Apple’s ‘Everyone Can Create’ curriculum launches on Apple Books

Fist announced at Apple’s education event in Chicago, the company today launched its new “Everyone Can Create” curriculum on Apple Books. The curriculum joins Apple’s “Everyone Can Code” initiative by offering teachers a way to integrate drawing, music, filmmaking and photography into their classroom lesson plans. Specifically, “Everyone Can Create” is designed to take advantage […]

Fist announced at Apple’s education event in Chicago, the company today launched its new “Everyone Can Create” curriculum on Apple Books. The curriculum joins Apple’s “Everyone Can Code” initiative by offering teachers a way to integrate drawing, music, filmmaking and photography into their classroom lesson plans.

Specifically, “Everyone Can Create” is designed to take advantage of Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad and Apple Pencil, also introduced at the company’s event this March in Chicago. Before its introduction, only Apple’s expensive iPad Pro model offered Pencil support. The new iPad, however, is just $299 for schools, like the prior 9.7-inch device. (Or it’s $329 for consumers.)

The curriculum itself was built by Apple in collaboration with teachers and educators, and works to alongside Apple’s built-in apps like GarageBand, iMovie, Clips, and others. It’s been in preview since the news of its arrival earlier this year, with educators in over 350 schools worldwide giving it a go. Now, it’s open to all, the company says.

Included in the curriculum are four project guides for drawing, music, video, and photos, each with a series of projects that build skills progressively. In total, there are 300 lesson plan ideas across media, projects, and subjects. Not all are focused on the creative arts, to be clear. For example, a math teacher can use the iPad camera’s burst mode to capture the arc of a basketball toss to measure its parabola, the company explains in its announcement. Students can also use the camera to learn about fractals or use Apple Pencils and apps to learn about symmetry.

“We believe Apple technology can help unleash every child’s creative genius,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, in a statement about the launch. “Working closely with teachers, we have built the Everyone Can Create curriculum to help bring creative expression and the arts into the classroom, and to help students stay engaged through creativity and ultimately be more successful.”

Apple has proven fairly successful with its prior curriculum, “Everyone Can Code,” which is now used by over 5,000 schools, community colleges and technical colleges worldwide. It also offers a large library of third-party education apps for teachers to tap into – there are nearly 200,000 on today’s App Store.

“Everyone Can Create” is now available in English on Apple Books, with other languages rolling out by the end of 2018. Apple Stores will also feature “Everyone Can Create” at its Apple Teacher Tuesday sessions.

Tinder’s latest feature, Tinder U, is only for college students

Tinder is today rolling out what may be one of its smartest additions yet with the launch of Tinder U, a feature designed specifically for Tinder users in college. Once enabled, students with a .edu email address will be able to register with their school, then swipe on students who also attend their school or […]

Tinder is today rolling out what may be one of its smartest additions yet with the launch of Tinder U, a feature designed specifically for Tinder users in college. Once enabled, students with a .edu email address will be able to register with their school, then swipe on students who also attend their school or others nearby. Beyond limiting potential matches to other students, the overall Tinder experience is unchanged.

Students will still be able to view each others’ profiles, swipe right and left to match or pass, message mutual matches, use Super Likes, and more.

To use Tinder U, students will first have to be geolocated on campus and log in to the Tinder app using their .edu email address. They’ll then have to check their inbox for the verification email and tap the button to confirm their account.

After completing this process, users will be in the Tinder U experience the next time they launch the app.

Here, students will see their school’s logo appear at the top of the screen, and individual profile photos will have flair on the bottom left to indicate the user’s school. Tinder U doesn’t prevent users from swiping off campus, however – using a toggle button at the top of the screen (see photo above), users can choose to swipe by location instead, or by Tinder Picks by toggling over to the diamond icon, if they’re a Gold member.

Tinder U makes sense for the company, whose user base already skews younger – it has said before that half its user base is between 18 and 24, for example. And dating apps’ usage, in general, among this age group has roughly tripped from 10% in 2013 to 27% by 2016, according to Pew Research. And of course, there’s the fact that Tinder itself got its start on college campuses – a market that’s young, single, and more willing to adopt mobile dating apps than other, older demographics.

The feature arrives at a time when Facebook is poised to enter the dating market – a market Tinder and its parent company Match Group today dominate. Tinder now has an estimated 50 million worldwide users, and nearly 3.8 million subscribers.

“Five years ago at college campuses around the U.S, students first heard about Tinder through friends. Tinder spread like wildfire, because it was a really fun and easy way to meet people who went to school, but you didn’t know personally,” Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg recently said, when announcing the product. “We believe it is critical that Tinder maintains a strong foothold at universities around the globe, especially given that every 18-year-old who starts college is building a social life from scratch making new friends and starting new relationships.”

Tinder says the new feature is launching initially on iOS devices at 4-year, accredited, not-for-profit schools in the U.S. that deliver courses in a traditional face-to-face learning format – meaning, no online universities or virtual schools will be supported. The company didn’t provide a timeframe for the Android release.

Wonderschool raises $20M to help people start in-home preschools

Educators already don’t get paid enough, and those that work in preschools or daycares often make 48% less. Meanwhile, parents struggle to find great early education programs where kids receive enough attention and there’s space, but they don’t need special connections or to pass grueling admissions interviews to get in. Any time there’s a lousy […]

Educators already don’t get paid enough, and those that work in preschools or daycares often make 48% less. Meanwhile, parents struggle to find great early education programs where kids receive enough attention and there’s space, but they don’t need special connections or to pass grueling admissions interviews to get in.

Any time there’s a lousy experience people have an emotional connection to and spend a lot of money on, there’s an opportunity for a startup. Enter ‘Wonderschool‘, a company that lets licensed educators and caretakers launch in-home preschools or daycares. Wonderschool helps candidates get credentialed, set up their programs, launch their websites, boost enrollment, and take payments in exchange for a 10 percent cut of tuition. The startup is now helping run 140 schools in the SF Bay, LA, and NYC where parents are happy to pay to give their kids an advantage.

That chance to fill a lucrative gap in the education market has attracted a new $20 million Series A for Wonderschool led by Andreessen Horowitz . The round brings the startup to $24.1 million in total funding just two years after launch. With the cash and Andreessen partner Jeff Jordan joining its board, Wonderschool is looking to build powerful lead generation and management software to turn teachers into savvy entrepreneurs.

Finding good childcare has become one of the most difficult experiences for families. I’ve seen parents who are making a livable wage in urban cities like San Francisco and New York still struggle to find and afford quality childcare” says co-founder and CEO Chris Bennett. “We wanted to deliver a solution for parents that also had the potential to create jobs and empower the caregiver — that’s Wonderschool.”

By spawning and uniting programs across the country, Wonderschool could scale as the way software eats preschool. But without vigorous oversight of each educator, Wonderschool is also at risk of a safety mishap at one of its franchises ruining the brand for them all.

Airbnb For Schooling

Wonderschool started when co-founder Arrel Gray was having trouble finding childcare for his daughter close to home. “My little sister went to an in-home preschool, so I suggested he check them out” says Bennett. “But he wasn’t very satisfied with the options – the majority were full and some didn’t meet the expectations for his family. We also found that they didn’t use the internet much so they were hard to find and contact.”

The two were seeking to pivot their social commerce startup Soldsie after Facebook algorithm changes curtailed its growth. Their research led to the discovery of just how much lower preschool and daycare workers’ wages were. “When we had the idea we thought, ‘what the best way to test this?’ Why don’t we start a preschool ourselves'” says Bennett. “So we rented a home in the Berkeley Hills, hired an amazing educator, set up a school and started one. The school ended up being a huge success. Five-star reviews on Yelp. A high NPS. Parents loved the place.” It also netted the teacher a 3X higher salary than before.

With that proof, Wonderschool went on to raise $4.1 million from Josh Kopelman at First Round Capital, Omidyar Network, Cross Culture Ventures, Uncork Capital, Lerer Ventures, FundersClub, and Edelweiss. That let Bennett and Gray flesh out the business. Wonderschool would recruit existing teachers and caregivers or guide people to get licensed so they could become “directors” of in-home schools. Wonderschool acts almost like Airbnb by turning them into small businesses earning money from home.

Teachers can pick whatever schedule, curriculum, or format they want, like Montesori or nature-focused learning. Wonderschool now has over 500 directors working with its software, with some making as much as $150,000 or $200,000. In exchange for its 10 percent cut of tuition, Wonderschool provides directors with a “bootcamp” to prep them for the job. It pairs them with a mentor, then helps them build their website and figure out their pricing options. Coaching guides train the directors to scout for new leads, offer appealing tours, and track their fledgling business.

The $20 million from Andreessen, OmidyarGary Community Investments, and First Round will go to expanding the Wonderschool software. Each student slot it can help director fill, the more it earns. The startup will also have to compete with  companies like Wildflower Schools, which Bennett admits has a similar business model but he says “We are focused on in home and they also focus on Montessori while we are curriculum agnostic.” There’s also Cottage Class which powers homeschooling for students up to age 18, Tinkergarten that concentrates on short-term outdoor education, and VIPKid connects kids in China with U.S. teachers over video chat.

They, like Wonderschool, are trying to scale up to meet the massive existing demand. “The challenge is that there aren’t enough programs for the number of children needing public or private schooling – 1st grade or earlier – and our goal is to provide enough supply for every child” Bennett explains.

Still, safety remains a top concern. Bennett notes that “Wonderschool has a support team that helps school Directors prepare their homes for operation. With regard to safety, each state’s licensing office covers this in their approval process for being granted a license to operate.” But could a problem at one school shake the businesses of all the rest of its franchises? “We have a system of checks in balances in place that we feel confident would allow us to anticipate any potential issues, including regular, weekly check-ins with Directors and a feedback loop with parents. We also email parents on a regular cadence to get feedback from parents and we step in and work with the Director if we find that there are issues” Bennett insists.

If Wonderschool can keep its brand clean through thorough oversight, it could both create better paying jobs in a field rife with undercompensated heroes, and open early schooling to a wider range of students. Bennett’s parents moved to the U.S. from Honduras, pouring their efforts into supporting his and his sister’s education. Now he’s building the next generation of teachers the tools to give more kids a head start in life.