AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

Winter 2018 Hot AWS EdStart Startups: ArcLab, Lightbulb Education, and Yellowdig

AWS EdStart members are transforming education in every corner of the globe. Read on for more about three of our members – ArcLab, Lightbulb Education, and Yellowdig. Each of these EdTechs rely on AWS to create a more student-centric learning experience.

ArcLab: ArcLab is an interactive Nano Learning SaaS platform built for organizations to easily create effective training for employees. With their platform, organizations can improve their teams’ job performances and livelihoods through more effective training. The platform offers simple content templates, design customizability, advanced learner analytics, and NanoCredentials (digital badges) to deliver flexible, engaging, and just-in-time training to their teams.

“AWS conveniently has pretty much every service we would use behind the same console, from basic compute instances to e-mail and even SMS and push notifications. The popularity of the platform also means engineers joining us have a much gentler learning curve and can be productive quickly,” said James Chia, CEO, ArcLab.

Lightbulb: In 2011 and 2012, the Limpopo Education Department of South Africa was not able to deliver textbooks to their students. The event triggered a public outcry about the violation of the basic right to quality education denied to many young South Africans. Lightbulb is an EdTech company that created a learning management system (LMS) to address the unique needs of the South African education system. Lightbulb LMS allows students to easily communicate with subject matter experts and educators and have access to a wealth of digital resources. They believe providing students with the ability to access quality educators provides a more effective teaching and learning outcome.

“All of our services are hosted on AWS. It has improved the performance of our overall offering. The AWS Cloud increased our availability and uptime and improved our security services. We are hoping to further explore other AWS services to benefit our product offerings, such as Amazon CloudFront,” said Allan Mushabe, Director, Lightbulb.

Yellowdig: Yellowdig is a discussion platform that connects learners and empowers educators. Yellowdig integrates with an existing LM, like Canvas and Blackboard, to provide instructors with an engaging, student-driven, collaborative discussion space throughout their course. Learners share articles, links, photos, polls, questions, and comments with one another by pinning these assets to a discussion board. Instructors are able to award badges, assign point values to participation requirements, and use the analytics dashboard to better understand what their students are discussing, are most interested in, and what might be missing when it comes to class topics and themes.

“Yellowdig uses a suite of AWS services to achieve a flexible architecture with a lot of helpful insights,” said Claire Hubbard, Head of Customer Operations, Yellowdig. “Amazon CloudWatch provides our team with detailed monitoring without needing to decide what to measure up front. Elastic Load Balancing is the trustworthy cornerstone of our deployments, which allows us to route traffic safely. We especially like using Amazon Kinesis to separate and decouple logical parts of our app. We’re looking forward to expanding usage of AWS Lambda and leveraging Datomic Ions in the cloud.”

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Read our other EdStart features from previous months – Fall 2018, Summer 2018, and Spring 2018.