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Eleven new ed-tech services to watch


Ten ed-tech companies and one alternate took part in SIIA’s Innovation Incubator program in San Francisco last week.

An online simulation in which students create their own company, then compete with each other by buying and selling shares of stock, and an iPad app for visual learning and assessment of special-needs students are two of the products from participants in the Software and Information Industry Association’s 2013 Innovation Incubator program, which raises the profile of fledgling ed-tech companies and helps them succeed.

Ten ed-tech companies and one alternate took part in SIIA’s Innovation Incubator program at the organization’s Ed Tech Industry Summit in San Francisco last week.

Jetlag Learning, whose SimCEO creates online learning simulations in which students compete and interact with each other instead of a computer program, was voted “Most Innovative,” and Brain Parade, whose See.Touch.Learn. app provides a personalized picture card learning tool for iPad users, was voted “Most Likely to Succeed.”

Here are the other participants:

Citelighter: An academic research platform that allows students to save, organize, and automatically cite content. Students can open Citelighter in a Google Doc to have their research appear next to their writing. (Voted runner-up as Most Innovative—and also won the Educator’s Choice Award.)

Globaloria (World Wide Workshop): A project-based learning platform for teaching any subject through webgame design. It includes an academic curriculum, programming tutorials, virtual support, professional development tools, and a social learning network, making prior programming skills unnecessary.

mAuthor (Learnetic S.A.): An authoring system for creating interactive mobile content, ideal for publishers, developers, and—in its next iteration—teachers. The content displays and functions on any device, with any operating system or screen size—so it’s ideal for the diverse collection of mobile devices in schools.

Naiku: Accelerates learning by providing next-generation assessment solutions on any web-enabled device. With automated scoring and built-in, standards-aligned reports, teachers instantly know what each of their students knows.

ParentSquare: An online platform for schools that makes parent involvement easy. School-home communication and parent involvement are keys to student success, and ParentSquare simplifies both.

scrible: Makes online reading and research apps for students, instructors, and publishers. Its web app lets users annotate web pages in their browser and then save, share, and manage them in the cloud. (Voted runner-up as Most Likely to Succeed.)

Shmoop: A digital education company that makes learning accessible through understandable language and online materials. Shmoop uses colloquial language and pop culture references to make learning fun and easy for students.

zondle: A web and mobile platform that enables teachers and students to create, play, and share games to support learning. Teachers choose or create questions in multiple formats to match their teaching aims; students play and practice those questions in any of zondle’s games. The product can be used for assessment, practice, or to prepare for high-stakes tests.

Educator’s Professional Inventory (TeacherMatch): This alternate participant in the Innovation Incubator program is a research-based, pre-employment assessment that leverages statistically validated predictive analytics to determine which teacher candidates are most likely to generate relatively higher levels of student academic growth. It grew out of work done in the Chicago Public Schools.

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