Nearpod raises $9.2 million to help teachers use tech for live instruction

If Nearpod CEO Guido Kovalskys has his way, overhead projectors and PowerPoint presentations will never bore students again. Instead, he wants to see cutting-edge technologies and interactive content become standard tools of the teaching trade.

To that end, Nearpod has raised $9.2 million in Series A funding led by Reach Capital to help teachers use mobile tech for live instruction, rather than telling their students to put their phones away.

Kovalskys says, “Seventy to eighty percent of high school students in the U.S. have their own smartphone. And forty percent of students have some sort of access to mobile devices in class through school programs alone.”

Nearpod’s app lets teachers deliver digital lessons to students right on their mobile devices, during class.

First, teachers sign up and select from a smorgasbord of digital lessons on the Nearpod content marketplace. Then they assign a digital lesson to students, who engage with the material in class via student accounts on Nearpod.

The lessons feel like interactive stories, projects or mobile games, typically. But they give teachers a view on students’ mastery or struggles with particular topics.

Giving teachers the power of real-time assessment in class helps them choose how to focus their scant time with their students, and what content to present their students next, one by one or as a collective.

A teacher uses Nearpod to deliver digital curriculum to students' mobile devices, during class.

A teacher uses Nearpod to deliver digital lessons to students’ mobile devices, during class.

Due to privacy concerns, Nearpod doesn’t store data on students for longer-term analysis.

There are already 1.6 million accounts on the Nearpod app, mostly student accounts, but at least 100,000 teachers in 10,000 schools have used the Nearpod platform in 2016, the company reports.

Some 2,000 schools converted from the “freemium” version of Nearpod to the startup’s paid, premium version.

Premium Nearpod gives educators access to more ready-made, digital lessons. Otherwise, they’d have to pay for items beyond the free catalog, à la carte. The premium version of Nearpod also allows teachers to create and store more, or more robust, lessons.

Kovalskys said Nearpod has been revenue-generating since 2013. It raised the Series A round of funding for hiring, and to land its technology in even more of the 125,000 or so K-12 schools in the U.S., he said.

Reach Capital’s Jennifer Carrolan, a board member at Nearpod, said she backed the company because of its approach to differentiate or tailor instruction to each student’s needs, and because it included, rather than replaced, people.

“Too many edtech tools assume students will learn by sitting in front of the computer and interacting with content and not from educators or peers. Nearpod assumes the classroom is much more than that, a dynamic environment where children learn…in dialogue with their peers and teacher,” the investor said.

The CEO said Nearpod is always developing new lessons for use on browsers, smartphones and tablets, but it is increasingly interested in  3D images and virtual reality content, which could let students virtually practice open heart surgery or edit a strand of DNA, for example.

Besides Reach Capital, other investors in Nearpod‘s Series A round included: Storm Ventures; Rothenberg Ventures; AGP Miami; Arsenal Venture Partners; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Krillion Ventures; and Stanford’s StartX fund, along with individual angels who are education advocates, including Marc Benioff.


Source link


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
NBC tries to promote karate for 2020 Olympics, shows taekwondo
Ala. lawyer busted trafficking methamphetamine, 369 grams seized
Former Cuomo aide killed in crash on Long Island Expressway
Critics rip Cuomo plan that combines tax and wage subsidies
Oil prices fall as analysts say August price rally has been overblown
Asian shares slip, dollar stands tall on Fed hike bets
Japan Inc unenthused over Abe's stimulus, BOJ easing: Reuters poll
Facebook can climb more than 20 percent on ad growth: Barron's
Singapore Luxury Real Estate: Back to a Buyer's Market
Sail The Seven Seas With Ease In The Oyster 625 Bandido
The Montblanc Meisterstück Is On Point
The Wining Wines of the 2015 En Primeur Campaign
Can’t believe you ate the whole thing? Blame ‘false hunger’
Lead in NYC tap water is a danger despite quality system
Seattle toddler speaks first words after nearly drowning
Humans first infected Neanderthals with herpes, tuberculosis
Barbra Streisand Tells Apple to Fix Siri's Pronunciation of Last Name
Watch Metallica Debut Punishing 'Hardwired' Live at Minneapolis Concert
Matt Roberts, Original 3 Doors Down Guitarist, Dead at 38
Frank Ocean Reflects on Creating 'Blonde' in Tumblr Posts
Obama wants more choices for consumers using cable boxes
Sanders preaches economic equality at the Vatican
Senator calls out CUNY boss Milliken on campus anti-Semitism
Angry campaign making strange bedfellows out of bedfellows
Basketball Football Other Sports
SEE IT: Softball player pulls off behind-the-back bunt
Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s office raided in Moscow
Isola: Phil Jackson no longer the cool, calm man on bench
Mobile Social
How carbon nanotubes could give us faster processors and longer battery life
Facebook’s new teens-only app Lifestage turns bios into video profiles
Looklive helps men shop by mimicking celebs’ styles