New Startup Launches High-Tech Math Program

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School of One

The folks behind The School of One, famous for creating daily playlists as lesson plans for students, have launched a non-profit that will allow any school to use its high-tech, personalized learning model.

New Classrooms, a non-profit launched by Joel Rose and Chris Rush who launched the School of One, will design new products that can be used by traditional public, charter, and independent schools. Their first product is a middle-school math model called Teach to One: Math, with which students can learn in small groups, one-on-one with teachers, with math software and with online tutors, very much like students do at the School of One.

"We are just at the earliest stages of understanding the full potential of personalized learning in classrooms," Rush said in a press release. "We believe the next few years will be a critical time for the development of next generation learning models and are excited to be a part of those efforts."

As with most adaptive software programs, the model will allow teachers to collect real-time data of student progress and design each student's learning plan around that data. Parents will also have access to the information.

New Classrooms will bring Teach to One: Math to public and charter schools in Chicago public (the Chicago Public Education Fund is seeding the program's startup funds) and Perth Amboy Pubclic Schools and MicGinnis Middle School in New Jersey. Including the math program at the School of One in New York, New Classrooms will be supporting math instruction for 5,000 students in 10 to 12 schools, according to their press release.


And it will manage New York City's School of One program, including the expansion of the four middle schools that will participate under its Investing in Innovation grant. The plan is to expand the School of One program to 50 or more schools in New York.

In June, Rush spoke to MindShift about the future of School of One. "We’re starting to shift our attention away from technology and look at what are good classroom practices that make some of our learning modalities successful or not successful," he said. "Figuring out the school culture, operational, and instructional design piece is becoming more important and more interesting. It’s an input to the model. Unfortunately, the model gets measured based on both content, and teachers and everything that’s in it, and now that we have a model, we want to improve everything in it."

Perhaps New Classrooms has addressed the improvements Rush was referring to.

Funding for New Classrooms comes from the Bezos Family Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and NewSchools Venture Fund.

Read more about School of One and Rupert Murdoch's Wireless Generation coverage.