NewSchools Venture Fund Invests $150k in LearnZillion

NewSchools Venture Fund announced today a $150,000 investment in LearnZillion, a new web-based education tool and video library of math and literacy lessons, designed to accelerate student learning by helping teachers personalize instruction, and providing teachers with example lessons taught by some of the nation’s best teachers. LearnZillion will launch a beta version on Thursday, September 22.

Our nation’s teachers work increasingly long hours. Yet, as class sizes continue to rise, finding class time to personalize instruction for each student remains a formidable challenge. LearnZillion’s library of high-quality, standards-based video lessons allows teachers to customize instruction with student “playlists” specifically aimed at identified skill gaps, providing targeted individual support for students that need it, while freeing up class time for activities that benefit from a group setting. LearnZillion’s assessment and analytics tools allow students, parents, and teachers to track progress as students master different skills and content.

“This could be a real game changer in classrooms,” said Maura Marino, NewSchools Associate Partner. “LearnZillion’s video lessons feature some of the most effective teachers from around the country, providing a powerful tool to teachers looking to reach every student in their classroom.”

LearnZillion’s video library, which is starting with math and will eventually include literacy lessons, provides teachers and school leaders with an effective professional development tool. The more than 800 videos currently in the video library feature lessons taught by some of the nation’s best teachers, hailing from high-performing schools including NewSchools Portfolio schools DSST Public Schools, DC Prep, YES Prep Public Schools, and E.L. Haynes Public Charter School.

“We started this as a project at E.L. Haynes as a way to target our instruction and help teachers share best practices.  Then we realized how much more powerful it would be if we invited teachers from across the country to participate.  Our ‘Dream Team’ of teachers, who laid down the initial set of video lessons this summer, will now be touching hundreds, if not thousands, of students,” said Eric Westendorf, Co-Founder of LearnZillion and a former principal and Chief Academic Officer at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.

A beta-version of LearnZillion’s tool will be released on September 22. An expanded version will be released on October 17.

Matthew Tabor

Matthew Tabor

Matthew is a prolific, independent voice in the national education debate. He is a tireless advocate for high academic standards from pre-K through graduate school, fiscal sense and personal responsibility. He values parents’ and families’ rights and believes in accountability for teachers, administrators, politicians and all taxpayer-funded education entities. With a unique background that includes work in higher education, executive recruiting, professional sport and government, Matthew has consulted on new media and communication strategies for a broad range of clients. He writes the blog “Education for the Aughts” at www.matthewktabor.com , has contributed to National Journal’s ‘Expert’ blog for Education , and interacts with the education community on Twitter and Google+.