AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

How EdTechs are Helping Get Students Powered Up for School

To help power up teachers and students with the latest technology as they head back to school, AWS has launched an EdTech startup accelerator – AWS EdStart.

Let’s take a look at how AWS EdStart is working with innovative startups. Focusing on the next generation of online learning, analytics, and campus management solutions on the AWS Cloud, we connected with four different EdTech startups from AWS EdStart to learn how they are ramping for back-to-school success.

Vocareum: Vocareum offers cloud-based learning and assessment labs for computer and data science classes. Its platform capabilities include grading automation, plagiarism detection, team projects, and peer reviews for improved assignment management, assessment efficiency, and student engagement.

This school year, Vocareum expects to have over ten million auto-graded homework submissions on its platform, coming from over 100,000 students this year. Sign up for a demo to learn more.

“By moving student work to the cloud and leveraging cloud computing resources, we make it possible to deliver cost-effective and current computing labs to our partners,” said David Lin, VP Business Development, Vocareum. “AWS has enabled us to quickly build and scale our business to meet the growing need for cloud learning environments in computer and data science education. “

Sown To Grow: In Sown To Grow, students set learning goals, track their own progress, and write reflections on the strategies that work best for them (or new ones they want to try). Teachers set expectations, monitor growth, and provide feedback on student reflections. The platform provides scaffolding with learning strategies that are proven to work and insights for teachers to better reach struggling students. The result? Students care more, focus on growth, and become better, more empowered learners.

As the new school year kicked off, Sown To Grow passed the mark of over 20,000 users and has seen a 350% increase in teacher registrations.

“The reliability, scalability, and relative ease of use of AWS enable Sown To Grow’s small development team to focus on improving the application to meet customer needs, instead of spending time setting up and troubleshooting infrastructure,” said Colin Gilbert, Product and Marketing Strategy Manager, Sown To Grow. “Sown To Grow is still in a stage where we’re constantly iterating. AWS allows us to deploy new features, updates, and bug fixes quickly, enabling us to create smoother experiences for teachers and students.”

Gradescope: Gradescope allows instructors to grade handwritten, digital, and coding assignments in less time. The tool supports almost any format (paper exams, book problems, quizzes, programming projects) and any type of question. Class time isn’t spent collecting homework, since students can upload images or a PDF of their work directly to Gradescope, and students get their work back as soon as it’s graded, rather than having to wait until the next time they see their instructors.

Gradescope is used in over 1,000 courses around the world. In total, this means instructors have trusted Gradescope to grade over 17 million pages of work. The user base has grown by over 2000% over the past few years.

“AWS lets us get started quickly with a solid, reliable architecture, without needing to worry about every single detail,” said Arjun Singh, Cofounder and CEO, Gradescope. “More recently, we’ve taken advantage of AWS Lambda, which lets us run our machine learning algorithms over huge amounts of student work nearly instantly, even with the bursty, irregular load that we see.”

Learnmetrics Inc: Learnmetrics is a smart data company that aggregates, analyzes, and activates learning data to reveal the information that’s too hard to find, understand, standardize, or work with. The tools uncover these hidden insights, giving educators valuable clues about how best to ignite the potential of each and every student, and to refine the efficacy of learning organizations at-large. They take all of their tools and data sources and transform them taking them from disparate, opaque, and inadequate to connected, transparent, and workflow-oriented insights.

“We work with student data, which is a privilege and an honor, but also comes with serious responsibilities and potential ramifications. Working with AWS has allowed us to leverage world-class cloud services with proven security and reliability,” said Julian Miller, Founder & CEO, Learnmetrics Inc. “This allows us to live up to those responsibilities while focusing on our customers’ problems and needs, rather than our operational ones.”

Build Your Teaching and Learning Solutions on the AWS Cloud

Each of these EdTechs is a member of AWS EdStart. The EdTech accelerator enables startup educational technology companies to innovate faster by providing AWS Promotional Credits, community engagement, office hours, customized trainings, live events, and specialized support to these startup EdTech industry pioneers.

“AWS EdStart has enabled us to work at the bleeding edge of technology to support teaching and learning. We are testing new strategies and deploying technologies at scale and at pace, which wouldn’t otherwise be possible at our size,” said Julian from Learnmetrics.

Learn more about how AWS EdStart can help you build teaching and learning solutions on the AWS Cloud.