6 innovative Australian (and one NZ) startups bringing education into the 21st century

This is a guest post by Adrian Hindes a young scientist, originally  from El Salvador, but currently living on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. His passion is science – particularly physics and the pursuit of nuclear fusion as a sustainable energy source. He blogs at adrianhindes.com.au

We may live in an age of technology and digital media, but it always seems that education lags behind the times. From early learning to tertiary, education is sometimes markedly outdated for the digital age.

Luckily, Australian innovation is here to the rescue! Below we look at seven startups which look to either fill in some gaps, or improve on old habits across the whole spectrum of education. Below are 7 innovative Australian startups we’ve discovered on Product Hoist.

#1 Banqer – Online banking system for the classroom

Learning how to manage finance and saving money is of crucial importance for young people, however primary education often misses out on teaching such important life skills. New Zealand startup, Banqer looks to fill that gap by providing classrooms a safe, online banking system in which kids can learn all about saving, interest and how managing their money works. Banqer includes a full curriculum, student handouts, and a modular system which allows for a natural progression of learning as kids become more financially literate. For example, the Real Estate and Tax modules teach kids about homeownership and managing taxes. Kids can set up automatic payments, transfer money and track their own spending, allowing for a fun, interactive and invaluable learning experience.

Vote for Banqer on Product Hoist


#2 Piggy – “Young people learning money”

Learning about finance for kids wouldn’t be complete without real life practice, which is where Piggy comes in. The Piggy service gives young kids their own pre-paid, personalized debit card. The service is managed through an app which parents use to monitor their kids’ spending habits and set saving goals. The card is also limited to pre-loaded funds, which avoids the dangerous habit of overspending. Through Piggy, parents retain complete control of spending, whilst kids experience what it’s like to manage their money in the digital age.

Vote for Piggy on Product Hoist


#3 EarlyWorks – Digital documentation for early learning centres

The formative years of a young child or toddler’s education are some of the most important, however keeping up-to-date with their progress during this time is is often bogged down by paperwork and documentation. EarlyWorks  looks to get rid of all of that with its centralized system for early learning centres across Australia. With its comprehensive and intuitive interface, EarlyWorks revolutionizes communication between the Centre and parents to provide up to date, detailed progress reports on a child.

The online-based system caters to a variety of observational mediums, including learning journeys, anecdotal records and photo journals. The service even provides detailed statistical data on each child’s progress, and allows for full customization and automation of reports for the administrative backend. Ultimately, the service provided by EarlyWorks’ award-winning team of early childhood educators and information technology experts is one that succeeds in modernizing the dated paper documentation and report system that many early learning centres still use today.

Vote for EarlyWorks on Product Hoist


#4 Backpack – School management app for students and teachers

Whether you’re a student or teacher, you’d know the struggles of staying up-to-date and organized with school. What if there was just one app that could manage all of the hassle for you? Backpack from Fluid Education is an all-in-one app for students, parents and teachers that manages everything from homework to teaching resources and class timetables. The app acts as a virtual central hub for the school, greatly increasing efficiency for students and teachers. Teachers can push notifications to classes and assign homework, all of which go directly to student smartphones. Gone are the days of physical diaries for timetables, or redundant and often missed noticeboards; Backpack brings the backbone of the school into the digital age.

Vote for Backpack on Product Hoist


#5 Kanopy – On demand streaming service for educational institutions

Kanopy Logo-2


Schools and universities often employ a variety of media to enhance learning outcomes, particularly videos and documentaries. Unfortunately, many of these resources tend to be outdated or held back by a lack of access.That’s where Kanopy comes in. Kanopy is an online streaming service for educational institutions, which allows access to a database of over 26,000 curated documentaries and films. The Australian-born company services 12 million students and staff, and includes titles from PBS and BBC. Kanopy’s wide catalogue ranges from foreign films to scientific documentaries and social studies, making it an excellent service for K-12 education and tertiary institutions. Kanopy also partners directly with filmmakers to provide them a platform with high visibility and massive audience. Originally based in Perth, Kanopy now have offices in San Francisco and Sydney.

Vote for Kanopy on Product Hoist


#6 Velpic – eLearning in the cloud for your business

Velpic aims to transform induction and training in the workforce by providing an online eLearning platform for business and industry. It includes an authoring tool that administrators can easily use to create their own PowerPoint-style presentations complete with graphics, media, voice-overs, music and quizzes. The platform can also schedule lessons and provide weekly or monthly reports on progress. The cloud-based service simultaneously simplifies and enhances the training process for both administrators and employees, with 51% higher comprehension and 75% reduced training time. From retail to industry, Velpic’s myriad of improvements on training and online-based system make for a neat all-in-one eLearning solution for business.

Vote for Velpic on Product Hoist


#7 Ediply – “The easiest way to global education”

Ediply is an online service which matches students to tertiary institutions based on study interests and budget. With a few simple questions, Ediply opens up a world of study opportunities for prospective students. Currently, their database includes thousands of courses from Australian and New Zealand tertiary institutions and is marketed to students in South East Asia. However, Ediply aims to add more to this list as time goes on to provide an intuitive, centralized information service for all students. The transitional period between high school and University is confusing for many students, but with a service like Ediply, choosing where to study after school just might just be a lot easier.

Vote for Ediply on Product Hoist
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