AT&T Aspire Accelerator Alumni
Get to know the members of our 2015, 2016 and 2017 classes.
Get to know the members of our 2015, 2016 and 2017 classes.
BookNook is a hybrid education technology platform that is reinventing the where, how, and who of one-on-one and small group learning for students. It weaves together custom texts with a structured curriculum and engaging educational games. The company puts these materials in the hands of teachers, families, volunteers, paraprofessionals and community members, massively expanding students’ access topowerful personalized learning.
BookNook is a social enterprise with a particular focus on supporting children in traditionally disenfranchised communities. The organization’s mission is to support individualized, person-to-person learning for children at home, at school, and in the community. BookNook is committed to providing highly scalable tools with a strong basis in research. It also believes that education technology is at its best when it supports highly engaged face-to-face learning.
Too many young people are finishing their education unready for work. Millions of young people have never received career advice from a professional in their desired career field, and most don't even know where to begin. The career advice gap is disastrous for low income youth, young people of color, first generation students, young women interested in STEM and others. With nearly 500 students for every U.S. public school guidance counselor, the country needs a new solution that can match the scale of the problem.
CareerVillage.org uses crowdsourcing to provide personal career advice to youth at massive scale. At CareerVillage.org young people can ask any question about any career. Questions get answered by an online volunteer corps of over 10,000 working professionals. Students get tailored, reliable, and inspirational advice, educators get a high-quality program to implement in class, and volunteers get an easy online way to have a positive impact. All advice is indexed and searchable. Already over 2 million people have used CareerVillage.org to find career advice and prepare for the world of work. CareerVillage.org is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Teachers help students acquire the communication and critical thinking skills necessary for 21st century careers when they ask great questions and engage in class discussions. When students are engaged in an active learning environment, they are 1.5 times less likely to fail. Earshot’s mission is to empower teachers with data to make learning active and relevant for all students.
As teachers re-imagine their role from lecturers to facilitators of student-led exploration, Earshot provides them with critical feedback to continuously improve how they engage students.
The Earshot app uses real-time analysis of class discussion to measure talk time and improve questioning strategies. Earshot empowers educators with personalized feedback and actionable data, transforming instruction to meet the needs of the next century.
Data shows that math education is a direct driver of economic growth in technology-driven societies that place a premium on rapid innovation. Nationally, more than 80% of low-income 8th graders are not proficient in math.
The mission of Learn Fresh is to make learning fun for everyone, and the company is starting with math.
Learn Fresh provides a fresh take on learning by creating engaging and effective educational games and programs that harness the power of professional sports, iconic individuals and aspirational brands.
Its first program is NBA Math Hoops – a fast-paced basketball board game and mobile app for elementary and middle school students that truly feels like a basketball game. Students build math skills and confidence while interacting with their favorite players’ real statistics.
Through NBA Math Hoops, Learn Fresh has tripled its impact year-over-year for the last 4 years, and now reaches more than 22,000 students on a weekly basis across 30 states.
Learn Fresh is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
LiftEd’s mission is to empower educators and related service professionals to effectively improve learning outcomes for the 6.8 million learners with disabilities between Pre-K and 12th grade. Special education professionals use paper and pencil, spreadsheets, online collaboration tools and other disparate solutions to track academic, functional skills, and behavioral progress.
With data stored in binders, computers and cloud storage accounts, educators spend countless hours analyzing and reporting progress against legally-mandated individualized learning goals. Without easy and keen access to students’ data, quality of instruction is hindered, transparency of learning outcomes is limited and student progress is stunted.
LiftED is a mobile reporting tool for special education teachers and related service professionals to track academic, functional and behavioral progress. It can:
Listenwise is an award-winning listening skills platform that harnesses the power of listening to advance literacy and learning in all students. Its collection of podcasts and public radio keeps teaching connected to the real world and builds student listening skills at the same time. The curriculum aligned podcasts are paired with learning tools and listening comprehension assessments to transform them into rigorous academic content. Students are motivated by the interesting real world stories. Listenwise provides the literacy supports and differentiated instruction necessary for diverse classrooms including ELLs and reluctant readers.
Early learning opportunities are critical for building a strong foundation, boosting kindergarten success and ensuring ongoing school readiness. Yet only 30% of the nation’s 4 and 5-year-olds attend formal preschool and less than half of low-income children have access to high-quality early childhood programs before first grade. This disparity is even greater for children of color and dual language learners. LitLab addresses this problem by offering a personalized early learning experience anytime, anywhere, for everyone.
LitLab leverages mobile technology to connect children and parents around learning together. LitLab’s utility app, Lumen, facilitates tablet-based learning by gathering usage data of curated educational apps and e-libraries. The app converts a child's experience on a device to actionable intel that parents and caregivers can use to create more learning moments for their early learner.
LitLab is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Today’s students need to learn high tech skills for tomorrow’s jobs. Yet schools struggle to provide computer science education for two main reasons: 1) schools can’t find cost-effective yet rigorous curriculum, and 2) there is a shortage of computer science teachers.
To solve the first problem, Zulama developed an unprecedented way to get teenagers excited about programming—through game design. The team worked with faculty from the world-renowned game design program at Carnegie Mellon University to develop modules and courses that fit within middle and high school curriculum.
Zulama solves the teacher shortage problem by providing a unique training and support methodology that makes programming easy for ALL teachers to teach.
A Zulama subscription gives schools access to standards-based curriculum and teacher training that uses professional tools like Unity and 3DS Max to get students earning certifications and prepared for in-demand, high-tech jobs.
Bitsbox teaches school-aged kids to love coding, because coding is about making stuff, and making stuff is empowering and important. Bitsbox delivers insanely fun app-building projects to thousands of subscribers every month. They print the projects on beautiful books and trading cards and stickers and (sometimes) whoopie cushions. They send them in the mail because kids love mail. Kids code their projects on the Bitsbox website and their apps work on any device with a browser. Since launching at the end of 2014, hundreds of thousands of kids have spent over 12 million minutes coding with Bitsbox. Teachers have said that Bitsbox is working great in schools, too. For 2016, Bitsbox is adapting the materials and tools to make them even better for teachers and students in classroom settings. Every kid deserves to experience the feeling of writing code, and schools are the perfect place to do it.
In 2008, a research team at the University of Georgia received a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) grant from NIH that partnered scientists with high school teachers, game designers, digital artists, computer programmers and science education researchers. The team developed “interactive case studies” that allow students to solve real world problems by applying the scientific method. As students work through a case, their performance on critical thinking tasks is sent to teachers in real time, enabling them to immediately identify students that may need help. This is how Cogent Education was formed – as a partnership between professionals dedicated to improving science education. Research with more than 3,000 students, over 4 years, concluded that the effect of the products on student learning was “staggering,” and Cogent Education is now working with teachers to apply this new approach to all science subjects, at all grade levels. Cogent Education is committed to making products with teachers, not for teachers.
High school success and career readiness require the ability to understand complex texts, write coherently, and communicate with peers about complex ideas. Unfortunately, about 62% of students graduate high school each year in the U.S. unable to read proficiently. These students are much less likely to earn a bachelor’s degree or secure a high-wage job. CommonLit addresses this problem by giving teachers the tools they need to deliver rigorous, engaging, and data-driven instruction in reading every day. At www.commonlit.org, 5th-12th grade teachers can access a free digital collection of news articles, short stories, poems, scientific articles, and historical documents – all organized by the themes students love to discuss. Teachers use CommonLit’s free platform to find and plan lessons, and collect actionable data about student progress in reading and writing that they can use to plan tomorrow’s lesson and meet the unique needs of individual students. CommonLit is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Couragion modernizes career planning with real role models who mimic diverse populations and build perceived personal capacity. In a learner-led environment, students see careers firsthand and rate their characteristics to determine those that match their values and interests. For best fit careers, students receive ongoing, personalized programming. This not only helps to further explore careers, but also to hone skills and make immediate progress towards improving their workforce readiness and employability. Educators have stated that Couragion meets unsatisfied needs of exposing students to careers in a more purposeful, cost-effective manner while being accessible to all regardless of place, gender, family income, or ethnicity. The educator companion app provides lesson plans and enables professional development. Couragion has been awarded an innovation research grant from the National Science Foundation. The project mission is to improve the awareness and perception of careers that require competencies in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
The Graide Network’s mission is to improve literacy and student engagement through timely, actionable, and high-quality feedback. While high-quality feedback has a significant effect on student achievement, the sheer hours required are prohibitive, and teachers are often already overwhelmed. To solve this long-standing problem, The Graide Network leverages technology to facilitate a new and powerful collaboration between teachers and future teachers. The Graide Network is an online platform that connects middle and high school teachers with on-demand teaching assistants to grade and provide thorough feedback on student work. “Graiders” are highly qualified, vetted undergraduate education students, also known as pre-service teachers. They are being trained as educators, passionate about helping students, and seeking more and better fieldwork experience. Their support gives teachers more time to focus on the most impactful aspects of teaching while deepening their understanding of student progress. Most importantly, students receive more personalized feedback faster than ever before.
TalkingPoints meaningfully connects educators, parents and students through a multilingual texting platform – educators can communicate with parents in their own languages and through text messages via two-way translation. Educators can also make use of premade and crowd-sourced content that are engaging and educational for parents. By 2030, half of US students are projected to speak a language other than English at home. Meanwhile, over 40% of low income families do not have ready access to data, hence text messages provide a simple, instant and accessible form of communication that is universally adopted regardless of income level. TalkingPoints addresses informational, language and tech barriers simultaneously so educators can easily reach parents by meeting them where they are and thereby improving levels of parent engagement in low-income, diverse communities. TalkingPoints is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
GradGuru is a prize-winning software service and mobile application that guides and motivates enrolled community college students to take actions and engage in behaviors that have been proven to lead to higher and faster completion rates. The smartphone application proactively delivers campus-specific deadlines, evidence-based tips, and tools to students’ phones to help them make the best decisions possible and finish community college more quickly. GradGuru helps students keep track of deadlines; better understand the milestones they need to hit; learn what behaviors lead to academic success; take advantage of existing student support and financial aid resources; and, share these lessons with one another. Students call GradGuru an “advisor in your pocket.” The iOS and Android app delivers its service in a framework that resonates with each student’s particular intrinsic motivators for completing community college. GradGuru makes navigating school less confusing, and more motivating and inspiring.
GradGuru is a 501c3.
Lea(R)n empowers educators and their schools to know and manage which technology products are best for their classrooms. U.S. schools and districts spend $8 billion every year as they incorporate technology into classrooms; yet, they have no data to know which products will work best for their students, teachers and schools. To solve for this issue, Lea(R)n developed LearnPlatform, a research-backed online platform. Designed by and for educators, LearnPlatform combines rapid, contextual teacher insights with public and private data to create highly configurable portfolios, side-by-side comparisons and data-rich report cards on any technology product. The system allows schools and districts to run 80% more efficient, reliable product pilots and evaluations, resulting in better instructional and financial decisions. Whether an educator is a digital novice or a digital native, LearnPlatform empowers them to have a voice and improve their practice, while their schools, districts and states modernize product evaluations, make informed fiscal and instructional decisions, increase contract negotiation leverage and, finally, figure out which ed-tech works best for their students.
MindBlown Labs (MBL) is a financial wellness innovation lab. MBL partners with financial institutions, government entities and non-profits to create gamified mobile and web-based solutions to engage, educate, and motivate teens and young adults to save and invest for the future. One of MindBlown Labs’ first solutions is Thrive ‘n’ Shine (TnS), a mobile financial capability game for teens and young adults. Thrive 'n' Shine has been proven to both increase players' confidence in thier money management skills and change their real life savings behaviors.
Increasing class sizes and a widening opportunity gap prove the classic teaching model of “one size fits all” no longer does. Teachers struggle to find a manageable and engaging way for individualized, differentiated and data-driven instruction. PlayPosit is a freemium platform (web & iOS) that empowers teachers to create and share interactive video lessons. Teachers use PlayPosit to harness the power of video in an engaging, rigorous and student-directed manner. The offering also extends to schools and districts, where PlayPosit promotes instructional advancement through their professional development tool suite and pedagogical support structure. PlayPosit has over 100K modular lessons and rich supports, providing a community for teachers.
Quill is a platform for web applications that teaches writing, grammar, and vocabulary skills to K-12 students. It creates strong, effective authors by providing students with instant feedback and personalized activities. Teachers save time grading homework and can easily generate differentiated learning paths. Administrators and teachers can use Quill Progress Reports to ascertain students’ mastery of the Common Core standards. This powerful tool is free to anyone with an internet connection. Quill currently features three apps: Quill Grammar, Quill Proofreader, and Quill Writer. In the coming year, we will introduce apps that teach vocabulary, peer feedback, and expository writing. Quill is a nonprofit, open source community, and more than 100 educators and developers have contributed to it. Our long-term vision is to collaboratively build a series of educational apps. Together, we can engage students in every aspect of the writing process and empower them to write their own stories.