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Raising $15M to Build Kiddom Academy, a K-12 Operating System for Schools and Districts

Raising $15M to Build Kiddom Academy, a K-12 Operating System for Schools and Districts

Kiddom’s mission is to build technology that unlocks the potential of all teachers and learners. In fact, we believe it takes a village to raise a child, from parents to teachers to school and district administrators.

 

 

For centuries, schools and technology have struggled to find a balance, with technology typically attempting to dictate the relationship between teachers and students. We believe technology has failed to unburden teachers. We believe technology has failed to help schools become centers of proactive support. Teachers, school leaders, and district administrators continue to spend an inordinate amount of time piecing together data to take the pulse of teaching and learning in classrooms, schools, and districts.

Given these inefficiencies, the idea of “personalized learning” seems impossible to achieve. For Kiddom, “personalized learning” is not about applying technology to learning or adding screen time, it’s about designing and implementing technology that enables every student to learn through pedagogy optimized for them, at their own pace. Our aim is to give schools and districts the power to execute on their vision for teaching and personalized learning.

Today, we’re excited to announce two things: (1) Kiddom Academy for schools and districts and (2) a $15M Series B round of financing led by new strategic partners Owl Ventures to help us deploy Kiddom Academy. Owl Ventures is a venture capital fund that invests in the world’s leading education technology companies. Existing investors Khosla Ventures also participated in this round.

A blast from the past

When we started Kiddom over three years ago, we first focused on classrooms and the tools needed to enhance the classroom experience for teachers and students. We realized every classroom experience played a role in the larger ecosystem within the school, so we designed a set of collaborative tools to help school communities work together, share, and learn from each other more effectively.

By connecting classrooms to each other, we discovered a disconnect between classrooms and their respective administration bodies, and so we listened and worked closely with public school administrators to understand how to connect school systems from the top-down and bottom-up.

Academy for schools and districts

With this funding, we’re ready to release Academy, our K12 school operating system for schools and districts to take advantage of our technology, allowing leaders at the school or district level to identify and act on aggregate achievement trends, manage and disseminate curriculum and proprietary content, and efficiently integrate with other tools districts have come to rely on.

To facilitate Academy adoption, we’ll be using the funds we raised to aggressively recruit for technical roles, as well as implementation and success roles to ensure that each and every learning community subscribed to Kiddom Academy is bought-in, on-boarded, and equipped with a plan to take full advantage of the product.

A special thanks to teachers

Since our inception, we’ve experienced rapid growth across hundreds of thousands of classrooms, catalyzed by word-of-mouth referrals from great teachers. The Kiddom team is forever indebted to our teacher base. Thank you for being our biggest champions. Thank you for continuing to passionately serve students around the world.

What’s next?

As the Kiddom team works toward our mission, we’re excited to help more and more teachers, schools, and districts achieve the wonderful things that were previously thought impossible. While today marks an exciting milestone, we’re just getting started, baby. Thanks for being with us on this journey. 💜


By: Abbas Manjee, Chief Academic Officer

 

P.S. Kiddom’s core product for teacher and learners will always remain free.

Just Added: Teaching Resources for Literacy, Writing, and Grammar

Just Added: Teaching Resources for Literacy, Writing, and Grammar

Knock knock. Who’s there? To. To who? To whom!

Grammar puns aside, the literacy gap is serious business. In the United States alone, an estimated 8.7 million 4th-12th grade students struggle with the reading and writing tasks required of them in school.

At Kiddom, we believe students deserve strong literacy instruction in all of their classes. That’s why we’ve just added teaching resources from the fine folks at Quill.org and RocketLit to our library.

Quill.org provides free writing and grammar activities for elementary, middle, and high school students. Activities are great for small group instruction or station work. They’re excellent for homework assignments as well.

Activities are designed to be completed in ten minutes, so there’s a lot of flexibility in how you use them. For example, a sentence combining activity asks students to combine multiple ideas into a single sentence. They then receive instant feedback to help them improve their clarity and precision.

Instantly find Quill.org’s resources and build grammar and language skills for writing assignments

Do I need a Quill.org account?
No. Both teachers and students can access the activity directly via the content library preview or in the student assignment. When a student completes the activity they will see a results screen.

RocketLit offers non-fiction science and social studies articles, written in a voice students love. The articles are packed with analogies and available at multiple reading levels, covering topics for upper elementary and middle school. Science resources are aligned to NGSS and a growing number of state standards.

Articles for students include listening support for lower reading levels and annotation options. Assessments include multiple choice and free response style questions. Students complete an initial reading diagnostic and RocketLit adapts each assignment you choose to the student’s own reading level. This adjusts as student’s reading improves.

Find RocketLit’s articles in Kiddom to introduce science or social studies topics

Do I need a RocketLit account?
Yes. However, teachers get a free one month trial and all 5th grade reading level versions are free. Your students will also need accounts which you can set up when you create your teacher account.

Whether you’re an English Language Arts teacher, literacy specialist, or just a grammar nerd, you’re going to love these resources. To learn more about library of free teaching resources, visit our help desk.

https://upscri.be/17b283/


By: Abbas Manjee, Chief Academic Officer

P.S. This educator guide on literacy instruction provides a definition of content literacy, its impact, strategies for incorporating literacy skills, and tips for using Kiddom to help you integrate literacy and content seamlessly for yourself and your students.

Introducing Curriculum Development for Co-Teachers and Teacher Teams

Introducing Curriculum Development for Co-Teachers and Teacher Teams

Curriculum development represents the journey teachers plan for their students to make meaningful connections. It’s labor-intensive and emotionally exhausting. Co-teachers share this responsibility. Teacher teams (across grades or content areas) also co-plan curriculum, with each team member then taking the “master curriculum” and making it their own.

At Kiddom, we recognize co-planning curriculum is challenging given the structural limitations of the traditional school day. Are co-teachers provided with common planning time? Does common planning time frequently get interrupted by other tasks, duties, or colleagues? Is common planning time scheduled during a time when teachers actually have the mental energy to write curriculum? We believe teachers must be able to collaboratively plan curriculum without the need to be in the same room at the same time.That’s why we’re proud to introduce our latest feature: shareable curriculum.

 

Collaborators with edit permissions may now co-plan curriculum with class owners

 

How to share and co-plan curriculum 📝

Starting today, when you create a new class in Kiddom, you’ll see a “master curriculum” (of the same name as your class) waiting for you in Planner. Your master curriculum is the curriculum that will automatically be shared with class collaborators, i.e. the team members you invite with viewing or editing permissions.

 

A shareable master curriculum is created for every new class a teacher creates on Kiddom

 

  • Once you’ve created a new class, invite collaborators using their email addresses.
  • If you’d like your collaborators to contribute to your curriculum, invite them with “can edit” permissions. If you’d like your collaborators to only see your curriculum, invite them with “can view” permissions. You can always change these permissions from your Class Settings.
  • When your collaborators accept your invitation, they can co-plan this curriculum with you from anywhere, at any time.

It’s that easy. Whether you’re a co-teacher, or a part of a teacher team, shareable curriculum can make co-planning more effective, more productive, and less dependent on the structure of the school day.

Tip: Sharing your class with “can view” permissions is a fantastic way to share your curriculum to solicit feedback from department leads, instructional coaches, assistant principals, and principals.

For Kiddom pilot program educators 💁🏻

Shared curriculum is currently only available for new classes created, unless of course you’re a Kiddom pilot school or pilot district teacher. If that’s the case, we’re happy to make sure the curriculum you’ve worked so hard on over the past few weeks is available to co-plan with members of your school community. Please reach out to us by emailing support@kiddom.co with your request and we’ll take care of it as soon as possible.

P.S. If this is your first time hearing about the Kiddom pilot program, that’s okay — we’ve been pretty quiet about it. Our pilot program is designed to help school and districts plan, assess, and analyze learning more effectively as communities.Although the school year is underway, we do have a limited number of spots still available. Click here to learn more about our free pilot program.

Closing the 2016–2017 School Year

Closing the 2016–2017 School Year

Dear Educators,

For many of you, the 2016–2017 school year has come to a close. On behalf of the Kiddom team, thank you for your passion and your service to students. We’re incredibly grateful you trusted Kiddom in your classroom.

 

The Kiddom team celebrates the end of the 2016–2017 school year with you.

 

This year, Kiddom got a major facelift. Based on feedback from teachers like you, we completely redesigned the platform to allow you to plan, assess, and analyze learning from one place. A month later, we released a redesigned student experience to promote student ownership. Oh yeah, we also released an iOS app to help you and your students work together effortlessly, no matter where you are.

In addition to a makeover and a full set of new features, we published a plethora of professional development guides to help you learn more blended learning and standards-based grading. We shared how Kiddom’s Planner makes for an effective curriculum tool for self-paced instruction. And finally, we outlined how curated playlists support differentiated curriculum development.

Since our inception in 2015, we’ve experienced rapid growth across hundreds of thousands of classrooms, catalyzed by word-of-mouth referrals from teachers like you. Your communication and collaboration has inspired us to think about how teachers might collaborate together on Kiddom. So as we wrestle with this project over the next several weeks, we wish you a fun, safe, and restful summer.

Thanks again!

P.S. If your school or district is interested in piloting Kiddom for the 2017–2018 school year, book a demo for school and district leaders and submit your school information here. You’ll be among the first to access all of the collaboration tools we’re working on.

4 Ways Teachers Can Better Prepare for Next School Year

4 Ways Teachers Can Better Prepare for Next School Year

 

As a teacher, you know there aren’t enough hours in the day to plan, teach, evaluate, and still have time for yourself. Reflecting on and planning for individual student strengths, areas of growth, and interests can take a backseat if you’re constantly overwhelmed by lesson planning and making resources from scratch. That’s where Kiddom comes in.

Whether you’re just starting to explore education technology or you’ve already got a set of favorite tools, these four strategies using Kiddom can set you up for success next year — and save some precious time.

1. Juxtapose performance with curriculum

It’s important to reflect on overall student performance, but juxtaposing that performance against curriculum can give you even more insights. With Kiddom, you can easily monitor student progress over time and analyze performance on individual standards and skills. As you review individual student performance, ask yourself: Which students grew the most? Which skills took students multiple assessments to master? Where and when did my students encounter the most challenging roadblocks?

To gather insights from reports:

  • Your reports are already full of life if you’ve added and graded assignments using Kiddom. To adjust your reports to display longer time intervals, choose the monthly view.
  • Your first report, Class Grade Average, is an average of all graded assignments and allows you to identify larger trends in overall student performance.
  • Use Mastery Groups (the stacked line graph) to reflect on and analyze changing student performance trends. As the year progressed, which students grew the most? Which students fell off your radar? Did any students make drastic performance changes? Clicking a point will reveal which students were in each group at a selected point in time.
  • Use the Class Standard Mastery graph to evaluate the progress your class made on specific standards and skills. Use insights gathered from these reports to start thinking about how you’ll adjust curriculum for next year.

 

 

2. Fine-tune curriculum from lessons learned

Gathering insights on which units need refining can become wasted labor if we never actually get the chance to revise curriculum. And once the school year gets underway, making those0 changes can get exponentially harder given time and resource constraints. With Kiddom’s Planner, you can modify your curriculum with ease.

To fine-tune curriculum in Planner:

  • Open Planner from the right side of Timeline. If you haven’t created curriculum in Kiddom yet, start by adding a new unit. Add items you’d typically include within a unit like assignments, videos, and other types of resources.
  • If you’ve already created curriculum in Planner, easily add more items to it by using the blue + button. To remove assignments or resources that didn’t work the way you thought they would, press the trash button. Be sure to use the insights you obtained from your reports to make the changes you think could improve student performance next year.
  • The best part about Planner is that it makes ongoing curriculum development simple, which opens up more possibilities for students to make meaningful connections with academic content. Changes are saved in real-time and of course, your curriculum can be imported across all of your classes.

 

 

3. Build differentiation in early

Differentiated curriculum allows students to meaningfully connect with content, but designing it well can be time-consuming. If you know a specific topic requires a little more remediation, why wait until your students hit a roadblock to design resources? Alternatively, if you know a certain point of your curriculum generates a lot of student interest, wouldn’t it be nice to have exploratory resources at the ready? Use the playlist feature in Planner to grouping together resources like videos, readings, and assessments on a topic for enrichment or remediation.

To differentiate instruction with playlists:

  • Open Planner and find a unit or topic for which you’d like to add resources based on your experience teaching it. From there, click the blue + button and add a new playlist. Title it whatever you’d like.
  • To get started adding resources to your playlist, hover over the playlist until another + button appears. Clicking this + button will add this assignment to the playlist. You can add as many assignments and resources as you’d like within a playlist.
  • Some students love knowing what’s coming up, while others can get overwhelmed by this information. Assign a set of resources or share individual assignments from your playlists, depending on the student. This allows you to match the working style of every student.

 

 

4. Supplement curriculum with digital resources

A teacher’s challenge is twofold: lessons must align to standards and engage students with relevant connections. This is inherently time-consuming. To save time and avoid reinventing the wheel, use Kiddom’s Library to find free, standards-aligned resources. Attempts and scores sync with Kiddom, which means your Kiddom reports encapsulate everything students work on, from materials you’ve made to pre-made digital content.

To find free, standards-aligned resources:

  • Open your Timeline and click the blue + plus button to add an assignment. From here, click the “K” icon to access Kiddom’s Library. From here, perform a keyword search (e.g. “fractions’) to find a plethora of lessons, videos, exercises, and more. Use filters to zero in on grade level and/or subject-specific content.
  • Use resources from Kiddom’s Library to supplement assignments you create in each unit in your Planner. This way, you won’t have to create an entire lesson, with all of the resources that go with it, by yourself.
  • Finally, don’t forget that content from Kiddom’s Library can not only be assigned to a class, but to an individual student too.

 

 

When the school year gets started, every minute counts. We hope these Kiddom features save you time and help you develop authentic learning experiences for all of your students.

Extra credit: for even more time-saving tips, register for a free one-on-onecoaching session with a Kiddom team member.

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