Maybe sitting next to your BFF Jennifer in 6th grade English class wasn’t the smartest idea, but did you know that seating in class can make a huge difference in the way students learn. Sometimes a smart class seating chart isn’t just based on making sure two students aren’t going to talk to each other.
“Where a student sits and who they sit with has a huge impact on the learning environment” Duncan Wilson the founder of ClassCharts told Techfaster in an interview.
It’s that idea which is the basis for ClassCharts a UK educational technology company that is using big and smart data to help optimize the seating chart.
“Class Charts helps position students in the classroom based on behavioral or academic data. Our artificial intelligence system automatically creates seating arrangements to optimize learning. We we use smart/big data to identify how students interact with each other in terms of achievement/behaviour.” Wilson said.
Class Charts uses data from the school, the school board even parent/teacher interactions to help bring the teachers the most optimized seating assignments possible. Class Charts even uses real time collaborative data so that teachers are instantly informed of ongoing behavior issues whether by department or the school.
But Class Charts isn’t just about the seating assignment. Once the students are in place Class Charts also works as a behavior tracking system that can let teachers, administrators and even parents know when a student has good or bad behavior, meaning that behavioral situations can be tracked and dealt with immediately rather than waiting and allowing them to add up. Students can also be rewarded and recognized for good behavior in a timely fashion as well.
Is it working?
Class Charts reports that over 75,000 teachers with 2.5 million students are using the system now.
We got a chance to talk more indepth with Wilson in this EdTech interview:
Why did you get involved in the educational technology space?
I was a teacher for 16 years (I left teaching in September 2014) and have been creating online resources for a long time, I love creating innovative products that help teachers and schools improve learning. As a classroom teacher I have a deep understanding of how schools work and what products would be useful for teachers.
Tell us about your team, and their backgrounds:
This is a nice story 🙂 . . .
Founders: Duncan Wilson and Gintas Sasnauskas met online back in 2010 and began working together on edtech applications. 3 years later they had formed a company, built 6 products, made sales to schools but had never even met or spoken on the phone – everything was achieved by Google Chat and based on a huge amount of faith and trust.
Duncan was a chemistry/ICT teacher for 16 years and Gintas is a rockstar developer with a degree in software engineering & AI.
The rest of the team comprise of:
John, Jamie & Nia – these are actually Duncan’s ex-students and handle CRM & tech support. Duncan finds employing some of his best ex-students in an area where there are few career opportunities is a very rewarding aspect of running the company and they are 100% dedicated to the cause!
Sam is our graphic designer and this is his first project since leaving university.
Rose is a US citizen in Wales. Just when we were starting to think about our US/CAD operations she walked into our office and in her finest American accent said “I am looking for a job”, Duncan’s immediate response was “You are hired”.
Tell us about your audience:
Our main audience is classroom teachers who use Class Charts on a daily basis. But we do provide a Whole School solution that links with School Information Systems such as Powerschool or Infinite Campus and comes packed with some amzzing behavior analytics – this is aimed at school principals/administrators. There is also the option to include parents and students by the distribution of access codes.