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eSpark is a Chicago, IL based startup that works with K-8 schools to offer “personalized learning on the iPad.”

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I’m on vacation in Aruba, so I’ve been going out to dinner every night. One thing that I’ve noticed at nearly ever restaurant is kids playing games on iPhones or even iPads while their parents essentially ignore them. iDevices are great educational tools, but so is a family dinner. I’m sure there are some reasons for exception, but I think most parents should probably have some sort of “no playing games at the dinner table” rule. Save the game playing for another time… like at school. That’s what eSpark is aiming for. They’re a Chicago, IL based startup that works with K-8 schools to offer “personalized learning on the iPad,” and they’re already delivering amazing results.

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It took me a little time to understand how eSpark works since they don’t actually provide the educational games. Instead, they:

  1. Diagnose learning level
  2. Enable academic goal setting
  3. Recommend the best educational
    games, apps, podcasts, & eBooks
  4. Challenge students with daily quests
  5. Report & celebrate success

eSpark describes what they do as “Pandora for education apps.” There’s already so much content out there, they realized that curation and personalization was far more valuable than creating another educational game. eSpark’s business is based on direct relationships with schools, and though they’re only working with fewer than 100 at this point, they already have some great success stories that should help them keep growing. If you want to be part of eSpark’s growth, visit their Jobs page. Right now they’re looking for a Software Engineer, a Data Scientist, an IT/Operations Engineer, a User Experience Designer, a School Partnership Associate, and an Inside Sales Representative.

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