Flyover companies improving education through tech development

Technology touches just about every aspect of life, including education. Although school systems took advantage of technology during the pandemic to continue classes with students, we’re referring to EdTech companies that are making software to enhance, and sometimes equalize, the educational experience.

Mastery Portfolio, located in Columbus, OH, makes a standards-based software called MasteryBook, which helps students set standards-aligned goals and track their progress on individual standards. The software, designed and produced by educators and educational consultants, generates rich analytics for customizing rating scales.

The system assesses students by aligning the curriculum to a body of standards and then allows each standard to be assessed or graded individually. The purpose is to communicate more specific information about what students know and can do, and to ensure alignment of classroom activities and learning to codified and standardized objectives for the year. Teachers can differentiate using grade-level standards above and below the grade they teach in order to fill gaps or provide extensions.

Kansas City-based EdTech Plabook offers two apps, one for reading and one for math. The reading app assesses oral reading fluency and analyzes errors to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses. Every time a student and Plabook read together, Plabook generates diagnostic reports that empower teachers and parents. The AR Math app teaches using progressive learning. Users can choose a level of play based on grade level and work to unlock new math concepts.

Varsity Tutors was founded in St. Louis and offers a live learning platform that tutors students on over 70 subjects, lets them send and receive messages, and manages appointments. (Nerdy, the parent company of Varsity Tutors, was acquired by TPG Pace Tech Opportunities at a valuation of $1.7 billion in 2021.)