Six innovative Australian startups bringing education into the 21st century
Thursday, January 14, 2016/
We may live in an age of technology and digital media but it always seems that education lags behind the times. From early learning to tertiary, education is often markedly outdated for the digital age.
But luckily Australian innovation is here to the rescue.
Below we look at six startups which are either filling in some gaps, or improving on old habits across the whole spectrum of education.
Piggy – “Young people learning money”
Learning about finance for kids wouldn’t be complete without real life practice, which is where Piggy comes in. The Piggy service gives young kids their own pre-paid, personalised debit card. The service is managed through an app which parents use to monitor their kids’ spending habits and set saving goals. The card is also limited to pre-loaded funds, which avoids the dangerous habit of overspending.
Through Piggy, parents retain complete control of spending, whilst kids experience what it’s like to manage their money in the digital age.
EarlyWorks – Digital documentation for early learning centres
The formative years of a young child or toddler’s education are some of the most important, but keeping up-to-date with their progress during this time is often bogged down by paperwork and documentation.
EarlyWorks looks to get rid of all of that with its centralised system for early learning centres across Australia. With its comprehensive and intuitive interface, EarlyWorks revolutionises communication between the centre and parents to provide current, detailed progress reports on a child.
The online-based system caters to a variety of observational mediums, including learning journeys, anecdotal records and photo journals. The service even provides detailed statistical data on each child’s progress, and allows for full customisation and automation of reports for the administrative backend.
Ultimately, the service provided by EarlyWorks’ award-winning team of early childhood educators and information technology experts is one that succeeds in modernising the dated paper documentation and report system that many early learning centres still use today.
Backpack – School management app for students and teachers
If you’re a student or teacher you’d know the struggles of staying up-to-date and organized with school. What if there was just one app that could manage all of the hassle for you? Backpack from Fluid Education is an all-in-one app for students, parents and teachers that manages everything from homework to teaching resources and class timetables. The app acts as a virtual central hub for the school, greatly increasing efficiency for students and teachers. Teachers can push notifications to classes and assign homework, all of which go directly to student smartphones.
Gone are the days of physical diaries for timetables, or redundant and often missed noticeboards – Backpack brings the backbone of the school into the digital age.
Kanopy – On demand streaming service for educational institutions
Schools and universities often employ a variety of media to enhance learning outcomes, particularly videos and documentaries. But many of these resources tend to be outdated or held back by a lack of access. That’s where Kanopy comes in.
Kanopy is an online streaming service for educational institutions, which allows access to a database of over 26,000 curated documentaries and films. The Australian-born company services 12 million students and staff, and includes titles from PBS and BBC. Kanopy’s wide catalogue ranges from foreign films to scientific documentaries and social studies, making it an excellent service for K-12 education and tertiary institutions. Kanopy also partners directly with filmmakers to provide them a platform with high visibility and massive audience. Originally based in Perth, Kanopy now have offices in San Francisco and Sydney.
Velpic – eLearning in the cloud for your business
Velpic aims to transform induction and training in the workforce by providing an online eLearning platform for business and industry. It includes an authoring tool that administrators can easily use to create their own PowerPoint-style presentations complete with graphics, media, voiceovers, music and quizzes. The platform can also schedule lessons and provide weekly or monthly reports on progress. The cloud-based service simultaneously simplifies and enhances the training process for both administrators and employees; with 51% higher comprehension and 75% reduced training time.
From retail to industry, Velpic’s myriad of improvements on training and online-based system make for a neat all-in-one eLearning solution for business.
Ediply – “The easiest way to global education”
Ediply is an online service which matches students to tertiary institutions based on study interests and budget. With a few simple questions Ediply opens up a world of study opportunities for prospective students. Currently, their database includes thousands of courses from Australian and New Zealand tertiary institutions and is marketed to students in South-East Asia.
But Ediply aims to add more to this list as time goes on to provide an intuitive, centralised information service for all students. The transitional period between high school and University is confusing for many students, but with a service like Ediply choosing where to study after school just might just be a lot easier.
Adrian Hindes is a young scientist, originally from El Salvador, but currently living on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. His passion is science – particularly physics and the pursuit of nuclear fusion as a sustainable energy source. He blogs at adrianhindes.com.au.
This piece was originally published on IdeasHoist.