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Backstory One of the most tried-and-true methods of learning an instrument on your own is to listen to your favorite artist(s) and then emulate their sound. This self-taught strategy works for some (especially those with great pitch and listening skills) but it takes a certain level of discipline. Jammit is an iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch app that helps you learn an instrument with this method in mind. It gives you access to a var...
The Details and Backstory For anyone who has every tried to learn a language, you know that the biggest turning point is in carrying out a verbal conversation. Once you do that, you're on your way to fluency. It is this level of competency that Verbling seeks to provide with its unique service. The founders of Verbling, Jake Jolis, Fred Wulff, and Mikael Bernstein, each have personal experiences with second (and in some cases fourth) language acquisition that colored their perception of the learning process. All agreed that grammar lessons could only take you so far; immersion is the true key to fluency. Short of actually traveling to your country of choice, Verbling offers budding linguists another, more cost-effective, option: video chat! Unique Point of Difference Verbling's video chat premise is reminiscent of the notorious site, ChatRoulette. In this case, though, instead of having pre-chat anxiety about what your partner might be doing when you show up, you'll be more concerned about keeping up with what they are saying.
The Details and Back-story One School is a mobile app that provides real-time bus tracking, an interactive map of classes and local eateries, a directory of students and professors, campus news, and is geared towards a students' specific school. They have raised $750K in seed funding. Here's a video with a brief interview of the founders of One School. The founders of the company said that the idea came to them...
The Details and Back-story Last spring Schoology, who already had a successful, free social networking tool for teachers, added a fee-based "enterprise level" ecosystem for school-districts. This new premium model includes features ranging from expanded performance analytics to curric...
The Details and Back-story Skillshare was started in early April 2011 with the mission of helping to democratize teaching and learning by allowing anyone to learn from a peer workshop anywhere. Co-founder Mike Karnjanaprakorn, goes further in
The Details & Backstory Simply put, Celly offers SMS-based group messaging. "Goodness, ANOTHER mobile-messaging network?" Oh, no no. Celly's messaging tool is actually pretty multi-faceted and its founders - Russell Okamoto and Greg Passmore - created this technology for schools and civic organizations. Classrooms can use the tool to take quick polls and quizzes, filter messages, get updates from teachers or fellow students, take notes, and organize study groups all in real time with just a basic cellphone. Messaging via Celly happens without exposing phone numbers and all messages can be moderated before posted, clearing up any privacy and safety issues in any teacher-student network. Teachers cannot deny that there is a growing trend of using mobile devices in the classroom and Celly will make that transition easier for them. Unique Point of Difference Of the numerous group mobile messaging networks out there, what distinguishes Celly from the rest is that it is a tool that is available to anyone with a basic cellphone, and not just those with smart phones. Although this service still excludes those without text-messaging plans (but who doesn't have one these days?), it still opens up the door that was once only accessible to smart phone users. EdLab Takeaway Their mission statement is one that should be adopted by all edtech startups and peoples: "Our passion is to build a socially responsible and sustainable technology venture that transforms education and community with technology. We hope to empower communities and schools as hyperlocal centers of self-sustaining commerce with giveback to schools and communities woven into the DNA of our business plan."
The Details & Back-story Founded in September by Alain Rossmann, one of the original members of the Apple team (his wife was employee #5) and the creator of Vudu, Klip, allows users to share short 1 minute-or-less videos and "follow...
The Details & Back-story Short-hand for "if this then that," ifttt was started in December of 2010 as an open-source, graphical, event-driven programming "recipe" generator that helps users to "put the internet to work for them." Tasks are generated by selecting icons i...
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The Details and Back Story The co-founders of NoteWagon, Jamie Wong and Saif Altimimi, are undergoing a noble effort to address two of the most prolific problems that plague college students today: perpetual stress from class and being dirt poor. NoteWagon is a Canadian startup that was launched by a group of University of Waterloo students in Toronto earlier this year. Wong and Altimimi created their social network in an attempt to “redefine college education.”...