SBIR Phase I:A Revolution in Learning Content: Enabling the Next Generation of Interactivity

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1014439
Agency Tracking Number: 1014439
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: EA
Solicitation Number: NSF 09-609
Small Business Information
330 Townsend St #123, San Francisco, CA, 94107
DUNS: 021277212
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Joshua Forman
 (415) 655-9805
Business Contact
 Joshua Forman
Title: PhD
Phone: (415) 655-9805
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project seeks to build a software platform for the creation and distribution of interactive learning content able to target a broad spectrum of learning styles. The proposed project will build recyclable software blueprints that will be incorporated into a broader platform for learning content, test those blueprints with educators and students, and iterate to generate additional and improved blueprints. The research will significantly enhance a platform that has the potential to disrupt the current paper-based learning content market. The platform will bring together existing hardware and software approaches in targeting a class of forthcoming tablet-style hardware device that will provide rich tactile interactivity. Educational material will be represented textually, audibly, visually, and kinesthetically, redefining the meaning of interactivity for educational content. The result will engage students pedagogically using specialized but affordable computer hardware, unlike todays solutions. Development of the platform has begun with a pilot iPhone application exploring the utility of rich interactivity for teaching the process of mitosis, with success assessed with higher education partners. The team is uniquely suited to this task, combining experience in high-technology at Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook, with business and teaching experience in higher education. The proposed technology platform will address the markets need for rich educational content having cost-effective scalablility and offers a superior experience to the traditional textbook. It will achieve economic scalability by building using cross- platform technologies like the widely supported HTML5 standard. It will offer a superior experience to the textbook by deeply incorporating interactivity into the reading experience and by introducing social functions like note sharing. There is currently no direct competitor to our approach. Retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble have content distribution platforms, namely Kindle and Nook, targeted to specialized hardware without education-specific functionality. Educational technology players are either too narrowly focused, or do not address customer needs. Existing Creative Commons-licensed learning content can be easily integrated into the proposed platform, which can be enhanced and distributed at very low cost to a socioeconomically broad audience.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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