New York, New York, USA, 09/02/2015 /SubmitPressRelease123/
StarWalk Kids Media, a digital learning company that is setting new standards in the creation and delivery of quality EdTech software to Schools and Libraries, has received an SBIR Phase II grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fully develop its StarWalk Writer™ software — technology that will enable children to collaborate in real time to create nonfiction writing that will be published in a student-created, community published database.
Designed to make learning and teaching writing in complex nonfiction subject areas like science and social studies more effective and exciting for upper elementary and middle school students, the StarWalk Writer™ is cloud-based classroom software that creates a single, collaborative environment for reading, research and writing for students in grades 3 to 8.
In addition, under the terms of the grant, the company will create robust professional development materials to support teachers in utilizing the software in their classrooms, including individual and group assessment rubrics, and LMS compatibility. The grant also supports the development of subject-specific curriculum support materials, which are leveled for use with different age groups and aligned with the writing approach of the Reading and Writing Project at Columbia Teachers College.
“StarWalk Kids has been seeking venture capital partners and we believe this NSF grant is further validation of our vision of the future of digital learning,” said StarWalk Kids publisher Liz Nealon. New York State Congressman Steve Israel, Representative for New York’s 3rd congressional district, added: “We must provide educators with the tools they need to teach 21st century skills so our students can achieve academic success. This federal grant will ensure that StarWalk Kids has the resources necessary to develop innovative learning technology.”
The software package will be available beginning in January 2016 for schools to purchase for the 2016/2017 school year.
The StarWalk Writer™ is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under SBIR Phase II Grant No. 1534784. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
ABOUT StarWalk Kids Media: StarWalk Kids Media is a digital learning company, setting new standards in the creation and delivery of quality EdTech software to Schools and Libraries in the U.S. and abroad. Our cloud-based, streaming platform delivers more than 500 exclusive, best-in-class, professionally narrated children’s eBooks, including a Bilingual Collection published and narrated in both English and Spanish. The company’s proprietary StarWalk Writer™ tool empowers teachers to deliver personalized instruction, engaging students of varying literacy levels in collaborative reading, research and writing…in real time. There is no other software currently available to deliver a single-platform, comprehensive, literacy learning environment for elementary and middle school children. The StarWalk Kids platform, which currently serves more than 2.4-million students, has been awarded the QED seal, signifying “Quality. Excellence. Design.” by the Digital Book Awards.
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About the National Science Foundation: The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…” With an annual budget of $7.2 billion (FY 2014), the NSF is the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.
NSF’s goals—discovery, learning, research infrastructure and stewardship—provide an integrated strategy to advance the frontiers of knowledge, cultivate a world-class, broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce and expand the scientific literacy of all citizens, build the nation’s research capability through investments in advanced instrumentation and facilities, and support excellence in science and engineering research and education through a capable and responsive organization.
William Bischoff / Scura Paley & Co.
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