Unlike most areas, edtech has been booming in the last few months. The Flashcards startup quizlet is now a unicorn, digital textbook company Top Hat is finding an unprecedented boom in usage and student success business Edsights raised nearly $ 2 million from high-profile investors, all from inbound interest. Investors are confident homeschooling can become a trend, which they invested only $ 3.7 million in Primer, which creates “full-stack infrastructure” to help parents get started.
But just as tired parents make fun of work, family and chastity all day, almost every day, they say that right now, Aztec is not a remedy for all education gaps.
Parents in all income groups are struggling with homeschooling.
“Our mental health is like whack-a-mole,” said Lisa Walker, vice president of brand and corporate marketing at Luja. Walker, who lives in Boston but has relocated near Vermont for the epidemic, has two children, ages 10 and 13. A person’s day is going well. One person’s day is getting worse, and we are going to the whole family to see who needs help. “
This is even worse for socioeconomically disadvantaged families as resources are depleted and parents often have to do many tasks to afford food to keep on the table.
A major issue for parents is the lack of learning to live with a sit-down in learning to “do at your own pace”.
Walker says she is disappointed by the limited amount of conversations that her 10-year-old teacher and classmates have with each day. Once you complete an hour of live learning, the rest of the school day feels like sitting in front of a computer. Think of pre-recorded videos, capped by an online quiz, with homework done on Google Docs.
Asynchronous learning is complex, because it is not interactive, it is more inclusive from all socioeconomic backgrounds, Walker said. If all learning materials are pre-recorded, households that have more children than computers are less stressed to make a science class of 8 o’clock, and they may fit into the lesson in turn .
“Even though I know there’s a lot of video fatigue, I think I’ll have to learn to live more,” Walker said. “Tech is part of the problem and part of the solution.”
Triliza King, a single mom living in Atlanta who works full-time as a senior tax manager at PwC, talks about live video instruction when it comes to working with young children.
One challenge is overseeing her four-year-old zoom call. The king should be available to help his daughter, Zoe, use a platform that is not comfortable for children at that age. He helps Zoe log on and off and when appropriate, instructions can be interrupted, ironically enough.
Her 18-year-old college freshman may oversee four years of learning, but King does not want her elder daughter to feel responsible for teaching. This leaves Raja to play the role of zoom tech support and teacher in addition to mom and full-time staff.
“It is a double-edged sword; There is beauty in it that I get to see what my girls are learning and can be a part of them everyday. “But I am not a preschool teacher.”
Some parents are able to pretend that this is normal. The moment Roger Roman, the founder of Los Angeles-based Rythm Labs and his wife noticed that there was a shutdown, he scrambled to create a program for children. Breakfast at 6 in the morning, physical education at the right time, and then workbook time and homework time. If his five-year-old checks all the boxes, he can earn 30 minutes of screen time.
Technology definitely helps. Roman says that he trusts some apps like Khan Academy Kids and Leapfrog and gives him some time to call or meet for work. But he says those people have been more like a supplement rather than a replacement. In fact, he says that the one big solution he has found is a bit too much.
“The printer has been a god,” he said
Homegrown children also have given the Roman family an opportunity to address racial violence and police brutality in our country. The existing school curriculum around history has been scrutinized for lack of a comprehensive and accurate account of slavery and black leaders. Now, with parents at home, those oddities are even more pronounced. At home grounds, gaps around education on slavery can either inspire a difficult conversation on inequality in the country, or leave the reopening of talk for schools.
Roman says that he does not remember a time where he did not know about racism and injustice, and that the same would be true for his sons.
“The murders of Ahmed, Bryona and George have forced my wife and me to be brutally honest with my five-year-olds about the long, white domination of this country and the black history of racial oppression,” he said. “We didn’t expect these discussions with him so soon, but he had a lot of questions about the pictures he was seeing, and we faced them.”
What’s next for distance education?
In the light of the struggles parents and teachers alike are seeing with the current set of online learning tools and their inability to inspire young learners, new EdTech startups are wondering how the future of distance education might look.
Zakazu co-founder Zac Ringelstein is starting a stage he describes as “ticktalk for children”. The app is intended for children from preschool to middle school, and invites users to post short-form videos in response to project-based prompts. The practice may sound like science experiments – such as building a baking soda volcano or recreating a solar system from household objects – and the application is controlled by parents.
The first users are children of Ringalstein. He says that he was distracted by learning when it was just going blind on the screen, which led to the conclusion that the conversation was important. Down the road, Zigazu plans to partner with entertainment companies to allow the characters to act as “brand ambassadors” and feature in short-form video content. The “Sesame Street” characters begin to feel that a ticTalk trend begins for children to learn about photosynthesis.
Previewing “TicketTalk for Kids” and its video-based gestures “Jigazoo”, he said, I was surprised how little material exists for parents, which is not only entertaining, but truly educational.
Lingumi is a platform that teaches children important skills such as learning English. The company started because preschool classes are filled with so many students that teachers can’t give in on a response during “sponge-like years”. Lingumi uses another startup, Soapbox and its Voice Tech, to listen and understand children, assessing how they are pronouncing words and judge fluency.
“EdTech products were designed to work in the classroom and a teacher was supposed to be somewhere in the mix,” Dr. Soapbox CEO Dr. Patricia Scanlon said. “Now, the teacher cannot live with the children personally and is a technology that gives updates on children’s progress.”
Another app, Make Music Count, was launched by Marcus Blackwell to help students use a digital keyboard to solve math equations. It serves 50,000 students in more than 200 schools, and most recently used content for followers using partnerships with Cartoon Network and Motown Records. If you log in to the app, you are presented with a math problem that, once solved, tells you which key to play. Once you solve all the math problems in the set, the keys you need to play popular songs from artists like Ariana Grande and Rihanna.
The app is using a well-known strategy called gamification to engage its young users. It has long been effective in integrating and making study relevant to students, especially young people. Add a sense of accomplishment like a song or end product, and children get the positive feedback they are looking for. The strategy is found in the underpinning of some of the most successful education companies we see today, from Quizlet to Duolingo.
But in the case of Make Music Count, it’s common tempering, such as points, badges, and in-app rewards, to deliver far more fun than virtual items instead: music that children love and often they Seek ourselves.
Gamification, like technology more broadly, is not entirely about the deeply personal and hands-on aspects of school. Yet this is what parents need right now. We are left with a reminder that technology can only help so much in a remote-only world, and that education has always been more than just understanding and testing.
Missing piece for edtech: school is not just for learning, it is childcare
At the end of the day, if the future of work is remote, parents will need more support with childcare assistants. Some startups that are trying to help, including Clio, are a parenting benefits startup that recently partnered with on-demand childcare service UrbanCiter.
As mothers working to address the crisis facing parents today, we were focused on developing a solution that was not working for our members and enterprise customers, but one that Also what we do not use ourselves. After experimenting with everything from virtual care to scheduling shifts and trying new carers to take care of themselves, we realized that the only solution that would work for families would require a new model of childcare , Created by COVID-19, ”Clear CEO Sarajane Saychetti told TipsClear in May.
Sarah Mouskoff, co-founder of the childcare marketplace Winnie, said tech companies trying to help distance education need to remember that “it’s not just the aspect of education that has to be addressed.”
“School is a form of childcare,” she said.
“The thing that bothers me is that I see these tweets all the time that there are more people going to homeschool than ever before,” Mouskoff said. “But no one is going to feed my baby mac and cheese or change my diaper.”