Live, from New York: It’s Education Entrepreneurs!

September 25, 2011

This week, as part of the NBC News Education Nation program, NewSchools is partnering with NBC to put a spotlight on education innovation.  Three teams of early-stage entrepreneurs who want to use their imagination and technological savvy to help educators are competing for a $100,000 prize from sponsor Citi, as well as organizational support from NewSchools. All week, the young entrepreneurs are engaging in events and challenges that will help them improve and market their products, and test their readiness. 

Today, the entrepreneurs proved their public speaking skills by taking the anchor chair at the TODAY Show, reading about innovation from a TelePrompter. NBC’s Jenna Wolfe gave them a coaching session and let them loose on the camera. 

Now, the public is invited to watch the videos and vote on who did best. Click here to visit the NBC Education Nation website, watch the videos, and vote.

The competing entrepreneurial organizations are:

  • ClassDojo: Four in 10 US teachers report spending more than 50% of their class time on behavior management – that’s half the school year. And 53% of teachers who quit cite uncontrollable behavior issues as one of the biggest reasons they’re quitting – that’s half of our teachers. ClassDojo is a real-time behavior management tool to help teachers improve student behavior in the classroom. Just 4 weeks after launch, ClassDojo is currently being used with 7,000+ teachers and 150,000+ students
  • TruantToday: Schools lose $30-50 for each day a student skips school. That totals up to big dollars–San Diego lost $102 million last year due to truancy. Chronically-truant students are twice as likely to drop out and 82% more likely to commit a crime than students who attend regularly. TruantToday, founded by 16-year-old entrepreneur Zak Kukoff, allows schools to send out instant text and email messages to parents when students cut class. In pilot testing, TruantToday improved attendance 75%. TruantToday was named “most likely to succeed” at the Clinton Global Initiative America conference.
  • Kickboard: Close to 50% of teachers leave the profession within the first 5 years. One of the main reasons is lack of support. Kickboard offers that support, through web-based software that enables teachers to use data to improve student performance. Kickboard’s intuitive interface gives teachers and administrators the ability to collect and analyze academic and behavioral performance efficiently and in real time so that they can make appropriate and timely interventions. In a survey, 93% of teachers who use Kickboard, agreed that Kickboard helps make them more effective in the classroom.