LAUNCHedu Finalists in the Blogger Lounge

LAUNCHedu Finalists in the Bloggers’ Lounge by M.L.K. Hodges was originally posted on the blog, @mlkingh.

“LAUNCHedu is the premiere destination for promising entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative startup education business products and services. With a diverse audience of education stakeholders ranging from classroom teachers and administrators, to powerful investors and policymakers, LAUNCHedu at SXSWedu offers a unique opportunity to connect with education thought leaders and develop what’s next and new in learning.” – The SXSWedu LAUNCHedu website

Education and technology have long been related and as our world changes, it is critical that school systems integrate with technology to run more efficiently and students connect with it to learn more effectively. In the Bloggers’ Lounge at SXSW Edu we have been able to see some of the thought leaders and innovative software programs in this space. The movement and sharing of data is important in the education space now too. The LAUNCHedu finalists represent some of the best start ups in the education space. There are several finalists, but I was able to get an up close look at these. Here are some of the companies that were highlighted yesterday…

Paul Smith of LearnSprout

Learn Sprout is a software that allows one to “Simplify systems integration and reveal key insights on student performance and engagement with the first universal API to pull live data from the leading student information systems.” (via their website)

Paul Smith has some insight into the education space because he was a teacher. In the interview with him, he talked about the focus of his company. He pointed out three main points about the company

1. LearnSprout has a direct database connection..can update live data every 30 minutes
2. Its easy to connect to a restful API
3. Professionalism of the team. He said they have years of experience from adobe, Microsoft, Facebook

The software connects SIS (Student information Systems) with EduTech vendors software. Most schools in America have some form of student information software. Paul stressed that LearnSprout is also very secure.

Jamie Brooker of Kahoot

“What’s more powerful than having hundreds of learners in one room, totally immersed in your teaching, with you at the centre of a relevant and engaging social experience?” (via their website)

Jamie Brooker talked about the value of social gaming for education. He said, “Kahoot has a quick polling mechanism,and it’s entirely web based” and “Kahoot is a web based platform which enables real time game based learning in the classroom.” which he mentioned allows for individuals to collaborate from various different locations. I wanted to test out his program right away. Out of all the LAUNCHedu companies, I like this one the best. Jamie said to access the program all it requires is that “Every learner has a smart device.” This program I personally think will be used on a larger scale in the classroom.

Andrew Bender of InstaGrok

InstaGrok allows one to “Learn about any topic by exploring connections between concepts/facts on an interactive concept map, which you can customize and share!” (via their website)

It seems as if this product is a mind map for education and learning. Andrew Bender described it as “a visual concept map that shows students how ideas connect.” Their main market in his view point is the k-12 but I also believe it can be used in corporations as well.

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