According to TechCrunch a new mobile application joined the family of 500 Startups funded companies. If I am not mistaken, Stickery is already the second math learning application Dave McClure and his team invested in, MotionMath being the first.
Other investors to the $325K seed round include Google Ventures and international investors.
What both Stickery and MathMotion have in common is a clear focus on data in order to support parents and eventually teachers in better understanding where a kid might struggle and need help. In their own words, Stickery wants
… to get [children] out of the “euphoria” phase of sensory stimulation into the “eureka” phase of intellectual discovery.
Education Elements is a startup in the blended learning space. The aim of the startup is to make personalized and blended instruction easier and more cost-effective for schools and students.
The startup was founded by education technologist Anthony Kim in 2010 based on his believe that technology could enable school to strengthen instruction and help them to streamline their operations.
The approach Education Elements takes is to create custom blended solutions through its “Hybrid Learning Management System” that meet the needs of the schools and to work together with the principals and teachers to embed online content and data into the daily instruction.
Current clients of Education Elements include KIPP LA, Mission Dolores Academy, IDEA Public Schools, and Alliance College-Ready Public Schools.
In a project with KIPP LA that took place last year, Education Elements created a blended learning model that raised the reading at a proficient level from just 9% of the school’s kindergarten students to 96% at the end of the year.
My latest post at KirstenWinkler.com was about the devaluation of handwriting in schools though this skill has important ties to creativity and it is a part of our identity.
Hence I was stoked to see this Kickstarter project of PointScribe. Interestingly, the company have already been working on the product for a couple of years and they started with Windows devices around 2005 already, so fwell before the day touch screen devices became popular thanks to the launch of the first iPhone in 2007.
In the Kickstarter promo video Kevin Maher, the developer of PointScribe makes an interesting point. Since the stone age we might have changed our writing tools but never the way we teach handwriting. If you think about it, the process of teaching handwriting is pretty inefficient as the teachers constantly need to interact with the student.
PointScribe teaches children to write through a combination of games, animation and automatic feedback based on the performance. Children can learn on their own for the first time without the need of a teacher. The only time a teacher / parent needs to be involved is probably at the beginning to explain how the system works. PointScribe also teaches cursive.
PointScribe is pledging for $32,500 to port the product to Apple platforms including Mac and iOS devices. This should be something of interest for my educator following and you can actively support the project at Kickstarter.
BetterLesson, a startup in the K12 space that provides lesson plans for teachers and school districts attracted an investment of $1.6 million from a group of investors according to TechCrunch.
The business itself is explained rather quickly. Teachers always want and need input on how to create lessons as much as they’re looking for materials online. Even though, I’d argue that there are plenty of resource sites out there, not to forget the teacher networks in which they share their best resources with colleages, I can, however, see the success of such a platform as BetterLesson, particularly when it provides quick, easy and organized access to quality sources.
BetterLesson follows a typical freemium business model. Whereas most of the platform is accessible for free, those schools or districts that want a customized experience pay a fee for the so called premium features such as networks the service provides. The number of those schools has grown to 200 within a year.
BetterLesson prides itself to have collected hundreds of thousands of lesson plans so far. The new money will be invested for customer acquisition, hires and, of course, building the platform further.
Teagueduino is a great example of an entertaining way to teach and learn 21st century skills like coding and embedded development. You learn by building light-enabled alarm clocks and other fun projects even if up to now you cannot program a VCR.
The Teagueduino set consists of a variety of building blocks. The center piece is the open source electronic board in which you can plug in different modules like a speaker, lights, propeller and much more. The user interface then lets you bring your project to live with a single line of code in real time.
If you pledge $160 you will receive a full Teagueduino kit containing:
Each board has 5 inputs and 5 outputs, and a full kit comes with a variety of each (knobs, buttons, speakers, lights, servos, and more). These can be easily combined in countless ways and programmed using the Teagueduino software and then shared with the community to use and build on.
1 Teagueduino main board with Teensy++ loaded and ready to go.
Inputs wired and ready to use (2 buttons, 2 potentiometers/knobs, 1 switch, 1 magnetic field sensor, 1 light sensor, 1 temperature sensor)
Outputs wired and ready to use (2 piezo speakers, 1 red LED, 1 green LED, 1 blue LED, 1 Vibration motor)
Servo bundle (2 servos, 1 servo power-up board, 1 5V DC power supply)
To get a better idea of what you will be able to create with Teagueduino, watch the video below.