I just had the privilege of going to the Imagine K12 demo day. At the beginning, the founder of InstaGrock said something along the lines of “welcome to the revolution.” My eyes glazed over. 5 years ago, I gave up on the idea that anybody was going to “revolutionize” Education. By the end of the presentations, I wanted to give the companies a standing ovation. I don’t know if it’s a revolution, but there is a dramatic shift in Education that is just beginning. And it’s time to get really, really excited.
The take-away, by far, is that companies are getting traction. Lots of it. And quickly. Edmodo and ClassDojo, it turns out, are just the start.
TeachBoost, LearnSprout, Hapara, Socrative, InstaGrok, LearningJar, EdShelf, BrainGenie, Tap to Learn. All of them (are you ready for this?) know what they are doing. Gone are the days where entrepreneurs were either completely naive to the Education world or hopelessly inept at building great products. We’ve got both, baby. In spades.
Best of all, every single company that had launched had significant growth and traction amongst teachers, students, and districts in the MONTH OF APRIL. Yeah, you heard me. They are almost all showing HOCKEY STICK level growth in the Education space. Granted, they are all early, but there is reason to believe that this time change is gonna come. And it’s been a long time coming.
Each of these companies deserves their own post, so I’m not going to leave a trail of one sentence descriptions. Just go to their sites and get the scoop.
Tap to Learn probably won the day, thus their closer status. In the spirit of Brian Wilson (closer for the SF Giants), they made me giddy. 2 million children are using dozens of their learning game apps on the iPad. Their games are genuinely fun, AND parents can get learning analytics. 250,000 minutes of “study” aka “game play” got logged YESTERDAY.
So Kudos, IK12 companies. Kudos to Alan Louie, Geoff Ralston, and Tim Brady for collecting a great motley crew of emerging companies and budding entrepreneurs. This time, the seeds of transformation that are sewn are looking like they’re going to sprout.
Leave your thoughts and your ideas, and give a round of applause for the new talent in EdTech. And, shouts to my friends at @LearningJar, @LearnSprout, and @TapToLearn. You nailed it.