The pandemic has shown how vital connectivity is to successful learning. To keep students engaged, especially in a remote or hybrid setting, high-quality educational tools that supplement and enrich classroom lessons in diverse and culturally relevant ways can help. Innovative ed-tech solutions can help students improve core skills and stay engaged and excited about learning and show families the value of connectivity.
Now in its’ seventh year, the AT&T Aspire Accelerator program has identified eight ed-tech startups working to develop innovative online solutions in the areas of literacy, STEM and social emotional learning (SEL).
“This year’s Aspire Accelerator cohort of ed-tech startups focuses on optimizing the learning experience for all students through engaging and culturally relevant content,” said Matt Hickey, vice president, AT&T Public Sector Marketing. “We are excited to provide resources and mentorship to this talented group so they can scale online learning to help students improve core skills and thrive in any environment.”
How will AT&T Support the 2021 Accelerator Class?
Following a competitive application process, eight organizations, including four nonprofits were selected to receive funding, access to business experts, national exposure, mentorship and entrepreneur resources. This six-month program will conclude in December with our annual Pitches with Purpose graduation event.
Starting this year, AT&T will embrace the success and expertise of past and present Accelerator participants to inform content and features of the AT&T Connected Learning program. The company developed this new program to help stem the tide of learning loss, narrow the homework gap, and deliver high quality learning experiences everywhere today’s connected students learn – in the classroom, at home, and in the community.
Beereaders – Austin, TX – Beereaders’ digital platform promotes literacy skills among K-12 Spanish-speaking students in a fun and engaging reading environment. For educators and families, Beereaders works as a supplemental resource for dual-language learners, bilingual students and literacy intervention programs at home or in class.
Read to Lead – New York, NY – 501(c)(3)- Read to Lead is a suite of online learning experiences coupling reading, critical thinking and career exploration. The platform improves middle school students’ reading proficiency and critical thinking skills, while it provides educators with a holistic model for developing student literacy, life and career skills.
The AI Education Project (AIEDU) – San Francisco, CA – 501(c)(3)- AIEDU develops a digital curriculum that promotes AI literacy and inspires technology-enabled careers and innovative mindsets to direct students toward resilient and prosperous pathways. It aspires to make AI education accessible to all students, specifically those from communities underrepresented in AI and STEM, through culturally relevant and highly engaging content.
Floop – Bellevue, WA – Founded by teachers, Floop is the feedback literacy company that empowers learners with the lifelong skills of seeking, giving and using feedback to learn. Its mobile-friendly web app helps teachers give feedback four times faster and teaches students to engage with feedback.
Thimble.io – Buffalo, NY – Thimble.io is a monthly subscription program that teaches kids robotics and coding skills. The program consists of a 48-month curriculum, quarterly delivery of 16 STEM kits and lesson library accompanied with synchronous and asynchronous instruction.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
TasselTurn – Chicago, IL – 501(c)(3) – Having strong social emotional learning skills helps students to stay engaged in online learning. TasselTurn is a nonprofit that supports high school students in foster care and guides them through post-secondary opportunities at colleges based on lived experiences, personal interests and needs. Using TasselTurn’s online platform, Pioneers engage with SEL aligned curriculum starting in high school and continue through college.
Novelly – Chino Hills, CA (Los Angeles) – 501(c)(3) – Novelly is a nonprofit publisher and digital book club for diverse youth voices. Created for courageous conversations on tough topics this civic-minded book club is powered by the Novelly mobile app, and its two youth programs (Rising Voices Collective and SPEAK! Leadership Academy) ensure that club stories and discussions come from the youth.
YogaEd. – Honolulu, HI – Yoga Ed. offers free and paid solutions for teachers, aligned with CASEL and national physical education standards, to improve student outcomes – including academic performance, attendance and teacher satisfaction, especially in a distance learning environment. Their evidence-based, trauma-informed resources are improving the physical, mental, emotional and social health for students and teachers engaged in online learning.
To date, the Aspire Accelerator program has supported 51 companies that have cumulatively reached over 45 million students in the U.S. and raised an additional $50 million in funding after AT&T’s investment. Viewed as the premier ed-tech accelerator program in the country, program participants have included 71% of women-owned companies and 59% minority-owned companies.