19 innovative edtech startups

Innovate My School

Innovate My School empowers educators to think beyond traditional boundaries, lead proactively and, most importantly, feel inspired. It now entertains an audience of 50,000 educators through its weekly content, with 1,300 guest bloggers and over 2,500 articles published to date.

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Many say that education is not yet transformed by technology. Well, not to the extent that other industries can claim. But this has a lot more to do with the complexity of schools choosing, adopting and implementing edtech, rather than there being a lack of innovative tech out there, solving problems for teachers and creating opportunities for learners.

We are fortunate enough to see hundreds of startups enter the market every year. Passionate founders who are intent on helping schools harness the power of technology to improve student and teacher outcomes. Here are 19 exciting startups that have caught our eye recently. Some have already collected impact evidence on the outcomes they are helping schools to achieve.

1. Carter’s Yard Phonics Flashcards

Purchase price: £9.99 per deck | Customer rating: 4.5/5 (12 reviews) | Edtech Impact scores:

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Carter’s Yard Phonics Flashcards, created by two passionate and experienced primary school teachers, really bring learning to life with a set of 64 interactive, augmented reality ‘talking’ flashcards that unlock the difficulties of teaching phonics at home. The flashcards support families as they progress from producing individual sounds to reading words and allow them to learn at their own pace, with or without input from an adult.

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2. Zaprendo’s Sounds English Phonics

Purchase price: £18 per user per year | Customer rating: 5/5 (4 reviews) | Edtech Impact scores:

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Zaprendo’s Sounds English Phonics accelerates the hardest part of learning to read. Using adaptive learning algorithms and formative assessment, the programme is suitable for all children including dyslexic children, SEND and EAL learners. Easy to use, and student led, it has been proven by a school based study, analysed by the University of Surrey to be 2.8 times more effective than other methods at moving children to independent reading.

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3. Spongy Elephant

Spongy Elephant is an inclusive and collaborative professional development platform for schools that focuses on bite sized videos and short online training sessions. Having bagged a few prestigious awards for saving schools time and money in its short history, Spongy Elephant was founded by two former senior leaders, focused on disrupting the traditional face to face training model using edtech.

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4. examfit

GCSE Mathematics Students can use examfit to find, filter and bespokely generate thousands of exam-standard questions, tailored to them. For the first time ever, they can then independently mark their efforts (including all working!) quickly and accurately. They simply answer a series of straightforward 'Yes' or 'No' questions - examfit’s clever tech does the rest and translates their answers into a free user dashboard.

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5. MentalUP

Purchase price: Customer rating: 4.5/5 (14 reviews) | Edtech Impact scores:

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Research results show that the individuals starting mental activities at a young age are successful in their academic and social life and they are happier. MentalUP is a scientific and entertaining educational app consisting of 60 entertaining exercises improving thinking skills for 5-12 year old children. MentalUP can be used at home and at school. Teachers and parents can monitor cognitive development of children with reporting tools.

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6. iPEP

Purchase price: £595 annual flat fee | Customer rating: 4/5 (17 reviews) | Edtech Impact scores:

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iPEP is a Physical education planning, assessment and evidence platform. Through its innovative design and functionality it transforms the way in which schools and teachers plan, deliver and assess their PE lessons. In addition to dramatically improving P.E. standards, iPEP strives to save schools time and money through its platform which allows teachers to easily create long, medium and short term lesson plans within minutes.

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7. Marty the Robot

Purchase price: £198 one off fee | Customer rating: 4/5 (3 reviews) | Edtech Impact scores:

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Robotical’s Marty the Robot is a walking, dancing, eyebrow-wiggling, programmable robot - designed to inspire the next generation of roboticists and engineers. Build your own robot and then program Marty with Scratch. Once you have mastered the basics, add sensors to Marty and make your robot move using real coding languages like Python or C++. You can even customise your robot with 3D printed parts!

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8. ToodleBit

Purchase price: From £399 | Customer rating: 5/5 (3 reviews) | Edtech Impact scores:

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ToodleBit is a creative, hands-on approach to teaching STEM within KS2. Based around the computer science curriculum, ToodleBit uses the BBC MicroBit to link computing, science, maths and design technology into exciting and stimulating lessons. Designed for the non-specialist teacher, animated videos guide pupils through each lesson.

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9. Kide Science

Edtech Impact scores:

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Kide Science applies a world-class, research-based pedagogical model from Finland for early science education for 3-to-8 year-olds. The licensing model for educators is complemented with training, lesson plans, peer support and engagement for families. Each session is pre-planned for you, and you’ll get clear step-by-step instructions online before starting the session. This means that you can focus on working with the children to provide wondrous science experiences.

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10. SmartRubric

Purchase price: £5 per month per user | Customer rating: 5/5 (1 review) | Edtech Impact scores:

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SmartRubric helps teachers mark open-ended student work such as projects, performances and essays quickly & accurately. It captures granular formative assessment data and automatically creates clear, meaningful reports about individual, group or cohort progress against specific skills. Rubric-marking has been shown to be faster, easier, and more consistent than traditional pen-and-paper target setting.

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11. Spelling Shed

The Literacy Shed’s The Spelling Shed is a spelling platform designed by a team of Primary School teachers. It is built with primary school students, teachers and parents in mind and aims to make spelling fun for students as well as simple for teachers to manage. Their platform can be used as a complete whole-school spelling solution, and gives weekly lists and activities.

12. NUSHU

Purchase price: £1050 annual flat fee | Customer rating: 5/5 (5 reviews) | Edtech Impact scores:

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If you like the idea of earthling news in 3D, you will love NUSHU, a series of adventures about current global issues connecting the news with the curriculum, by using comic strips with Augmented Reality interactions (dialogues with the character and games). This helps students (8 to 12 years old) develop critical thinking about news and global issues. It challenges stereotypes through an alien character and connects with the curriculum with a cross-curricular proposal of activities.

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13. Your Favourite Teacher

Founder of Your Favourite Teacher, Miss Meeks has experienced the highs and lows of education throughout her career. She was responsible for GCSE English for the last few years and is well aware of the immense pressure on staff at every level in schools. Your Favourite Teacher eliminates the need for costly, exhausting in school enhancement, and is designed to alleviate some of this pressure, whilst still securing in depth content knowledge for students taking their GCSEs.

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14. Numberella

Purchase price: £99 one off fee | Customer rating: 4.5/5 (2 reviews) | Edtech Impact scores:

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Want a social ecosystem around learning maths, combining a card, dice and coins maths game with a website/app which sorts students into houses, and connects parents to the classroom? Check out Numberella. It makes maths fun. When kids play it, they realise that maths can be enjoyable, which changes the way they think about the subject. Playing the game involves constant arithmetic, and kids who play Numberella get better at maths as a result. Win, win!

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15. TrainingSchoolz

Purchase price: £549 annual flat fee | Customer rating: 5/5 (2 reviews) | Edtech Impact scores:

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TrainingSchoolz is a platform for schools to manage and track vital communications, such as online training and policies. It enables schools to create, distribute and monitor communications. To get started, simply pick from the fully editable library of online training assignments and policies, and give it a go for free.

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16. Kapow Primary

Purchase price: £150+ annual flat fee | Customer rating: 4.5/5 (2 reviews) | Edtech Impact scores:

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Kapow Primary provides bite-sized videos of passionate subject specialists in Art, Computing, D&T, Music, Languages and Wellbeing that empower you to teach specialist subjects with confidence. Through sharing hundreds of their best lesson plans and resources as well, it not only boosts your subject knowledge, but also saves you precious time.

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17. CREATE Education Project

Customer rating: 4.5/5 (12 reviews) | Edtech Impact scores:

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Bring together game changing technology with inspirational content and creative minds, and what do you have? The CREATE Education Project! This collaborative platform is designed to provide free resources and support to help educators to introduce and embed 3D Printing technology in the classroom. These include professional development resources, lesson resources, project ideas and inspiration. Contributors and community members are provided with a network of people embracing the same passion for sharing and improving access to education.

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18. FormTimeSorted.com

Purchase price: £199 annual flat fee | Customer rating: 4.5/5 (12 reviews) | Edtech Impact scores:

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FormTimeSorted was created by two teachers - Paul and Emily Hughes - because they both felt the same about being form tutors! FormTimeSorted.com helps secondary schools provide engaging and consistent activities for registration time, covering news, literacy, numeracy and SMSC. They cover the difficult topics like discrimination, modern slavery & bullying, so you don’t have to (and without using powerpoints).

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19. SATs Companion

Purchase price: £499 annual flat fee | Customer rating: 4.5/5 (2 reviews) | Edtech Impact scores:

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A team of teachers and headteachers, based in SW London, developed an online system to cover the new KS2 and Year 6 SATs curriculum for English and Maths. SATs Companion was designed, based on research, to address the key challenges teachers, pupils and parents are facing for the KS2 SATs. The core issues they planned to overcome were: lack of curriculum resources based on the new question styles, to reduce teacher workload through data, planning and marking, provide effective GAP analysis with positive pupil & teacher impact. Lastly, to provide excellent value for money for schools during a budget crisis.

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