Baltimore Startup Common Curriculum Has Disrupted Curriculum Writing [SXSW]

Common Curriculum,EdTech startup,Baltimore startup,LAUNCHedu,SXSWedu,sxsw,sxsw13Teachers write between 200-800 lesson plans per year based on how many unique courses they teach. This was a major pain point for educators. Often times they would want to take one lesson and take part of it and incorporate it into another. This would be great if they could easily put their hands on that file.

In 2009 Baltimore math teacher Scott Messinger became fed up with the old way of planning curriculum. EdTech was poppin up everywhere at the student level, yet teachers were still writing lesson plans in Microsoft Word, or the old fashioned way, by hand.

Messinger taught himself to code over the next three years and started building what became Common Curriculum. According to whatweekly, in 2011 Robbie Earle joined Messinger as co-founder, after Education Hack Day.

They launched Common Curriculum back in August and this week they were a finalist at LAUNCHedu as part of SXSWedu.

We got a chance to catch up with Earle. Check out our video interview below.

Check out more of our SXSW 2013 Coverage here at

Check out the LAUNCHedu Higher Ed Startup Finalists at SXSWedu

LAUNCHedu,SXSWedu,startups,EdTechEarlier this morning we told you about LAUNCHedu a new startup initiative going on now at SXSWedu. The educational festival as part of SXSW continues to grow and now offers four full days of programming, panels, keynotes and startups. The biggest startup portion for SXSWedu is the LAUNCHedu event.

LAUNCHedu celebrates the convergence of “today’s dynamic educators, and entrepreneurs transforming classrooms and revolutionizing schooling.” Four great educators and entrepreneurs will emcee the LAUNCHedu festivities. They are: EdSurge co-founder Betsy Corcoran, Trinity Education Group partner and CIO Clyde Boyer , GSV founder and managing partner Deborah Quazzo, and Trinity Education Group founder and CEO Hugh Norwood.

The criteria the LAUNCHedu startup finalists were judged on was:

  1. Creativity (Originality of Idea)
  2. Potential (Longevity, Actualization and Profitability of idea)
  3. Functionality (Usability of interface for idea)
  4. Team / People (Who is your team and how will they make your company a success?)

Here are the Higher Ed startup finalists from the LAUNCHedu website:

CollegeSnapps™ is a mobile communication platform that facilitates students’ progress to-and-through college by pairing an innovative mobile app that delivers just-in-time, high quality information and alerts to students with a multi-functional web-based dashboard in order for high school counselors and college advisors to effectively communicate with and support their students.

Flinja is an exclusive, college-centric marketplace where students, staff and alumni can hire and be hired. We provide a vetted, freelance workforce of talented college students and alumni. Our mission is to innovate the hiring process by connecting user participation with college affiliation.

Kahoot! is a platform that enables learners to play with knowledge in a collaborative and social manner. A web-based, mobile and tablet friendly educational platform, with a core emphasis on user experience design in a social, fun and game-like environment.

LRNGO is a marketplace where people can teach their skills and connect through learning. On LRNGO, you can buy, sell or trade what you know for leisure or achieving your goals. Teach. Learn. Share. LRNGO, INC. is a company that develops social learning utilities to accelerate the transfer of knowledge.

Matchbox, Inc.
Matchbox disrupts undergraduate and graduate admissions by replacing outdated software with an iPad app. Our streamlined system gives customers a competitive advantage by arriving at decisions faster and gaining visibility into the incoming class. This insight enables universities to proactively adjust their recruitment efforts improving yield and increasing tuition revenue.

MediaCore’s video learning platform is the fastest way for anyone at any institution to easily capture, manage and share media content securely and privately. Currently it serves over 500,000 students at 300+ schools and universities worldwide.

More Than Money Careers
MTM Careers helps college students and graduates get clear, get connected, and get hired for well-paying jobs in CSR, sustainable business, and social enterprise. Since 2010, over 30 universities have leveraged our process and resources via our online staff and faculty training programs or our ‘Netflix for Impact Careers’ library.

School Yourself
We’re reinventing math textbooks by making them more fun and affordable. So far, we’ve launched three e-books (most recently “Hands-On Calculus”), each of which we wrote and published ourselves. Unlike almost all other textbooks on the market, our books make math come alive with engaging content and touch-based interactive demos.

We make useful online reading and research apps that enable you to annotate/comment on webpages in your browser and then save, share and manage them in the cloud. Our Student Edition adds academic features (e.g. citations, bibliographies, reports, etc.). Instructors use scrible for thoughtful and collaborative e-reading assignments.

SpeakingPal is an innovative education company with a unique focus on teaching English speaking skills using automatic speech recognition on smartphones, tablets and Smart TVs. Founded in 2009, SpeakingPal’s multidisciplinary team has created highly engaging and interactive educational products that are used by over 1M people worldwide, and growing.

MapStory, a compliment to Wikipedia, is a new dimension to the global data commons that empowers a global user community to organize knowledge about the world spatially and temporally. Perhaps more important, MapStory is an infrastructure enabling ‘MapStorytelling’ as a means of communicating important issues to a global audience.

USEED is re-engineering philanthropy in Higher Education. We provide universities and colleges with an innovative online fundraising solution specifically tailored to the unique challenges within the industry. USEED builds a large pipeline of new donors for the institution while simultaneously empowering students to pursue their dreams and discover their passions.

See These LAUNCHedu K-12 Startup Finalists At SXSWedu

LAUNCHedu,sxswedu,sxsw,startupsSouth By Southwest’s education event, sxswedu, continues to grow. This year they have four full days of programming beginning today and running through Thursday March 7th. SXSWedu takes place at the Austin Convention Center and surrounding hotels, and is quickly gaining popularity.

While many startups are participating in SXSWinteractive, EdTech or educational startups are launching at sxswedu as part of the new LAUNCHedu event. Startups in the LAUNCHedu finals will be presenting at the Hilton Austin Downtown in room 404 throughout the event. The complete schedule of presenting startups in the LAUNCHedu Startup Showcase can be found here.

Here are the 2013 LAUNCHedu K-12 Finalists from the SXSWedu website:

Actively Learn
Reading is the bedrock of education, but two-thirds of eighth graders cannot understand what they read. Actively Learn has created a reading environment to teach students to be advanced readers. Educators are empowered with tools for personalized instruction and analytics of student learning within the context of Common Core standards.

Classroom, Inc.
Classroom, Inc. prepares struggling middle and high school students for success in and beyond school. Acting as bankers, editors, and lawyers in our workplace simulations, students use their academic, critical-thinking, and 21st century skills to solve authentic problems.

Founded by a teacher tired of chaos in the computer lab, Clever solves a common frustration with educational software: logins. Clever automatically syncs student accounts from a school’s information system (SIS) into programs students use. Over 50 companies and 3,000 schools use Clever to make their classroom software “just work”.

Common Curriculum
Common Curriculum is building the Google Docs of education. Our free site lets teachers collaboratively plan units and lessons while aligning them to the Common Core. Teachers and districts will be able to sell their work through our online marketplace or purchase new material by dragging it into their plans.

DigitWhiz is all about making sure kids master foundational math skills in a fun and effective way. We evaluate, prescribe individualized games and guide kids to master the skills they need. Play on desktops or iPad. Teacher-built and kid approved!

Duckie Deck
At Duckie Deck we provide smiles. Over eight million toddlers played our games and smiled. We teach things that are important for their future, things that matter to their parents. We explain why sharing with others is so important. Why we should brush our teeth and what does friendship mean.

instaGrok is a research engine: we make it incredibly simple to discover, learn, and share information. Users explore graphical concept maps that show how ideas connect. They can also customize the maps (with key facts, links, and images) and then share them with friends, colleagues, and classmates.

LearnSprout simplifies systems integration and reveals key insights on student performance and engagement with the first universal API to pull live data from leading student information systems. Free to schools and districts, LearnSprout is the easiest and most secure, FERPA compliant method for integrating an SIS within the edtech ecosystem.

Slate Science
Slate Science is transforming mobile devices into interactive, adaptive learning platforms for K12 STEM education. Our platform enables rapid, multi-platform development of modular learning units, designed to offer performance-based, student-specific learning experiences. The SlateMath CC-compatible portfolio includes hundreds of recombinant learning units, each imparting a specific mathematical skill or concept.

Teaching Channel
Teaching Channel is a community of educators focused on self-improvement that attracts 250,000 users/month. Visitors to the website find a high-quality video library – featuring exemplar teachers – paired with intuitive annotation tools. With TchTeams, Teaching Channel’s private collaboration platform, schools and districts can now enable their teachers to learn together.

ThinkCERCA is a Chicago-based company passionately committed to improving the quality of K-12 education. Developed by a team of nationally recognized literacy experts, the online platform allows teacher teams to design, deliver, and assess lessons using the CERCA argumentation framework. The expert lesson library delivers rigorous, personalized learning across disciplines.

A games-based learning web and mobile platform grounded in neuroscience that enables teachers and students to create, play and share games to support teaching and learning. User-created questions (multiple formats, any language, any age group) can be combined with multiple casual games for students to play and practice.

 We’ve got much more SXSW13 coverage here!