Chapter Six: Cotyledon Productions
In the last ten years, Tom has developed a business dedicated to novel educational offerings on the web. Cicero, the quintessential Cotyledon offering, is a revolutionary platform for teaching politics, history, and civics to middle and high school students. Much of the content for this website was developed by high school students living on the south side of Chicago. With his skills as a teacher and substantial commitment and compassion, Tom worked with these students to develop a multimedia environment that brings to life the history of the Civil Rights movement along with other significant moments in American history.
My father Tom de Boor has included me in a lot of the work of Cotyledon Productions including National Park Service websites, PBS, Cicero, Pet Town, Pet Certification, and NSF. Every year, I attend the PBS kids meetings in Washington, D.C. where we talk about new ways of making PBS better. Two years ago, I went to a National Park Service meeting to help develop sites for kids to learn more about nature and history. I helped build and review a homework help site on Discovery Channel. My father is thinking about building a birding website and takes me out birding often. In short, none of this would be possible without my dad. I’ve enjoyed all of it; I can’t wait for my next job.
— Noah Hermes de Boor, sixth grader
Tom has been a terrifically creative and fun colleague…in a world where those qualities aren’t necessarily taken for granted. He has been a reliable source of expertise and information and a true collaborator; never reluctant to offer up a “crazy idea” that, when he explains it, doesn’t seem so crazy. He is opinionated, but diplomatic and has provided great momentum for our work. And perhaps most importantly, he shares our values and commitments to making the learning experience better for all of us.
— Jeanne Century, Ed.D., Director of Science Education, Research & Evaluation
Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education
University of Chicago