6 Companies Creating Helpful Software For Educators

From creating lesson plans to managing a classroom of students with their own unique learning needs, professional pedagogy is a frequently arduous job requiring enormous skill, patience, and organization. Thankfully, in our digital era, many technological solutions are being developed to help out. The companies here, listed in no particular order, offer comprehensive management tools and gamified software to improve education for teachers and students alike.

For #1 we get Classcraft, which reimagines the classroom by employing technology, games, and storytelling to create a learning environment that is culturally relevant to today's youth. The company's platform enables educators to use common gaming mechanics in their instruction, which in turn helps students see meaning in school and develop the competencies to become better learners.

Tailored to individual classes and teaching styles, Classcraft uses integrated tools that turn test preparation, lesson plans, and other learning activities into engaging stories and adventures. Students can earn points for real-world actions, and then use those points to "level up" and unlock cool gear for their avatars. To foster teamwork, educators can also initiate a collaborative Boss Battle, where students defeat a monster by correctly answering questions.

Next, at #2 is CYPHER LEARNING, creator of the NEO learning management system for schools and universities. NEO is an online platform that helps with the management of all classroom activities, such as creating and delivering educational content, assessing students, tracking their results, and promoting communication and collaboration between pupils and teachers and faculty.

Whether for K through 12 or higher education, NEO can be easily customized to match any educator's needs. Through the platform, teachers can quickly build classes, create interactive assignments and games, and get valuable insights using analytics and custom reports. NEO also integrates with popular third-party tools, and allows for the creation, storage, and sharing of resources in a centralized catalog.

For #3 we come to Tech4Learning. Founded in 1999, this company develops and markets original professional development programs and creativity tools for K through 12 education. Its software provides a platform students can use to share knowledge and understanding, communicate original ideas and solutions, and share their passions with a worldwide audience.

Among Tech4Learning's creative software tools are Pixie and Wixie, which let students combine text, voice narration, original art, and images for classroom projects. The Frames program is designed for the production of illustrated and stop-motion cartoons, while Share allows for the creation of portfolios, presentations, and interactive eBooks. Meanwhile, teachers can use the Rubric Maker to craft custom student assessments.

Landing at #4 is Panorama Education, a Boston-based company that strives to improve student outcomes by helping schools and districts act on data. Providing an all-in-one platform, it pulls key student information into one spot and offers visual dashboard reporting. The group makes all of its research-backed survey instruments open-source and free for educators to use.

Panorama brings together social-emotional learning, a multi-tiered system of supports, response to intervention, college and career readiness tracking, and more. Educators can use the system's vault of surveys to collect and take action on the information that is most critical to their district's success. They can also monitor how students are doing across academic, attendance, behavioral, and other categories, and then coordinate action to support each child.

For #5 we have Waltzing Atoms. Started by Philipp Wissgott and Klemens Senn, this Austrian company makes the interactive chemistry application Waltzing Atoms Lab. The app enables teachers to create and post playful chemical exercises that students solve on their smartphones or tablets, and provides instant feedback on how quickly the problems are understood.

Features of the Lab include 3D visualization of molecules and chemical reactions, and interactive 3D riddles. Real-time student performance is stored on the app, and a presentation mode lets educators share their view with the whole classroom. In addition to the Lab, the company is the creator of Hunting Atoms, a chemistry treasure hunt that uses a free mobile app and a building kit.

Finally, arriving at #6 is Lenovo Software, the group behind the LanSchool classroom management platform. Utilizing cloud-based or local hosting and compatible with all operating systems, LanSchool helps teachers connect with students to create more meaningful online experiences, both in the classroom and remotely. The platform is intended to guide learning, increase collaboration, and maximize teaching time.

LanSchool boasts a suite of solutions for student monitoring, communication, and device management. Protection features help keep kids safe, while screen sharing and various messaging options promote collaboration. To maintain classroom focus and reduce the possibility of inconvenient shutdowns, the platform also allows educators to remotely control and track the battery status of student devices.