Competition in the Education Space. Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform used by teachers in their classrooms to create mini-games (a series of multiple-choice questions) that students can answer on their tablets or laptops. The class plays along, in a “quiz show” format allowing the teacher to see which students understand the material. Kahoot! has been adopted by approximately 20M elementary schools in the US, with 1 billion users over the past four years (Singer, 2016; Jan Kamps, 2017).
Dreambox Math, offered by Dreambox Learning is an educational technology tool that contains a variety of interactive online math tools that are aligned with the common core. Each student’s progress, strengths, and weaknesses are tracked, providing individualized user experience. Dreambox Learning has an approximate Net Asset Value of $2.3M and is used by over 1.5M students, and more than 75,000 K-6 teachers (GSV Capital, 2017; Fricke, 2015).
Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization that provides free educational content including video lessons and supplemental practice exercises with an associated mobile app. Lessons for a variety of STEM fields and levels are available, and many exercises are aligned with NGSS and common core standards. Khan Academy has had widespread success: reaching 31M registered students, 1M registered teachers and has 15M site visits per month across 190 countries (Kashyap, 2016).
Though these apps and programs help teachers to track student progress and some gamify STEAM content, none are linked to real hands-on classroom activities and experimentation. While reading fr om a screen, or doing quizzes on a laptop may be more engaging than reading from a textbook or doing work on paper, none take the extra step of exposing students tangible hands-on experiments, which have been found to be most effective at increasing student interest in the STEM fields (Holstermann, Grube, & Bögeholz, 2009).
One potential competitor that does include a hands-on experimentation component is the Full Option Science System (FOSS). FOSS is a research-based science curriculum for grades K-6 with a focus on inquiry-based and hands-on learning. FOSS provides packaged NGSS aligned modules that contain material kits, teacher guides, student readings, and journals with a website for additional activities. FOSS does not have an app, cooking modules, or a student login or profile option; meaning it is used primarily by teachers and does not allow for students to use it outside of the classroom. Module prices vary by topic, but cost around $1,000 for a classroom kit, and include all of the materials needed to cover one topic (e.g. electromagnetic force, solids and liquids, air and weather).
In the afterschool program and home use cooking program field: Radish Kids is a potential competitor. Radish is a monthly subscription club wh ere kids receive a kit each month with lesson plans and activities related to math, science, geography, history, and culture. They also have a kit for a 9-week school program available. However, the program does not have an associated app, and does not have NGSS and CCSS aligned activities, nor does it Link Recipes, STEAM concepts, and nutrition through machine learning and automation to deliver customized curriculum, track and monitor progress, and measure outcomes.