Co-founder Kasey Brown spent 19 years as a math teacher and intervention coach before launching this startup in 2009 with web and games developer, Elliot Feinberg. Her experience taught her that kids’ math difficulties began around fourth grade and continue into algebra. Digit Whiz aims to address this by helping students develop strong foundational math skills early on.
How does it work? The product, available online and on the iPad, offers a suite of math games that cover topics from addition through pre-algebra. The founders say its target audience are students from the 3rd to 7th grade. Upon logging in, educators can upload a csv file to create accounts for every student in the class. (They can also enter it manually.) Every student takes a placement test; based on the results, they are assigned to play a set of games that provide practice for those skills. (Each game is specifically designed around a particular math topic.)
Who’s using It? As of March 2013, Digit Whiz is being used by more than 30,000 teachers and students in 1100 schools all over the US and in 30 countries, often for around 30 minutes a day, one to two times a week. Students have used the program away from normal school hours.
Competition: Digit Whiz finds itself in a crowded market for online, game-based math curricula ranging from Motion Math (which is supplemental) to Dreambox (which offers a full curriculum).
Business model: The program is currently free for teachers and parents, but Brown is considering a freemium model as more features and content are added.
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