Category: Education

This category features new ventures in the realms of schooling, lessons, teaching and general knowledge building. In particular these posts showcase startups helping everyone better themselves through knowledge transfer.

Highlighters with a window

This product literally made us scream “FINALLY”. Although years of studying have passed our senior staff, the younger generation going through reading notes and picking out the most important points need this! The see-through highlighter isn’t new, in fact it was on Gizmodo last spring, but we still had to share it. Clunky highlighters are common, but with their large base and tips it was impossible to see what you would actually be noting. Not anymore.

see through highlighter

The see-through highlighter is incredibly genius and just $15 on Amazon for a pack of 5 colors. The Uni Promark View is built with water-based pigment ink that has been scientifically thinned to let it flow on the sides of a clear end tip. The clear tip then provides a window so you don’t highlight too much or too little. The images are self explanatory, and although we’re sure a highlighting miscue isn’t going to be overly detrimental, it is a small problem and we’re glad it’s now solved.


A customized list of curated news, that’s a Trove

A “Trove” is a customized list of curated news on topics that interest the creator. Each Trove can then be followed by anyone whom has similar interests. In a nutshell that boils up what the new iOS app does. Trove streams news from thousands of sources and curators handpick stories and interests for themselves and others.


A Trove topic can be anything, already “Troves” exist for Sochi Olympics, Dogs, and Advancing Technologies, to name a few. The news categorization for topics that are wildly general and appealing to everyone such as World News, or something very narrow for the specific consumer, such as Marvel Comics. There is a Trove for everyone.


Enormous datasets open for re-share with blazing download speeds

Open Data is always a big point we discuss with startups because with shared data everyone can build more powerful solutions. The objective of this movement is to take information held by the public sector and lay all the cards on the table. But there is an underlying problem, either the datasets are not compiled for ease of distribution and hooking into or it’s too much work to setup a server to share the information and of course email sizes are limited thus not allowing for large and useful data to be shared.

open data

Academic Torrents is taking a step to flatten all the obstacles in attaining enormous datasets – for researchers, by researchers. Their platform is a “scalable, secure, and fault-tolerant repository of data, with blazing fast download speeds’. Some of the datasets you’ll be ready to find already include NOAA Weather Data 2011, Arizona State University Flixster Data Set, or the UK Road Safety Data 1979 to 2004 to name just a few.


Don’t use PowerPoint when you can use Swipe

With Swipe, anything can be a slide and you can present it live to anyone, anywhere, on any device. That’s the slogan behind London startup that uses simple markdown, like that found on Squarespace, Ghost, GitHub, and Stack Overflow, to turn any file into a live presentation.


The first cloud based tool that works on any browser in the competitive slide presentation field even further separates from others by being response, device-agnostic and real-time-sync to allow others to work together. With everyone on their device anyways, syncing a slide presentation to be viewed in real-time on anyone’s smart device also brings up the opportunity to grab audience analytics. Data such as poll conversions, sign-up forms or when audience members stop following.


Parents co-play and read with your kids anywhere

It feels like it happens everyday, a child riding on the subway with his or her parent on the seat beside them, they begin the squirm or get cranky and mom or dad passes an iPad over to keep them entertained. Or you head over to your friends place for dinner and as they chop vegetables for an epic meal their kids are fully affixed to an iPad screen playing Angry Birds. While the idea of children using tablet devices on their own to keep out of a parent’s hair is one that is understandable it’s not the position that Kiddology wants to take.


The Toronto startup is aiming to change the way parents and kids use tablet devices. No longer ever alone but always together, Kiddology promotes parent and child co-play. The soon to be launched app provides a platform for stories, games, and adventures to be shared, played, and learned with together as a family unit. With advanced cues during play the application will make it a necessity for parents to enjoy tablet play with their children.


And the Zample says…

There’s not too much to this startup, you read or post questions, share and post responses, and see what the data brings. With no signup, the free web application asks you to post an answer, “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”, to a sample of questions and the poll is then shared.


What makes us most interested to share another Q&A website or application is the design itself., takes the approach that answering and sharing questions doesn’t have to look like a Quora list, or a boring button system. Rather they utilize HTML5, data visualization, and icon based interaction to build a more fun way to answer questions such as “Does cologne make men more attractive?” or “Do you think global warming is a non issue?”


Chesscademy is like Treehouse but for chess

Treehouse exists for web development, Wigolia for the fine arts, now Chesscademy rides in to learn from the best on the finer points of chess. Curated video lessons by professional chess coach and Life National Master Andrew Ng as well as others. Following a similar structure of Treehouse with basics, intermediate and a diving deep course Chesscademy provides a comprehensive educational curriculum for players of all levels.


Learn from videos and exercises, practice with puzzles, and discuss chess topics in groups. It’s as if Treehouse busted out its same platform but just for those interested in the strategic game that is chess. All the topics to date are brought by Life National Master Andrew Ng, a 7-time National Chess Champion, with more lessons promised to be on the way.


Scholica: A custom e-learning platform

Founded by students Tom Schoffelen, Dante van der Heyden, Scholica tries to combine all the things a school needs into one service. Functions like file sharing, keeping students updated, checking schedules, e-mailing fellow classmates and planning are what they try to combine into one product. While other services only offer one of the functions, Scholica offers all of them, in one package, for a single price.


Dante says of Scholica: “Our goal is to make the lives of students and teachers easier. We are students ourselves and we know what it is like to work with the services currently offered for E-learning: lacking usability, consistency and customization options. That’s the reason we started Scholica: we don’t want to change the way people learn, we want to enable them to focus on learning only.”


Teaching kids coding with Hopscotch

Hopscotch is an app built by those who want to create things that they themselves wished existed when they were kids. The free beta release of the app teaches kids aged 8-12 the beginnings of simple coding. The iPad app uses bright, fun and highly visual cues to keep interest to foster inheriting programming concepts. Instead of the boring line by line tutorials and creating a “Hello World” type of page, Jocelyn Leavitt and Samantha John (Hopscotch founders) are hoping boys and especially girls will join the forces of programming at a young age with a youthful focused approach to teaching.

hopscotch: coding for kids

Boys seem to gravitate toward coding much more easily then girls possibly because of their devotion to video games, while girls get to play with dolls and fashion essentials. With Hopscotch’s bright and colorful interface the app attracts girls to use their building blocks of learning, without it being overly feminine to turn boys away. The interactive program lets kids drag blocks of code into a scripting area to develop their own projects. The female programming movement has been amazing over the past year at the same time childhood learning of circuits and programming has also been a topic with much news. A movement that we hope continues and possibly one day the number of female programmers is equal to that of their gender counterpart.


All the news without the social noise

Keeping track of your friends is pretty easy with all the social media options they have to share. Favorite moments are captured on Instagram, what their thinking is on Twitter, and everything else is on their Facebook pages. But what if they were featured in the NY Times? Unless they post the link boasting their acclaim the acknowledgment can get lost in the mass of information flooding our lives everyday.


Newsle tracks the “real news”. Link your account to Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections, and favorite writers or people you just want to be updated about. When they make the news, Newsle makes sure you know about it by focusing on “real news” and ignoring social noise. The news herder combs the web analyzing 1 million articles every day, discovering every major news article and blog post published online, as well as the most minor one. Their algorithm then determines if the article is talking about the person you want to know about and presents its findings.