Edtech

31 stories
Zoom Zoom Zoom
Zoombinis’ relaunch will target the iOS and Android markets
Image via Zoombinis
About 20 years ago, an educational video game called “Zoombinis” was launched to help children improve problem-solving skills. The game, from Broderbund Software, which was later acquired by a Houghton Mifflin Harcourt subsidiary, The Learning Co., ended up selling more than 1 million copies. Now the original creator, Cambridge-based TERC (for Technical Education Resource Centers) has teamed up with a Boston children’s media company, FableVision, and the Learning Games Network to launch an updated version of the game for Android, iOS and, eventually, a wide array of other devices. Read More
international ed tech
Boston ed-tech firm Cengage Learning announces the expansion of LearnLaunch to Latin America
cengage
Boston will soon have a new partner in education innovation: some 600 million people from the tip of South America to the United States border. Cengage Learning, an international educational services company, announced Thursday that it will back the expansion of Boston-based LearnLaunch Accelerator to Latin America at Cengage's innovation lab at the University of Chihuahua in Mexico. Read More
a three dimensional education
NVBOTS raises $2 million to bring a 3-D printing curriculum to schools
Samples of 3-D printed objects that teachers can use in their lesson plans. (Photo via NVBots)
Many educators agree that teaching STEM subjects requires hands-on, experiential education (as opposed to "teaching to the test"). But the tools and materials they need to do so are often too costly or too scarce in the budget-stretched world of education. Boston-based NVBOTS, a MassChallenge alum with roots at MIT, provides one solution for schools struggling to fund hands-on experiences in subjects like physics, biology, and math. The company has created a 3-D printing system for schools that includes printer hardware, software that's easy to use, and printing materials like plastic. Their goal is to make it simple for teachers to integrate 3-D printing into their regular classroom activities. Read More
Speak Easy
Quest game 'Subverses' lets you learn a language while playing a spy
Subverses, a spy quest that you can play on your iPhone, forces you to pick up new language skills as you navigate the levels of the game. (Screenshot: Subverses)
Blaine Stillerman tried to hack Spanish the usual way — with book exercises and college classes through his sophomore year. But it wasn't until he landed an internship with a shipping company in Buenos Aires, working with colleagues who spoke only a few words of English, that he saw his sputtering Spanish skills finally kick into high gear. Read More
Mad acquisition skillz
Pluralsight picks up Smarterer, focused on skill tests, for $75 million
Smarterer CEO Dave Balter and Aaron Skonnard, CEO of Pluralsight.
You never know which meeting is going to lead to something worthwhile... Dave Balter, founder and CEO of the online skills testing site Smarterer, was at an edtech conference in Phoenix in April. Balter had about three dozen meetings scheduled over the course of the event, but other people at the conference kept telling him he should meet the CEO of Utah-based Pluralsight, which serves up online training in the tech and creative industries. Balter sent him a quick e-mail "and we squeezed in ten minutes before everyone went to the airport," he says. A few months later, Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard flew to Boston "and we began active merger discussions," Balter says. Read More
'Airbnb of education'
Flashnotes looking to help, not disrupt, the education establishment
Screenshot from flashnotes.com video

A few years ago, Boston startup Boundless found itself in the midst of a bitter legal battle after debuting e-textbooks that resembled those of established publishers. Now another Boston startup, Flashnotes, is revealing a wholly different edtech strategy by working hand-in-hand with one of those very same publishers, Cengage Learning.

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Permission Slips? We don't need no stinking Permission Slips
Techstars' EdTrips is more than your average back-to-school startup
Image via iStock
EdTrips is a startup that has found a way to make signing up and paying for field trips much easier for teachers, students, and especially parents. Since paper field trip permission slips and payments have a habit of getting lost in your kid's backpack, EdTrips is a great concept to start with. Read More
What do the kids think?
Panorama Education connects with Harvard for open source surveys: Why it's important
(Shutterstock)
On Tuesday, Panorama Education, the Y-Combinator graduate ed tech startup that has been backed by Mark Zuckerberg, announced that it is taking its survey product for K-12 schools and making it free through an open source initiative. What's more, Panorama has teamed up with the Harvard Graduate School of Education to do so. Read More
Tech for Language
Talkitt hopes to bridge the chasm of language disability
Voiceitt, a company founded in Israel currently taking part in MassChallenge, has developed a voice recognition platform that could give a voice to the millions of people living with speech disabilities. On Monday, the company is launching an IndieGogo crowdfunding campaign to raise money for TalkItt, the company's technology that translates unintelligible language into understandable speech. Read More