LearnLaunch Accelerator provides the most promising edtech startups worldwide with seed funding, an unmatched team of mentors, intensive coaching and all the tools needed to grow a successful edtech startup. We operate two accelerators: Boost, is a three-month residential program designed to help early stage entrepreneurs successfully grow their startups, Breakthrough is a distilled four-week boot camp, designed to help edtech companies that are beyond seed stage. Check out the events below for more information on our accelerator showcase and sessions featuring Accelerator alumni!
Breakthrough Cohort Demonstrations
Friday, February 3, 2017
We’re in the midst of our Winter ‘17 Breakthrough cohort and Five of the HOTTEST edtech startups from that program will be pitching Friday morning at the culmination of their four-week boot camp. The five high-growth startups will showcase their products, traction to date, and market opportunity. The program will kick off with a keynote presentation by Michael Hansen, CEO of Cengage Learning, who will share his thoughts on innovation in edtech. If you’re actively seeking investment opportunities in edtech or want to stay up to date on everything edtech, this session is a must. Find more information on the five companies below and join us February 3rd at 8AM.
The Winter 2017 Breakthrough Cohort
The Evolution of Assessment, Featuring Authess
Moderator, Tony Siddal, Program Officer, Next Generation Learning Challenges
Assessment of student learning is an essential part of education. As educators desire to move away from measuring content knowledge to measuring skills and the ability to apply learning, assessments will change. Formative assessments are increasingly deployed; educators are developing rubrics; and simulations are also being used. We are advancing assessment beyond machine scored multiple choice approaches, but there are still questions as to what technology is needed and affordable to scale the next generation of assessment as educators move towards mastery-based assessments.
In this session, participants will:
- Examine how assessments might evolve in the coming years
- Review the potential of games and simulations for assessment
- Explore the experiences of pioneering districts and colleges seeking performance assessments
- Address how close the approaches are to scaling
Edtech and the International Student Opportunity, Featuring ChalkTalk
Moderator: Willis Wang, Vice President and Associate Provost for Global Programs and Deputy General Counsel, Boston University
Panelists: Jackson Boyar, Co-founder & CEO, Shearwater; Mohannad Arbaji, Founder & CEO, ChalkTalk; Sharon Butler, VP of Global Sales, Flywire
Date: Friday, February 3, 2017
Time: 2:15 pm – 3:00 pm
Colleges and universities are seeking international students to grow campus global connections and to augment their revenue streams. Many successful ed companies have been founded to support this strategy, including filling international students needs for banking, telecommunications, and English Language Learning. Colleges also sought help identifying students.
In this session, participants will:
- Identify what key needs now exist in this field
- Examine how entrepreneurs have approached building businesses in this area
- Explore the key concerns of college as they grow international student populations
Developing Relationships with Strategic Companies, featuring CramFighter
Panelists: Amit Mathew, President, CramFighter; Steve Shapiro, CEO, AcademicMerit; Richard Keaveny, Training & Professional Learning Specialist, McGraw Hill Education, James O’Hare, Partner, Nelson Mullins
Date: Thursday, February 2, 2017
Time: 3:30 pm – 4:15 pm
Many large digital learning provider companies report that smaller players come to them to explore a relationship, but are unable to articulate how a partnership will benefit the strategic. So, once an entrepreneur lands the sought after meeting with a potential strategic partner, they need to know what key points they need to keep in mind, how to get the attention they hoped for or how to move forward if they get stuck.
In this session, participants will:
- Examine how strategic edtech companies evaluate go to market partnerships with smaller companies
- Address the challenges larger companies face in partnering with entrepreneurs
- Absorb an example of success and what went into it
Learning Innovation Showcase, Featuring Education Modified
The Learning Innovation Showcase uniquely presents the voices of learners and enables diverse groups – educators, entrepreneurs, investors, and policy makers – to see a wide range of edtech tools applied in real learning environments. Our inspiring showcase is an opportunity to learn about innovative programming that personalizes learning for students of all ages through access to effective, cutting-edge edtechTwenty teachers and student teams have stepped forward to showcase emerging models of teaching and learning in Secondary Ed (6th – 12th grade), Higher Ed, and learning programs outside of school.
Note: At last year’s Across Boundaries conference, the “Classroom of the Future” drew hundreds of interested participants. This year, we have renamed the showcase the “Learning Innovations Showcase” in order to attract out of school and post secondary learning innovations. 2016 Classroom of the Future
The Future of Food, Andover High School – Andover, MA
Lead Educator: Shelagh St. Laurent
The AHS Future of Food Computer is a small scale hydroponic garden (soil-less garden = that’s the “food” part) and is maintained by a complex series of computers and sensors (= the “computer” part). The Food Computer represents the next evolution in food production and hydroponics. The system is an enclosed hydroponic system that monitors and controls a short list of variables – like temperature, ph, light, CO, etc. – to drastically increases yield and reduce growing time. The Food Computer uses off-the-shelf, affordable tech tools to create an enhanced growing environment to maximize fresh, local, and healthy food options for people any where in the world, any time of year. Learn more: Augmented Reality Sandbox Video
The Anatomy of the Wired Classroom, Beaver Country Day School – Chestnut Hill, MA
Lead Educator: Yolanda Wilcox González
What does it mean to be a wired classroom? Now into our eighth year of practicing hardwired innovation in a 1:1 environment, we have learned a few things and are excited to share our insights. Our goal is to dissect wired classroom experiences and lay on display good daily rituals, collaborative projects, and final products. In doing so, we will be highlighting practical tools that allow teachers and students to become designers, tips for classroom teachers wherever they may land on the technological spectrum, and concrete examples of how to make technology work for you, for the students, and for the educational process. Learn more: Student’s Timeline Project on Sutori, Teacher’s Assignment Presented on Sutori, Literary Devices Presented on Padlet
In the Middle of Design Thinking, Blake Middle School – Medfield, MA
Lead Educator: Diane Horvath
In the Middle of Design Thinking showcases the quick impact design thinking has already made at Blake Middle School since it’s introduction to the faculty this fall. Teachers are combining the power of 1:1 iPad technologies and Design Thinking to reframe student learning across many content areas. Design Thinking has become the glue or guiding principle for teachers to engage students to collaborate in solving a design challenge. Where, the iPad has been invaluable in offering a variety of mobile tools for students. It provides ways for students to capture and record their process, to collaborate and share their ideas and gain feedback, or to develop a video-pitch of their solution. This combination has resulted in moving towards more student-centered, open-ended learning to explore and possibly solve real-world, authentic problems . This showcase will give you a look into a couple of examples of how design thinking is incorporated into the Makerspace, Ancient Greek History (7Gr Social Studies), and Genius Hour of 8th Grade Science and how you can bring the power of DT to your school too.
Math Music Videos, Chelmsford Public Schools – Chelmsford, MA
Lead Educator: Matthew Beyranevand
One way to increase students’ interest and engagement in mathematics is to create music videos with them. Using popular music as a foundation, students and teachers work collaboratively to create songs to teach concepts as well as inspire kids to love math. As featured on WCVB Chronicle and WBZ Eye on Education, creator Dr. Matthew Beyranevand and 7th grade students will share about the importance of girls taking STEM courses as well as the benefits of having a growth mindset. Learn more: Math with Matthew
Exploring the Student Experience in Online, Competency-Based Higher Ed, College for America at Southern New Hampshire University – Manchester, NH
Lead Educator: Jake DeSchuiteneer
College for America (CfA) at Southern New Hampshire University is a regionally accredited, nonprofit university dedicated to developing low-cost, online, competency-based degrees specifically for its diverse population of working adults. The student experience at CfA is unique—students work at a flexible pace to complete workplace-relevant projects in an online format in order to demonstrate mastery of the competencies in their degree program. Rather than attending courses taught by faculty members, students engage independently with the projects and are well supported by Learning Coaches (who guide students through the learning process) and Reviewers (who review and provide detailed feedback on all project work). This Learning Innovation Showcase, which will be presented by a CfA student and two of CfA’s Curriculum and Assessment Developers (CADs), will demonstrate the online learning experience we have created for all students in our degree programs, including the student-facing dashboard, the project-based curriculum model and how we use technology to facilitate project submission, feedback and communication with Coaches and Reviewers.
The Mathematics Classroom of the Future, Duxbury High School – Duxbury, MA
Lead Educator: Stephanie Iacadoro
We will be showcasing the integration of Project Based Learning in a 1:1 Learning Environment in the Mathematics Curriculum. Projects will include technology, writing, and student choice and include the work of a wide range of courses including College Prep, Honors, and AP courses. In our curriculum, performance assessments that are supported through technology are infused into our curriculum vertically and thus sustainable.
VR – An Educational Game Changer
Hamilton Wenham Regional High School / Miles River Middle School – South Hamilton, MA
Lead Educator: Johanna Wilson
Have you ever wished you could take your students to places beyond the classroom or farther away than a school-day field trip would allow? Maybe to the top of Mt. Everest or perhaps, on an underwater adventure? Using virtual reality in the classroom allows teachers to make real connections that enhance and enrich the content. For students, virtual reality provides a learning experience previously unimaginable. Learn how one school district is using virtual reality in new and unique ways to engage students and break down the classroom walls.
Igniting the Maker Mindset, John F Kennedy School – Somerville, MA
Lead Educator: Lindsey Tosches
The Maker Mindset is alive and well at the John F. Kennedy School! By incorporating the maker-way-of-knowing into our standards based science curriculum, students have the opportunity to expand and apply their knowledge in unique, hands-on ways. Modeling problem solving using the engineering and design process provides the framework for students to test, evaluate, and redesign all aspects of their work. Some of our past projects have included 3D design in TinkerCad, 3D printing, and Stop Motion Animation, as well as other hands-on learning experiences. Our showcase will demonstrate that making does not have to be done separately from science curriculum; making can be a meaningful (and FUN) extension of learning that engages all students through a variety of technologies! Learn More: Kennedy School Makerspace, Grade5STEAM 2016 website, Kennedy Makerspace Instagram
Using Innovative Multimedia Engineering Curriculum in Middle School STEM, Mohawk Trail Regional Middle School -Shelburne Falls, MA
Lead Educator: Lauren Binger
Seventh-graders in Lauren Binger’s STEM classes at Mohawk Trail Regional School (MA) used Through My Window (TMW), an NSF-funded engineering curriculum created by Smith College and Springfield Technical Community College. TMW is a multimedia learning environment designed using cutting-edge learning theory. The curriculum includes three components: a young adult novel called Talk to Me–available as an e-reader, audiobook, and paperback; interactive online learning modules, and offline enrichment activities. Engineering topics such as artificial intelligence and the design cycle are featured. Ms. Binger, several of her students, and TMW developers will share results and experiences.
Greengineering, Newton North High School – Newton, MA
Lead Educator: Adam Peloquin
Greengineering is a design engineering course at Newton North High School in which students are challenged to think outside the box. The Greengineering curriculum offers students opportunities to develop solutions for today and tomorrow that will enable the human species to live in harmony with the planet. From soap to skateboards, students become environmental advocates who follow their passions to create innovative products that offer environmental solutions. With the help of the design process students work through complex projects that teach them about marketing, sales, chemistry, economics, biology, and mechanics. Learn More: Greengineering Website
Mission to Mars, North Reading Middle School – North Reading, MA
Lead Educator: Kathleen Dasho
In this session participants will learn about how students in our after school robot club used STEM concepts to build and program a Mission to Mars simulation using LEGO EV3 robots. They demonstrated their enthusiasm and determination in hands-on problem solving completing the assorted challenges with the robots in activities that promote creative problem-solving, communication and teamwork skills. Students creatively adapted and applied programming and problem-solving skills to make the robots solve challenges related to space exploration, such as programming robots to gather rocks on Mars, rescue stranded astronauts, retrieve a Mars rover, launch a satellite and a communications station. Students worked in groups to solve these problems, and explored the necessary strategies to complete the challenges. The showcase will show the robots in action, as well as a video in the background showing the challenges as if you were on Mars watching this take place. Using laptops with the EV3 software, students programmed, tested robots and completed the challenges. Key goals were having robots autonomously carry out and complete each challenge successfully, as well as working collaboratively with a partner to complete the task. Learn More: Mission to Mars Video
Spark your Teaching with Digital Tools, Northeastern University – Boston, MA
Lead Educator: Nina Araújo
Many factors can play a role in how students engage with various types of information, such as depth and breadth of new content, its organization, and visual design of materials as well as media elements. This is not a one-stop shop environment. It has become crucial for pre-service students in the education department at Northeastern University to access information via multiple entry points to learning. The use of engaging and innovative digital tools provide experiences that promote sustained student engagement, in and out of the classroom, in the cloud, or in their hands through mobile devices. The integration helps students solve problems from a variety of different angles using different technology. This showcase will illustrate to participants what teaching and learning look like within an innovative and integrated digital environment. The key goal of this showcase is to promote student engagement and sustain it over time as a model for future students in k-12 schools. Learn More: Mobile App Assignment
Reflective Learning Mindset: Developing Self-Directed Learners in STEM, St. Mark’s School -Southborough, MA
Lead Educator: Kimberley Berndt
For students to become life-long learners they need to develop the habits of mind requisite for being a reflective learner. This presentation will share the story of how students in a lab-based Biotechnology course experienced the power of personalized learning as they practiced habits and developed skills necessary to truly “own” their learning. A gradual release of responsibility and deliberate scaffolding enabled learners to develop self-efficacy in the lab, learn deeply about science, creatively communicate their learning, and follow their own curiosities.
STEAM Splash, Stormgears FRC – Devens, MA
Lead Educator: William Kazman
STEAM Splash was created by a high-school robotics team in 2014. We came together after being inspired by the 2014 FLL World Championships. It was a life-changing experience for us, but we realized that not everyone has this opportunity. There are many barriers to becoming involved with FIRST and enjoying STEAM, such as money and time commitment from adults. With STEAM Splash Jr. FLL In-a-Box, we greatly lower the barriers of getting children from ages 6-10 involved with team-based showcases that celebrate STEAM education and progress. STEAM Splash Jr. FLL In-a-Box reformats the Jr. FLL season into eight 60-minute activity sessions and is complemented by our STEAM Splash Showcase. The STEAM Splash Showcase is an online platform which contains our entire curriculum as a downloadable PDF. Along with this it allows the kids to display their work and interact with high-school mentors to continue to inspire them.Already we have reached 10,000 kids through over 10 local events and 2 events overseas. We want to spread our passion to the next generation of science and technology leaders using STEAM Splash. Learn More: Stormgears Website
Personalized Learning in Math: Using Technology to Design Custom Math Curricula for Each Student, TechBoston Academy – Boston, MA
Lead Educator: Alia Verner
In our efforts to continue offering our community a world class education that prepares students for success in college, TechBoston Academy added an innovative personalized learning model called Teach to One: Math. Teach to One: Math helps our teachers tailor instruction to the unique learning needs of each scholar at TBA. Each day students receive a customized schedule that indicates what mathematics skill they are ready to learn, the best way for them to learn it, and with which teacher and peers they will work with that day. In Teach to One, students explore math with teachers, collaborating with other scholars on projects, and working with high quality computer software. By meeting each child where they are, we expect our scholars to deepen their understanding and discover the beauty and power of mathematics. Learn More: Teach to One, Teach to One in the Boston Globe, Teach to One on BNN News
Creating Smart Phone Cases Using 3D Printer Technology, Whitman-Hanson Regional High School – Whitman, MA
Lead Educator: Julie Giglia
Students worked in teams of two to complete the design and development of the smartphone case project using 3D printer technology. Students learned and applied the steps in the design process. Students created a project plan that outlined the steps needed from inception to the final cell phone prototype design. It was my job to ensure collaboration with students on the design solution ensuring all steps in the design process are well thought out and completed. Students would have to research target customers’ needs to determine attributes cell phone users want complete 2D and 3D sketches of the prototype and use CAD software called Sketchup. They drew the right dimensional designs to ensure the design prototypes measurements were precise. Teams participated in the design of the cell phone case cover using the CAD software and 3D print final physical cell phone case prototype. This was a learning curve for my students. Often, we had to create many prototypes because the cell phone case ergonomically did not fit the physical cell phone. Students would get frustrated if the case did not fit with their first prototype, it was a learning curve for all involved. Overall, this project enabled my students to learn 3D printer technology. Learn More: 3D Design Challenge Video
Many Stories, One Project: 1:1 Learning and the Multi-Genre Research Project, Wilson Middle School – Natick, MA
Lead Educator: Eric Fries
What are you passionate about? What would you study if you had the choice? Every spring, 8th graders in Natick Public Schools create a “Multi-Genre Research Project” encompassing multiple weeks of research and the creation of several small projects to create a cohesive presentation on a topic of their choice. This process, however, is one they work towards throughout the year through a 1:1 laptop initiative and a variety of project-based learning experiences in many of their classes. In this showcase, 8th grade students will present examples of projects in core content areas that display the sort of individualized learning that builds towards this research project. In addition, a 9th grade student will explain and present the process of choosing a topic they’re passionate about, researching it and creating and end-of-year Multi-Genre Research project on it. Exemplar work from these and other students will be displayed. These projects will show how a 1:1 blended learning environment can foster individualized learning and encourage the sort of inquiry and technical skills that lead to an end-of-Middle School capstone project. Learn More: Wilson Middle School
A Field Guide to the Adult Learning Market, Featuring Learning Game Studios
Moderator: Amber Laxton, Consulting Team Leader, Entangled Solutions
Basic skills that adults need for workforce advancement is an area of education that has historically been underserved by entrepreneurs and investors, in large part because the landscape is unfamiliar. Nevertheless, the time has never been better for entrepreneurs and investors to take a leap into the space. Every venture into adult learning will enjoy untapped market potential as well as the chance to make a real social impact. This panel will demystify the adult education/workforce development market and present practical approaches and advice to entrepreneurs and investors seeking success in this field.
Growing from an Edtech Startup into a Global Edtech Company, Featuring ListenWise
Moderator: Monica Brady-Myerov, CEO, ListenWise
When entrepreneurs aspire to grow globally, they need to know how to expand their sales and distribution approach. App stores project business to consumer products globally, but partnerships might be best for enterprise selling to districts or colleges.
In this session, participants will:
- Hear from successful entrepreneurs on the journey of going global
- Explore how entrepreneurs are using the global app stores
- Identify how entrepreneurs have engaged global partners
- Examine routes available to those focussed on enterprise selling
Scaling Up Internships and Experiential Learning Opportunities in Higher Ed, Featuring Riipen
Moderator: Jake Murray, Faculty Director for Professional Education, Boston University School of Education
Panelists: Eric Schwarz, Co-Founder & CEO, College for Social Innovation; Dana Stephenson, Co-Founder & Chief Connecting Officer, Riipen; Chris Mallett, VP of Online Experiential Learning, Northeastern University
Many institutions wish to offer more internships and experiential learning opportunities to students. Managing the creation of opportunities and monitoring effectiveness – if they are for credit – is a challenge.
In this session, participants will:
- Discuss the development of experiential learning in higher ed
- Identify how alumni networks are used
- Explore CUREs – Course-based undergraduate research experiences
- Examine ways to create and manage local partnerships