AWS Public Sector Blog

How EdTechs use AWS to connect and engage the learning community

Social connection is integral to the learning experience. Research shows that family and community involvement in schools is closely related to positive outcomes for students. Collaborative learning experiences help learners work through misunderstandings and absorb content more effectively. Plus, when educators connect and communicate with each other, they can help improve the culture of education, use their data more effectively, and deliver better results for students.

Education technology (EdTech) startups around the world use cloud technology to help facilitate these community connections and make education more collaborative and engaging. Some of these EdTechs get started with the AWS EdStart program from Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS EdStart is a startup accelerator designed to help EdTech entrepreneurs build the next generation of online learning, analytics, campus management, and more on the AWS Cloud.

Discover how four AWS EdStart Members use AWS to create more connected and engaging educational experiences for learners around the world.

Simplifying and securing communication to engage the school community

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that parent engagement in schools is closely linked to better student behavior, higher academic achievement, and enhanced social skills. Furthermore, the relationship between schools and parents reinforces children’s health and learning in multiple settings. Effective communication and community engagement are critical to student success at school.

Flathat, based out of the United States, is a communications platform on a mission to simplify how schools communicate and collaborate with their communities. They use a discrete social newsfeed, channel-based communications, robust administrator broadcast tools, avatars, and a user experience designed for engagement to connect teachers, students, and parents. Teachers can use Flathat to simply and securely connect with students and parents on a day-to-day basis, without reaching out to each student or parent independently. Plus, Flathat supports more equitable information exchange for students and families by using artificial intelligence (AI) services to translate school news and updates into multiple languages. Flathat facilitates fast and simple communications between students, parents, and teachers, resulting in real-time communication throughout the school ecosystem, and eliminating the issue of fragmentation in school news-sharing.

To quickly scale to the needs of their schools, Flathat uses AWS. They use Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) for secure and resizable compute capacity; Amazon DocumentDB to scale JSON workloads with ease using a fully managed document database service; and Amazon Translate to help support equitable communication in 75 languages.

“As a teacher, I was often guilty of assuming a parent was disengaged or apathetic when they failed to communicate. I’ve learned that’s rarely the case: Accessibility and language are often the barriers. To solve this, Flathat worked with AWS EdStart to implement Amazon Translate, an artificial intelligence service that delivers fast, customizable language translation, has brought these barriers down,” said Jodi Fox, co-founder of Flathat.

Making skills training and team building more memorable with gamification

Kunjani, an EdTech based in South Africa, is a learning and development platform that upskills, onboards, and engages remote teams with blended learning games. Kunjani integrates into remote conferencing tools and offers multiple different types of gaming experiences that encourage active collaboration within remote groups. Research shows that when learners exchange ideas and insights, they better work through misunderstandings, absorb content more effectively, and help each other achieve more understanding. Plus, workplace collaboration helps strengthen connections, communication, and learning.

With Kunjani, team meeting participants are allocated into smaller groups to compete against each other and given prompts from a pre-built game deck around core topics (e.g. orientation training). These prompts can include roleplaying important business skills, explaining concepts in-depth, and more prompts that help skills trainings become more memorable. Teams compete against each other with points, time limits, and other activities, all while using interpersonal tools together like chat, whiteboard features, breakout rooms, polling, presentations, and video sharing features.

“Kunjani, an AWS EdStart Member, increases their return on investment by combining video conferencing, blended learning games, and collaboration to make learning stick. AWS Promotional Credit has given us the freedom to iterate and fast-track our product development. With AWS, we can deploy and seamlessly scale our cloud solution to our corporate customers, giving them the peace of mind that they are receiving best in class security, thereby cutting our sales cycle in half,” said Hans Zietsman, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Kunjani. To support high performance, Kunjani uses Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) for high performance block storage, and Amazon EC2 for secure compute capacity.

Connecting educators and institutions globally

Tower Education Technologies (Tower) is a US-based EdTech that helps eliminate information siloes for higher education—both within an institution and between institutions around the world. Tower offers a fully integrated student information system (SIS), customer relationship management (CRM), and learning management system (LMS) which helps combine essential resources and data into one tool. Plus, Tower also provides faculty with an online workspace where they can collaborate with peers around the world and host synchronous online classes. Tower fosters academic collaboration by connecting students and institutional stakeholders at colleges and universities across Malaysia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, China, Latin America, and North America. To power their global network, Tower uses the Amazon Aurora database, which is designed for high performance and availability at global scale, while using Amazon EC2 for secure compute capacity.

“Our main product, InspirED®, is a cloud-based EdTech platform free for universities around the world so they can strive for academic excellence and support their student success. The AWS EdStart team took the time to understand our mission and goals. Not only have they helped us be more efficient in our technology development, but they have also helped us find solutions to keep costs down and have helped our team plan for what comes next as we scale up so we can provide the best possible experience for our customers,” said Ben Shank, chief executive officer (CEO) of Tower Education.

Increasing student engagement with effective e-learning tools

Yeira Learning is a learning platform based in Mexico that turns education courses into effective e-learning experiences. With Yeira, educators can quickly create learning content paths and convert lengthy courses into bite-sized learning modules. To increase engagement with the course, educators can integrate Zoom sessions, videos, forums, and questionnaires into their curriculum, and create an immersive student experience. With full control over the platform, educators can also analyze student behavior and view course progression and overall unique user performance. Yeira also allows educators to manage who can access their content and personalize each course with unique branding. To power their content and its high volume of users while maintaining high-performance workloads, Yeira uses Amazon Aurora. To protect against failures with 99.9999% availability and support a consistent user experience as they quickly scale, the Yeira uses Amazon EBS for storage and Amazon EC2 for compute capacity.

“Yeira and its authoring tool Bloom are providing instructors with a myriad of combinations to create real-time learning experiences. All of that includes learning analytics that are actionable by the instructors directly to moderate their online course. AWS has been key for Yeira to offer these powerful capabilities for our clients and their learners,” said Ernesto Riestra, chief technology officer (CTO) and co-founder of Yeira.

Learn more about AWS for EdTechs

AWS is committed to helping entrepreneurs build the next generation of education tools, from ideation through to establishment and beyond. AWS EdStart helps EdTech startups from around the world move faster by providing AWS Promotional Credit, community engagement, customized trainings, joint marketing opportunities, technical support, and access to the same scalable technology used by established companies. To learn more about how AWS and AWS EdStart can help your education startup meet the latest trends in education and drive innovation forward, download the 2022 AWS EdTech Startup Guide.

Learn more about how AWS can help EdTechs at the AWS Cloud for EdTechs hub. Do you have questions about how AWS can support your growing EdTech startup? Reach out to the AWS Public Sector Sales team for more information.

Read more about AWS for EdTechs:

Subscribe to the AWS Public Sector Blog newsletter to get the latest in AWS tools, solutions, and innovations from the public sector delivered to your inbox, or contact us.

Please take a few minutes to share insights regarding your experience with the AWS Public Sector Blog in this survey, and we’ll use feedback from the survey to create more content aligned with the preferences of our readers.