By guest blogger Kevin Connors
Personalized learning brings opportunities and challenges for educators. If done well, it offers the potential to “meet students where they’re at,” in the language of many school officials today—but it also presents the challenge of figuring out how to balance face-to-face instruction with online learning. There’s the opportunity to engage students in fun and engaging activities—and the challenge of making that work academically rewarding.
KnowRe, an adaptive math learning platform, believes it has found the right formula for accomplishing those goals—and so do investors. The ed-tech startup recently raised $6.8 million of venture capital to scale its app across more schools throughout the United States.
KnowRe’s app attempts to personalize a standards-based math curriculum based on student progress and then provide teachers with a dashboard of achievement indicators, allowing them to target instruction.
The company gained attention after being named “Best Instructional App” in 2013 for New York City’s Department of Education “Gap App Challenge.” Then, after a year-long beta trial in dozens of middle and high schools, KnowRe officially launched in March 2014.
The most recent Series A round was led by return investor SoftBank Ventures Korea and included funding from KTB Network Co., LTD, Partners Investment, SparkLabs Global Ventures, and other new investors. In total, the company has raised $8.6 million of venture capital, according to CrunchBase.
Investors have been impressed with KnowRe’s integration of technology, commitment to providing usable data to teachers, and their plans to grow in the US and Asian markets, said Sean Lee, executive director of SoftBank Ventures, in a statement.
In an effort to respond to what it says is rising demand, KnowRe plans to invest the funds in product development. The company is attempting to take advantage of the movement toward online learning, high-stakes standards-based assessments, and instruction meant to be customized to individual students’ needs. Education Week detailed this K-12 trend in a recent special report on personalized learning.
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