Quill Empirical

HEDLINE: Non-Profit Empirical receives $200k Gates Foundation Grant

Empirical, a non-profit with the mission to make students active players in their education, received a $200k grant from the Gates Foundation to further develop Quill, a platform for interactive writing activities aligned with Common Core.

The grant will be used to transform Quill into a comprehensive writing tool.

Key Takeaway

Empirical’s goal is to advance learning from a passive, multiple choice method of education, to an interactive, engaging, and personalized method of education by presenting students with problems to solve and by allowing them to construct solutions.

Quill is a web-based tool that provides personalized, interactive grammar lessons for middle school students, currently offering over 150 Common Core based grammar lessons and writing activities. In the first seven months since its launch the free platform has been used by 4.300 students who completed 53.000 activities.

With the grant Empirical will launch new features in September called Stories with Friends and ProofingGround. In Stories with Friends pairs of students have to collaboratively write stories based on a shared list of vocabulary words. In ProofingGround, students proofread each other’s work and receive points for each correction they make.

Besides being free to use for teachers, students and parents, Empirical’s products are also open source which means that developers can download the code via GitHub and help the team with new features or build entirely new products based on Quill. All content is published under the Creative Commons licence, allowing teachers to reuse and remix the lessons.

Teachers are also encouraged to take an active role in the further development of the platform by providing feedback or creating content.

Further Reading

  • Quill Awarded Grant to Develop a Platform for Web-Based Writing Activities | Quill
  • Quill Raises $200K to Fund Web-Based Writing Activities | EdSurge



Kay Alexander is the co-founder and creative director of EDUKWEST. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+