This reports the stunning response that my favorite start-up, and a remarkable new force for good, received at EDUCAUSE 2017, one of world's pre-eminent ed-tech shows.
RoadAmico is a location-based learning and discovery platform designed to bring experiential education to any curriculum. Delivered as a mobile application for students and a cloud-based dashboard for educators, RoadAmico (RA) can be easily incorporated into study materials as a stand-alone product or integrated within an existing learning management system (LMS). Students learn by completing on-location activities and challenges that require them to study and interact with their surroundings.
RoadAmico is a pre-revenue startup founded and led by Lucia Binotti, PhD., Professor of Romance Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Richard Stephens, Chief Technology Officer, RoadAmico, London. RA's also a standout member of the current cohort at the Research Triangle’s premier startup accelerator, Launch Chapel Hill.
RoadAmico is built on extensive research into active, project, and inquiry-based learning and runs on a smart platform that disrupts the traditional classroom model. At the heart of RA’s innovative technology and content delivery are the conviction that students learn best when they experience by doing, guided by the questions at the core of critical thinking. Questions that encourage sharing and reflecting (What happened?), processing and analyzing (What’s important?), generalizing (So what?), and applying (What works for me?). As such, RoadAmico integrates and reinforces the educational strategies that promote the literacies and skills vital to life in the 21st century.
Key Product Features
Learning Content is geo-tagged and unlocked when the student visits the location
Activities are the core of the application and designed to make a connection between the student, their environment, and all the objects around them
The Journal is each student’s personal record of the places they've visited and what they've seen and done
A Dashboard gives the educator an interface to create and manage course content, set activities in sequence, and monitor their students' progress
A wealth of Data from the student application, including their activities, journal, and scores, are easily accessed through an existing LMS such as Blackboard
EDUCAUSE 2017, Philadelphia
EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association advancing higher education through the use of information technology. EDUCAUSE engages colleges, universities, corporations, and foundations, as well as governmental and nonprofit organizations, on collaborative knowledge creation, analysis, and experimentation. Its’ members are at the crossroads of higher education as they address the significant challenges in enterprise systems, strategic leadership, and teaching and learning.
Sponsored by some of the leading lights in information technology, including Amazon Web Services, DellEMC, Gartner, Citrix, GoogleCloud, and Microsoft, EDUCAUSE 2017 hosted educators and technology providers from around the world dedicated to the best, most far reaching thinking in higher education IT.
Response to Road Amico
RoadAmico received enthusiastic validation from people all over the educational landscape at EDUCAUSE 2017. From those focused on kindergarten to postgraduate studies; from world-class universities to regional community colleges; and from primary to secondary public school systems. Interestingly, there was also interest from an affiliated array of institutions, including museums, parks, and professional training centers. And perhaps most importantly, interest in RoadAmico came from all over the world; from Europe, Australia, Africa, and India - everyone said RoadAmico's a solution they need, would use, and would most definitely try on release.
Beyond simple awe and interest, RoadAmico also received real-world confirmation of its business model with customers on one side, students on the other, and professors, researchers, and university programs as the champions, channels, and intermediaries. Indeed, the conference indicates the most likely early adopters are publishers, as RoadAmico solves so many of their current concerns.
Net, from its initial debut, both the faith of the founders and the promise of the platform look well on their way to being realized, as RoadAmico pursues its' ambitions - and revolutionizes the textbook, the classroom, and a whole lot more.