COVID-19 Educational Disruption and the Israeli Technological Response
By Yohan Albo
In 2020, most of children, youth and adults around the globe didn’t attend schools or universities because of COVID-19 pandemic. This is a fact.
Governments and agile private institutions have been relatively fast to adopt far-from-being perfect tools and remote learning methodologies to offer some level of education to students; Zoom being a perfect example.
In conjunction to these tools, we can notice the more careful adoption of specialized educational technologies in various domains: Collaborative Learning, Textbook digitalizing, Gamification, Specialized cloud video platform technology, AI and the list goes on…
The increased development in the field of EdTech in recent years has had a great impact on the way we teach and learn; but it goes without saying that the corona virus gave a huge boost to the field of EdTech by obligating us to reimagine how we teach, how a classroom should operate, and how a test should be taken in the virtual world when in the real world physical interaction needs to be limited to a minimum.
Below are pointers to a few interesting Israeli EdTech ventures:
CopyLeaks is an online plagiarism checker that uses cloud-computing algorithms to find copies of users’ content across the internet in an effort to fight against copyright infringement. The company’s technology supports files in any language and in many formats including doc, PDF, HTML, and txt.
Plagiarism-detection searches can be filtered according to users’ needs and specifications, and the results are summarized in an easily accessible report.
Copyleaks uses an encrypted connection (SSL) to ensure that users’ content is secured. Copyleaks’ API allows easy integration with the Copyleaks plagiarism-detection service.
Agree Online helps children resolve digital conflicts before they escalate into cyber bullying or violence. The company enables children to find creative solutions for their conflicts through the use of conflict resolution and by recommending possible solutions based on the wisdom of their peers.
Agree Online has been used by thousands of children via a national portal and inside classrooms and has received great feedback. Children learn how to avoid and resolve digital conflicts, and they role-play scenarios involving the parties in the conflict, mediators, and advisers who recommend solutions.
Agree Online enables internet platforms to satisfy the needs of children, parents, regulators, and public opinion. The company is targeting social platforms popular among children, such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Musical.ly, Snapchat, and YouTube.
CodeMonkey Studios offers a game-based learning platform that teaches students eight years old and older to code in a real programming language.
The CodeMonkey curriculum is presented as a self-paced online game in which students advance through a progression of challenges. At each level of the game, students write real code to program a monkey to catch all the bananas on the screen. Each solution is checked and graded automatically, and students receive personalized instructions and hints to help them advance at a pace that is right for them.
In December 2018, the company was acquired by Beijing-headquartered educational service company TAL Education Group. CodeMonkey will continue operating as an independent subsidiary of TAL and will be responsible for the research and development of programming tutorials for the Chinese market as well as others.
Algobrix teaches children the basics of programming using physical bricks and robots. Algobrix offers a wide range of programming flexibility while maintaining a playful hands-on experience. Its solution enables children to have fun while discovering the basics of robotics and developing their algorithmic thinking.
Algobrix does not focus only on the programming, but also on the emotion-based aspect of play, which helps motivate children to learn more. The fun aspect arises first in the coding experience, in which all of the Algobrix blocks are easily connected, and later in the Algobot itself.
The Algobot is an easy-to-assemble, LEGO-compatible robot made of stackable cubes comprising a variety of building options. By playing with both the Algobot and Algobrix, children are exposed to a familiar construction toy and a trusted form of play, allowing them to complete the programming task without feeling threatened or frustrated.
GiantLeap is a gamified child development assessment and decision support tool that provides parents with a comprehensive map of their child’s abilities and progress in eight areas of learning development: attention, math, language, memory, spatial, motor, social, and self-esteem. GiantLeap provides personalized guidance on how to both foster the child’s strengths and prioritize how and when to work on problem areas.
GiantLeap is a Texas Medical Center Accelerator graduate.
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