Earlier this month I wrote an article about the three biggest crowdfunding platforms and how to use them for funding educational projects. In the meantime EDUKWEST became an official Indiegogo partner which enables me and the team to showcase and promote campaigns in education.
Today, I would like to present and introduce you to three of these Indiegogo campaigns, as we think have they have great potential to support students and teachers and change the classroom.
sCoolWork wants to revolutionize the way students write their essays. From choosing the right layout, research, spelling, grammar, indexing, plagiarism check and automatically handing the paper in to the teacher, all can be done via any modern web browser.
sCoolWork is created by a team of experienced software developers with the help of educators. And though it makes the process of writing an essay much faster, it is not a cheating tool. sCoolWork helps the student to focus on essential tasks and offers guidance along the way. So instead of staring on a blank computer screen, students get their work done fast and efficiently.
If you happen to visit the #140edu conference in New York on Tuesday July 31st and August 1st make sure to meet with Shachar Tal, one of the project leads of sCoolWork, in the #140 shmooze lounge as every visitor will get a free annual subscription to the service.
There is already a working prototype available at www.scoolwork.com where you can test out the service’s different features.
Excelegrade wants to provide teachers with a deeper insight into how their students are performing. With the software teachers are able to set up tests in under two minutes. This has the advantage that teachers can immediately check if students understood the topic at that very moment. I already covered a similar product called GradeCam here on Fractus Learning some weeks ago.
Excelegrade is device agnostic, it works on iOS devices, Android, modern browsers and also supports classic paper based tests. This is crucial for schools that take part in the BYOD movement and also helps to bridge the digital divide in classrooms where some students might not have access to technology like smart phones, tablets or laptops.
The software also tracks student performance on a question by question basis and compares the overall performance of the class with others in the country, enabling teachers and principals to check where their school stands in the national ranking.
Excelegrade also features a pre-populated database of common core aligned test questions which teachers can use to create their tests. This is a great help in the transition period to the national common core standards teachers are facing from this school year on.
Booksorber is software that enables anyone to turn their physical books into ebooks by using technology already available in most households, a digital camera with tripod, a piece of black paper and a light source.
The actual process of scanning a book is then as fast as you can turn the pages and press the camera button, according to the project’s site about 100 pages per minute are possible. The Booksorber software then does the magic of adjusting the pages, erasing fingers that might have come on the picture, adjusting brightness and contrast and turning the data into a high quality pdf file which can then be used on e-reader or tablet devices.
In the transitional period of physical textbooks being replaced by digital textbooks this is a great way for students and teachers to digitize their existing books and replace them with a tablet device. It’s also very handy for your holiday lecture and for books that don’t exist in an ebook format, yet.
If you would like to help any of these projects to change the classroom, follow the links to each individual campaigns. All of them offer great perks in return for your contribution!
So, which campaign do you think has the best approach to change the classroom? Let us know in the comments!
Feature image courtesy of Flickr, Krissy.Venosdale