If there’s one area that needs disruption in a major way, it’s undoubtedly education. The US education system is unwieldy, outdated, and often extremely frustrating for the people who work within it. Teachers do amazing work every day and yet are continuously hampered by everything from bureaucracy to budget cuts.
That’s why I particularly love startups that have the guts to tackle anything education related. Trying to make change in such an entrenched, severely messed up area is bold and badass; two things that startups should always strive to be.
Some startups tackle just one area of education in order to put salve on a specific pain point. One such site is QuizBean, an online quiz creator that was built specifically for K-12 teachers with the dual goal of making it easier for them to create quizzes and keep kids engaged.
What makes them so special?
Think about quizzes from your school days. They probably were laid out, question by question, on a white sheet of paper. You filled them in with a pencil in case you messed up, you may or may not have peaked over the shoulder of the kid sitting next to you and, at the end, you handed it in to the teacher.
A couple of days later, your quiz came back to you covered in red marks with the capital letter grade in a circle on the top.
Yeah, scratch all of that.
First of all, QuizBean is digital, so that boring piece of paper has been turned into an airplane and flown right out the window. Teachers can drag and drop pictures for any or all of however many questions they want. They can also add explanations to the questions, giving their students a bit more context than the traditional quiz can on its own.
One of the most unique features of QuizBean, however, is Instantscore, which let’s the student know how they’re doing as they take the quiz. That means no more waiting days and days until the teacher gets it back; these kids will know right from the get-go.
Giving teachers more time to teach.
QuizBean also makes life a lot easier for the teachers by providing them with real-time analytics of how their students are doing. Instead of manually entering each grade into a book and sorta-kinda guessing by a glance how kids are doing, teachers can use QuizBean to see exactly where a student is floundering or flourishing.
QuizBean also gives teachers the option of randomizing the questions, thereby eliminating the issue of students copying the answers off of each other.
Who did it?
The team behind QuizBean is a Vermont-based company called Bluehouse Group, which creates websites for both non-profits and for-profit companies. They started in 1998 as a web design firm and have continued to evolve and group since that time into a formidable player in the web design field.
As technology becomes more and more integrated with our daily lives, it is essential that our schools adapt. Unfortunately, our school systems themselves are not equipped to respond quickly and efficiently to these issues. (Take a look at the health care debacle for a prime example of what happens when the government tries to tackle this stuff on its own.)
It’s up to teams like Bluehouse Group, then, to keep us moving forward. Thanks, guys. Keep up the good work – we’re going to need it.