Family Engagement Lab

Messaging Platform

Stabilized, improved, and scaled two-way messaging platform to meet demand during COVID-19 pandemic.


Never did Family Engagement Lab imagine the demand that would be created for its two-way SMS communication platform until the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world in March 2020. FASTalk automatically sends instructional support messages to students’ caregivers in their preferred language, synchronized to coincide with the content being taught in the classroom each week. Rapidly, every parent became at home instructional assistants and needed a tool like FASTalk to know how best to support their child’s learning. However, the platform— having just launched two years prior— wasn’t ready for the overnight demand being placed on it. Family Engagement Lab needed a partner that could help them fortify and scale their platform to meet demand and help bring a product strategy into focus for the future.


We immediately got started stabilizing and addressing FASTalk’s scalability. We evaluated and implemented other enhancements and fixes to improve usability and make it compliant with emerging data privacy and security requirements. In addition, we began to research and analyze the technical architecture of the platform to identify a suitable roadmap for the next iteration of the service. We then worked through a product definition and discovery process to determine the core features, use cases, and workflows of a mobile interface for educators to use instead of the FASTalk website. Within a year, we built and launched the prototype for piloting with schools. Even though student learning is back in schools, districts (and parents) still value the automated instructional communication that helps them understand how best to support their child’s learning.



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