Many of the startups listed below are direct related to education, some are complimentary to our lifestyle, and others are just plain cool! So without further ado, I give you what’s new in Education & Technology.
Role Model Mentors
This business model is a win-win-win situation all around. I say that because it benefits younger kids, teens, and parents. The service pairs kids with role model teens looking to make a little money and share their knowledge and mentorship. Parents get a short break, kids get to learn from an older kid they respect, and teens can also log the time as community service for college applications. The pair can spend the time in whatever way is needed from tutoring to coaching, to just being a friend. As the mother of a solo child, I love this idea!
Hello homeschooling parents that hate math! This app provides math help when your child needs it. The company's mission is to provide high-quality-on-demand math tutoring to student regardless of their location or financial situation. The app is only available in the App store so far but has a real-time white board, chat function, and access to expert tutors. Amen to that!
A similar idea to the first startup listed, only it’s for high school students to connect with current college students at the universities at they are interested in attending. It’s often logistically and financially impossible to visit every school. Not to mention, one day of walking around campus is just not enough to know if a school or major is going to be a good fit. Students can browse mentors profiles and blogs for similar interests and subscribe. Then they request an appointment to talk from a mobile device or tablet for a fee.
I like to think of this tool as an informed way to travel outside of your comfort zone. Here’s how the website describes it: Gage Inc. is the link between the different possibilities within a city and the ways in which a person explores them! Through this interaction, people are able to dive into what the city has to offer and even engage with locals to make the experience more intimate and unique! I love this idea for homeschoolers because many of us crave traveling and having this kind of experience with our children, but we don’t know exactly how to make it happen. Plugging into Gage would be a good start! App and website launching soon.
Gaming communication platforms are not new, but Gliq might just be what some homeschooling families are looking for. A lot of our children play video games and like to play with each other through consoles hooked to the internet. The only problem is that it’s difficult for them to communicate without opening the doors to contact by strangers. This app (currently only in the App store for Apple devices) promises to provide private text and voice chat along with a gaming news feed and access to live stream esport competitions. I am unable to test it just yet, but looking forward to finding out if it’s a solution for our local group of gamers.
Rhymes with Reason
This idea is one of my favorites because it’s a tool that brings learning to where a child might be and makes it interesting for them. RwR presents 200 core vocabulary words (typically featured in college prep exams) found in the lyrics of popular hip-hop songs and expands on their definition, how the artist uses them in the song, and other ways the word can be used in sentence form. A clip of the song is provided and then a quiz is given to help the student retain what they have learned. The program also highlights U.S. History references found in lyrics. The startup ensures that the references and song clips are appropriate for all ages. It seems to work best for 10th-12th graders looking to prepare for SAT/ACT exams.
Ancient History Encyclopedia
Speaking of history, how about this website as a resource for satisfying your child’s curiosity about ancient stories of the past. The company is a non-profit and boasts to be the most-read history encyclopedia. Their mission is to improve history education worldwide by creating the most complete, freely accessible, and reliable history resource in the world. I say bring it on!
Life Portal Pro
Still in the development stages, Life Portal Pro promises to be a great idea once fully fleshed out. The concept is an interesting way to marry a parent’s desire for kids to know the practicalities of life (like how to change a flat tire) with their love of playing video games. I am very curious to see what other kinds of life lessons will be featured. Stay tuned for this one.
At first glance, Nanno appears to be just another babysitter booking service, but upon closer examination, I recognize that it is the potential answer to many parents’ prayers, including my own! Other platforms that provide strangers to care for your children can be an automatic 'no' for those who don’t trust easily. Nanno has a built-in trust factor because it uses your own network. When there’s an emergency and you need a sitter at a moment’s notice, the app sends your booking details to available caregivers. Instead of going to everyone, the signal goes out in this order: your favorite sitters, those of your friends and family, those known by people in your group (say a church or other social organization), and then to the rest of the local network as a last resort. This way you have several options and the best possible chance to reach someone that has already been vetted by you or someone you know and trust. Payments are automated and all listed caregivers are vetted and background checked by Nanno.
Pet Education Project
The Pet Education Project, by far, was the cutest and most "Awww!"-worthy idea I came across. PeP is an education and outreach program that teaches the core responsibilities of pet ownership. They strive to foster humane habits in children and citizens of a
community in order to reduce pet overpopulation, abuse, neglect, and euthanasia. Their mission is carried out through classroom presentations, online videos and incentive programs geared toward kids.
A great app idea invented by college students for college students to help them stay on top of their coursework and to stay connected with classmates and instructors. It allows teachers to upload the syllabus and have their students create profiles. The students can then receive push notifications about upcoming class details such as exams assignments and meeting times. They can also drop pins to inform classmates about study group locations on campus. Sympl is meant to take the stress out of college life and make it simple. Created by students at Michigan State University
Well, there you have it! I’ve given you the latest on 11 new or newly improved concepts for educating and making the homeschool life a little bit simpler for parents and their children. I hope you check out a few of these companies and give them your support. We got a chance to meet some of the founders personally and it was inspiring to see the ambition they exuded in sharing their ideas.
What technological advances have you heard about in education. Share the wealth in the comments below!