastify because even if your creation touches just one person, it was well worth it in the end. You’ve impacted another life.

Also, if you ever need help, we are always here for you and I would be excited to do what I can to help you achieve your Screencastify goals.

James Francis

As CEO, James leads Screencastify towards its mission of giving every teacher superpowers.