EdTech News for Friday, October 14, 2022: Designing Virtual Pets, Blockchain Education through Microlearning

Ed Tech news

Two trends in the EdTech news for today. It’s awards application season, so we’re reporting on contests for both students and instructors. Microlearning, economics, and mental health are also meeting up in vastly different online spaces. Investors seem to like microlearning for the TikTok generation, whether that means the cryptocurrency curious or K12 kids.

There’s a new way for kids to learn about designing for interactivity. BitOGenius Inc has launched Pixicade Pets. The app allows children to design virtual pets and then use the app to animate and interact with them. Kids design their pets, the creature’s homes, food, and toys on paper, then take pictures in the app so they can interact with them on a mobile device.

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VCs are working to raise $2 million US dollars to bring Chalq to market. The company is creating a blockchain education web platform using microlearning course videos and its real-time cryptocurrency simulator.

“We want to bring blockchain education to the masses by taking an interactive and innovative learning approach through Microlearning,” said Venture Capital Investor Gabe Hill. “Our mission at Chalq is to democratize blockchain education on a global scale. The Blockchain space is an incredibly fast-moving and confusing space to understand and navigate, so it’s crucial to have an education platform available with which users can educate themselves on blockchain technology and practice crypto investing techniques, all on one platform.”

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Pitch it to Win it is an annual investment contest at Mohawk College. Applications are open for students at the Hamilton, Ontario-based community college to submit their business ideas and pitch them to a panel of investors affiliated with Surge, Mohawk’s entrepreneurship resource space. Surge offers one-on-one mentoring to Mohawk students and alums who are entrepreneurs or want to become entrepreneurs.

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Instructors aren’t being left out of contest season. Proposals for the Learning Engineering Tools Competition are open until November 20. The competition has a three-phase selection process. Proposals are reviewed at each phase, and selected submissions are invited to compete in the next round. There are different tracks for tools that address learning needs in early childhood education, elementary, and secondary level education.

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The Online educational community Tract has raised $7 million in seed capital to increase its reach among elementary students. The startup was founded in 2020 by celebrity mom and California teacher of the year Esther Wojcicki and her former student and Uber exec Ari Memar,

“Teachers are overworked and understaffed. Parents are busy. Kids are not getting prepared for future jobs. My goal with Tract is to help make it easy for anyone, anywhere, to prepare their kids for success,” said Wojcicki.

The community recently released a series of microlearning SEL projects to assist with teaching the emotional regulation skills that influence classroom behaviour. Each project in the aptly-named Zen Zone can be completed in 5 minutes or less. The projects are designed to help ground students as they reflect, refocus, and regain control of their emotions.

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Kate Baggott is Head of Content and Communications for the Edusity family of companies that includes The Babb Group and Professor Services. A digital content veteran, Kate's portfolio can be viewed at
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