Edu-tech startups launch apps to help college freshmen succeed

As the summer season fizzles and the autumn colors flourish, college students across the nation will begin to embark on another semester of school. Here are some apps and web services that can ease the transition back into endless hours of homework and studying.
GetSet, a new educational startup focused on reducing the college dropout rate in the United States, unveiled its social platform in a partnership with Arizona State University (ASU) and its 10,000+ incoming freshmen. According to a report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, the overall six-year degree completion rate for first-time students was only 54%. In order to help decrease the dropout rate, the Chicago-based startup uses a natural language processing (NLP) engine to collect personal information from students, such as their challenges, goals and background information. Based on a carefully constructed algorithm, the program matches students with similar peers in order to foster friendships and educational support systems.
Within these digital communities, students can post content, update their goals and participate in questions from the time they enroll in college to the moment they receive their degree. Although only currently available at ASU, Karan Goel, CEO and founder of GetSet tells AZTB that they are set to launch its program at a large Southern California school next week and partner with more schools in the coming months.
Goel said the biggest differences that sets his platform apart from the competition is that their product is scientifically-based, which is of the utmost importance in order to achieve adequate matches based on a student’s personal input. The service is being promoted in several ways such as word-of-mouth from ASU ambassadors, announcements at ASU assemblies, and promotion within ASU 101 courses; every incoming freshman is required to take the ASU 101 Intro course.
NoteBowl is a Campus Life Solution: a comprehensive platform for universities that goes beyond the standard learning management system (LMS) by putting the entire university experience in one place. NoteBowl’s vision is to give students, professors, and administrators one location where they can communicate with each other, manage their courses, and engage with their campus community. With a modern, intuitive feel, NoteBowl improves institutional efficiency and increases student success, both inside and outside the classroom.
NoteBowl began their pilot testing stage at the University of Arizona during the 2014 summer school sessions and saw tremendous outcomes. As a result of the summer school success, multiple professors will integrate NoteBowl’s platform into their courses starting at the beginning of the 2014 Fall semester.
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YourLabs LLC
The YourLabs Knowledge Evaluation System (KES) is a complete learning and assessment platform that gathers detailed student feedback for real-time discovery of gaps in student understanding while informing teachers and students of knowledge level and common mistakes being made in the problem solving process. Ravi Budhu, YourLabs CEO, states that, “Our technology allows teachers to evaluate and improve critical skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). This real time data makes instruction more efficient and effective.” KES is completely web-based and works across multiple devices like tablets and smartphones. YourLabs is offering KES to schools and colleges free for an entire semester.
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