Los Angeles, CA, Nov 27, 2014 -- CrowdSchool, an education startup based in Los Angeles, has partnered with Indiegogo’s #GivingTuesday promotion (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-crowdschool-reimagineschool) to scale its online project based learning platform and marketplace for K-12 classrooms. Having already raised over $10,000 on IndieGoGo, CrowdSchool believes #GivingTuesday will push them over their $25,000 goal. With a successful campaign, CrowdSchool will launch a marketplace in February 2015, where teachers can discover, purchase, and use project-based lessons that provide creative, hands-on curriculum for teaching any subject.
CrowdSchool will develop online tools for any teacher to create, sell, and share lessons in its marketplace. By creating a place where teachers can earn income and prestige from selling their original project-based learning (PBL) curriculum to other teachers everywhere, CrowdSchool aims to disrupt the antiquated textbook industry. All lessons in the marketplace feature an online interface that teachers and students use to complete PBL in class and showcase finished products to authentic audiences like peers, parents, and educators.
“Teachers are busy people,” says Sergio Aguilar, CrowdSchool’s Chief Product Officer, who has spent 8 years in schools as a teacher and Technology Director. “Our goal is design a platform that makes teachers’ jobs easier while delivering 21st Century, Project Based Learning opportunities for students everywhere.”
The idea for CrowdSchool emerged from its founding team’s nearly 20 years as classroom teachers. They saw that students were bored and disengaged with the lectures, worksheets, and quizzes that exemplify traditional school. However, when they introduced projects that incorporated 21st century skills, they saw student motivation and engagement rise dramatically.
At the time, the future founders were running unconferences called Hack the Classroom to help teachers learn how to use technology in the classroom. “From talking with teachers, we discovered that far too many apps and tools were being designed to bring lectures, worksheets, and quizzes onto tablets. We knew that putting a quiz on an iPad wasn’t going to increase student engagement,” says, Peter Glenn, an MBA who left a venture backed startup in San Francisco to become CrowdSchool’s founding CEO. “So we started to explore using technology as a vehicle to deliver creative learning to classrooms.”
The team began prototyping their version of web-based PBL lessons on Wordpress, and co-founder Tim Monreal began testing them in his middle school classroom. They were a smash hit. Students used iPads to make stop-motion animation about the evolution of animals (http://youtu.be/-ng4JOqKjRs), musical instruments to demonstrate the science of sound (http://youtu.be/7aFUJjQalFc), and public service announcements about genocide prevention (http://youtu.be/lm1lYRxJecw). Students loved using technology to make tangible projects and the kids could not stop asking for more project.
“The traditional model of school was designed in the 19th Century to train obedient factory workers,” says Monreal, now CrowdSchool’s Chief Learning Officer, a progressive educator who has spent 6 years in the classroom. “CrowdSchool resonates with students because they want to be creators and problem solvers, not factory automatons that memorize facts and instructions.”
“We believe our product will not only have a huge impact in schools, but also on young people in general. Teachers and students will be empowered and inspired” says Monreal. This type of social impact made CrowdSchool a perfect candidate for IndieGoGo’s #GivingTuesday promotion.
In July, the founders quit their day jobs to develop CrowdSchool full time. In just three months, the team expanded its platform prototype and piloted it with teachers and students in Los Angeles. Their crowdfunding campaign will enable them to hire the experienced programmers, designers, and educators they need to fully develop their platform and begin to #ReimagineSchool.
CrowdSchool is the world’s first online platform for crowdsourcing project based learning for K-12 classrooms. Founded by teachers, CrowdSchool’s mission is to be the planet’s most creative education company by building a community where teachers and students can discover the resources they need to put creative learning at the heart of school.
You can find CrowdSchool on Twitter (@CrowdSchool), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/CrowdSchool), or on the web at http://CrowdSchool.co.
For More Information: Tim Monreal, Chief Learning Officer & Co-Founder, [email protected]