Online PreK-2nd grade edtech platform uses activity to boost comprehensio...

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Kids have a lot of energy. But what’s the first thing we tell them when they enter a classroom? Sit down and be quiet.

But why? Research has shown over and over again that kids learn best when they are active, moving, and engaged with their content. That’s where ActivEd comes in.

ActivEd is an educational technology company that has developed an innovative, movement-based platform that accelerates learning while improving health. Our first product, Walkabouts, provides highly engaging supplementary lessons for the PreK-2nd grade learner that are fully aligned with National and State Standards, using physical movements to enhance the classroom learning experience.

We’ve made great progress so far: We’ve received over $1 million in Series A funding, a round led by the Upstate Carolina Angel Network, VentureSouth, and we’ve incorporated Walkabouts in close to 100 schools in over 15 states.

While improving test scores is a major component to Walkabouts, it’s far from the full picture. Walkabouts also creates better behaved and healthier kids. In fact, 92% of teachers using Walkabouts reported improved classroom behavior! Why? Simply by getting kids out of their seats and physically engaged with their learning (which dramatically helps cut down the $1,800 cost shift per household spent on childhood obesity).

Walkabouts was designed for teachers, by teachers. Read on to see how we’re activating curriculum across the country!

Walkabouts responds to the US Department of Education’s call for accessible technology that can help bridge widening gaps in academic achievement, health, and quality of life.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among other leading organizations, has characterized childhood obesity as the most threatening preventable health epidemic of our time. Walkabouts provides practical steps toward addressing this.

Physical activity can have both short- and long-term benefits on academic performance and academic achievement. Elementary school students are often better able to concentrate on classroom tasks, which can enhance learning immediately after physical activity. Make sure to check out the research section below which validates these claims.

Moreover, kinesthetic learning is often the most overlooked formed of learning styles. ActivEd recognizes that kids have differentiated learning styles, and need movement opportunities to learn effectively.

In short, as state-level governments are pushing for technology to be immersed into schools, we have developed a product that connects better health to education and academic achievement!

Teachers want outstanding, simple-to-use resources to address the individual learning needs of their students. Walkabouts are 7-10 minute web-deployed lessons that can be used in a variety of ways and are designed to enable teachers to address the different learning styles of their elementary school students.

What it is?
The Walkabouts platform is an online supplemental learning tool. In just a few clicks, you can create multisensory lessons that complement traditional early childhood curriculum.

Walkabout lessons are:

  • Easy to use and create — online video lessons that are up and running in 4 clicks!
  • Fun for students
  • Aligned to national and state standards
  • Dynamic content is different different every time a Walkabout is played

How does it work?
Walkabouts link fundamental curriculum concepts to movement to make them more memorable and meaningful to students of all learning styles — kinesthetic, auditory, and visual.

The Results
Multisensory tools like Walkabouts are proven to:

  • Improve class behavior
  • Minimize ADHD challenges
  • Improve health and fitness
  • Improve academic performance

ActivEd and Walkabouts were inspired by 15 years of published research. In fact, ActivEd founder Dr. Julian Reed is among the nation’s leading researchers studying health and academic achievement. His team confirmed that integrating physical activity into elementary curricula lead to greater cognition and higher scores on achievements tests

Additionally, recent research conducted by Active Living Research, and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, revealed that immediately after participating in physical activity, children are able to concentrate on classroom tasks, which enhances learning.

The Walkabouts platform has been validated through real-world selling and use — we currently have paying customers in 15 states. Thousands of teachers in over 100 K-12 schools are currently using the product. ActivEd also has pilots in multiple national early childhood centers including Goddard, Nobel, and Lightbridge.

Beyond our current users, Walkabouts is gaining fans in many national organizations as well.

We’ve been receiving a ton of press coverage too! Walkabouts have been featured in ADDitude, highlighted in THE Journal's ISTE 2016 Conference Guide, as well as other articles from THE Journal, featured in District Administration, highlighted in Class Tech Tips, featured in Electronic Education Report, and reviewed in Tech & Learning.  


So, what’s next?
Given the dynamic nature of the educational category, and the dynamic functionality of our platform, our expectation is that Walkabouts will always be changing and growing. While the platform is currently comprehensive in the math and language supplementary support it offers young learners from PreK to 2nd grade, there are plans for annual updates and additions to the product, which are already underway for future school years. We also have longer term plans to scale the product to other subject matter and grade levels, and have road mapped those evolutions and development for 1-2 years out.

After learning about our founder, Dr. Julian Reed, and the rest of the team below, make sure to request access to the business plan tab of this profile for an inside look into ActivEd!

Uniquely qualified to develop and lead ActivEd, Dr. Reed is an educator, researcher, and author of various scholarly articles as well as of a widely used movement-based curriculum and training text published by Nova Science titled Active Education. He has disseminated his research in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Preventive Medicine, Preventing Chronic Disease, Health and Place and the Journal of American College Health. He began developing movement-related lessons and workshops over a decade ago when the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 began decreasing the lack of physical activity time at school.

Dr. Reed is a Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina and is an Affiliate of the Prevention Research Center in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Dr. Reed holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Hobart and William Smith Colleges; a Master’s of Science in Exercise and Sport Sciences from the University of Miami, a Doctorate in Exercise and Sport Sciences from the University of Northern Colorado, and most recently received his Masters of Public Health from the University of South Carolina.

Matt directs ActivEd’s branding, aesthetics, and marketing. He is principal in one of the Southeast’s fastest growing advertising and marketing firms. Ferebee completed a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and Psychology from Appalachian State University and a Master’s Degree in Communication from Wake Forest University, where he began research about increasing the efficacy of cause- and education-related marketing campaigns. In addition to his work with ActivEd, Ferebee works with a broad range of clients and brands including educational organizations such as South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, Headstrong, Institute for Childhood Success, and South Carolina College Access Network.

Focused mostly on the financing and financial management of the company, Brewster helps put the sales and marketing strategy into numbers. He also works with Matt and Julian on sales and marketing.   

Former CEO of HOPSports and Senior Advisor to the National Foundation of Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, Cindy has vast experience at the intersection of sports marketing, health & wellness.

Ansel is a nationally recognized education leader and Associate Director at Public Education Partners, Greenville, SC.

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