MasteryConnect is proud to announce a partnership with Microsoft Education. Microsoft has an incredible history of supporting technology in education, and is recognized as a leader in providing solutions for educators. Out of the 17,000 education apps on the Microsoft platform, MasteryConnect will be one of six that are highlighted at the upcoming Florida Educational Technology Convention (FETC) and in other presentations throughout the country.

Here’s an awesome statement of support from the Microsoft VP of WW Education, Mr. Anthony Salcito (author of the widely-read DailyEdventures Blog).

“We’re excited to support student learning with MasteryConnect’s commitment to build on the Microsoft technology platform. MasteryConnect is an important partner and supports our focus to have a positive impact on student learning, and our education vision of anytime anywhere learning for all.”

Check out the video below highlighting MasteryConnect on the Microsoft Surface Tablet.

 

 

10kDistricts

We’ve reached another great milestone together. MasteryConnect now has a registered teacher in over 10,000 of the 14,000 districts in the country. We want to express our sincere thanks to all of you in our learning community. Because of you and thousands of other teachers and administrators just like you, MasteryConnect is impacting the lives of students everywhere. We continually marvel at the power and creativity of teachers everywhere sharing and collaborating around standards, common assessments, resources, and the daily formative data that is driven by professional learning communities. We strongly value the feedback of our community and will continue to innovate based on your suggestions. Thanks for being a part of this great journey as we impact student outcomes together.

Keep on Trackin’

Mick Hewitt, CEO
MasteryConnect

Trenton Goes to Tinian

September 11th, 2013

In 2009, MasteryConnect began as a radical idea to help teachers focus on mastery learning and share formative assessments tied to standards. Just four short years later, Mastery Connect now includes teachers in over 30,000 schools in 9,000 school districts in 10 different countries, and now the island of Tinian.

MasteryConnect’s Chief Academic Officer, Trenton Goble, recently journeyed to the remote island in the Pacific to train an intrepid group of teachers on how to use live classroom data to impact student performance.  Check out his journey in this short video:


On the way home, Trenton penned the following lines about his experience:

“It was the opportunity of a lifetime. Not only is Tinian a spectacular island with stunning beaches and turquoise lagoons but it has a rich culture and history. Tinian was the site of some of the most dramatic events of World War II history. But by far the highlight of the trip was the people I had the chance to meet.

“Tinians are remarkably generous and accepting. Young and old, working and unemployed, families and single people literally meet for dinner on the beach and share what they have with each other and perfect strangers like me.

“But in other ways, they’re just like the other parents and teachers I meet everywhere I go. They care tremendously for their kids and are very invested in their future success.

“At MasteryConnect, we believe strongly that education is a deeply personal endeavor and its about people. I’ll leave a better person, excited to go back and meet more teachers and more students and continue the work that we do at MasteryConnect.”

teacherAppreciationDay

Dear Teachers,

From all of us at MasteryConnect, we want to say thank you for all that you do.  We recognize the many challenges you face each day and admire your commitment and willingness to make a difference.  We consider it an honor to support you and wish you a wonderful week!

“What great or better gift can we offer the Republic than to teach and instruct our young.” – Cicero

Keep on Trackin’

The MasteryConnect Team

Inspiring Stories from Minnesota

February 14th, 2013

Before joining the MasteryConnect team last January, I discovered MasteryConnect for myself as a classroom teacher.  While I loved teaching and the impact I was having with my students, I wanted to impact student achievement on a broader scale.  Ultimately, I envisioned being able to share this powerful tool with educators nationwide and share its impact at the classroom level.  Since joining the MasteryConnect team, I’ve had the opportunity to travel from state to state, presenting MasteryConnect to enthusiastic educators and engaging in truly meaningful discussions around mastery learning.

Just last week, Trenton Goble, our Chief Academic Officer, and I had the sincere pleasure of meeting with the passionate educators of the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District in Minnesota.  While it was really cold, the teachers we met made us feel warm and welcome!

We initially met district leaders from Apple Valley at the Solution Tree PLCs at Work Institute in Minneapolis.  Our continued conversations led to this Professional Development opportunity centered around “The Model Mastery Approach” and a training session for Apple Valley’s middle and high school piloting teachers.

I can honestly say that my conversations with the teachers of Apple Valley were some of the most inspiring I’ve had in my time at MasteryConnect!  I wanted to share just a few experiences that inspired me on this amazing trip:

  • A high school physics teacher described how he gave his first assessment in MasteryConnect and invited students to scan their own bubble sheets.  One student immediately asked if he could return to his seat to make the necessary corrections after receiving immediate feedback.
  • A highly sophisticated middle school math team used Curriculum Mapping to unpack every standard into student-friendly “I can…”statements.  Assessments filled their trackers and students in their classes were able to quickly identify their personal learning gaps.
  • A teacher shared that she overheard a conversation between students as they waited in line in class to scan bubble sheets: rather than walking away saying “I got a C,” students are saying “I’m at mastery!”
  • A middle school math teacher who previously spent her weekends tracking student mastery of every skill taught by hand on a paper-based mastery tracker (see the overwhelming image above) described how she now has a technology solution that allows her to communicate that information in real-time.  She has her Saturdays back!

It’s stories like these that reinforce the importance of what we’re doing here at MasteryConnect for me.  I’d like to take this opportunity to THANK YOU for being a part of this awesome journey into mastery learning; we’d love to hear your experiences with MasteryConnect as well!

Keep on Trackin’

Christie Jennings
MasteryConnect

vcLogos

MasteryConnect is pleased to announce it has completed a Series A round of financing with an amazing group of investors.  In an over-subscribed round of $4.125 million, Catamount Ventures led the round with a $2.125 million investment.  Learn Capital, which invested in MasteryConnect in a seed round, participated again in the Series A financing, and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation joined this latest round with a $1.5 million equity investment.  We are also excited to welcome Deborah Quazzo of GSV Advisors to the team of investors joining this round.  With this investment, both The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and Catamount Ventures will be taking an active role in the company and serving on the board of directors.  These investors join an already incredible group from our seed round which included NewSchools Venture Fund, ImagineK12, and an all-star group of silicon valley angel investors.

As a company in the education technology space, we feel that it is critical to bring together the right team internally as well as the right team of financial partners that can help us best serve the needs of students.  With this round of financing, we have definitely accomplished this goal, bringing together both foundation support as well as fantastic group of venture capital firms that focus on mission-driven companies.  As we first engaged these new partners in the finance process, we found a common alignment with them as we all believe that the best edtech ideas come from within the classroom  - just as MasteryConnect began as an idea of a classroom teacher. We also found alignment in the idea that the ability to grow and scale the technology solution requires collaboration from the public and private sectors to impact not just thousands of students, but millions of students.

While the Dell family foundation has made many significant investments over the past six years in both non-profit and for-profit entities, this investment  represents the first equity investment for the foundation in a U.S.based edtech company.  This ‘first’ for the foundation is particularly exciting for MasteryConnect as it will not only make a significant impact for low-income students, but for students of all socio-economic categories.

So what does this mean for our incredible customers and users of MasteryConnect?  It means we can continue to improve and build upon the great tools that started as an idea drawn up on a whiteboard by an experienced educator and two software developers.  It means we can continue to work on new and exciting innovations that help students master critical concepts for college and career readiness, and it means we can continue to do what we love – serving students and educators!

 

lunch session

A few lucky MasteryConnect team members traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii this week to take part in Solution Tree’s PLCs at Work Conference.  Our team was ecstatic to leave the smoggy Utah weather and head to sunny Hawaii to talk about mastery learning and PLC implementation!

This conference was an amazing way to kick off to the New Year!  Rick DuFour and Bob Eaker led the event for the 150 attendees.

While it was attended by a smaller audience than most of the conferences in the continental U.S., it was an incredibly energetic crowd!  Over 80% of the attendees, who hailed from places like Alaska, Australia and Canada, joined Trenton Goble for MasteryConnect’s lunch session.  In addition, the MasteryConnect team had a chance to meet and get to know teachers from all over the world!  It was a very rewarding conference and an invigorating preview for the upcoming season of Solution Tree summer conferences.

Aloha and keep on trackin’!

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 11.54.55 AMWe’re excited to announce our Share Your MasteryConnect Experience Video Contest! We’ll be giving away some great prizes, including an iPad Mini.

To enter, all you need to do is create a video that shares your tips, tricks and personal experiences using MasteryConnect.  Click here to login to your account and find out details about submitting your video.  The contest starts January 7th and runs until midnight on February 15th.

We’re excited to see all the unique ways you’ve been using MasteryConnect!  If you have any questions about the contest or how to enter, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our support team.

2013 blog hatIt’s been an amazing year here at MasteryConnect, so I thought I would take just a moment to reflect back on where MasteryConnect has been, and talk a little bit about our plans for 2013.  As the CEO of an Edtech startup, it is an incredibly rewarding experience to be part of a team that took an idea from a teacher’s brain and built a technology solution that has a far reaching impact on students, educators, and parents across the country.   As the year draws to a close, we are humbled and grateful to our customers and the raving fans and supporters of MasteryConnect.

We started 2012 off with a bang after receiving financial support and backing from some amazing organizations in Edtech such as NewSchools Venture Fund, Learn Capital, and ImagineK12.  Their support jump-started our mission to help teachers across America share formative assessments and track mastery of state and Common Core standards.

At my desk in our offices, I have a close view of our “start-up dashboard,” which is a big TV screen that flashes the latest information and statistics about everything in the MasteryConnect community.  As I sit here today, I’m blown away and humbled by the amazing educators in this country that are working to implement mastery learning in the classroom.  A few highlights from the dashboard as of today:

  • Teachers from 22,108 schools have now joined MasteryConnect (representing about 25% of schools in America)
  • Teachers from 7,601 districts are now represented in the Learning Community (over 1/2 of districts in America)
  • Teachers have scored 2,763,291 assessments for mastery learning
  • Our Common Core app has been downloaded over 500,000 times and standards within the app have been viewed over 39 million times

2012 saw an incredible amount of feature development including tools such as curriculum maps, benchmark assessment features, and simple SIS integrations and API’s.  We’re excited to be working with some amazing new partners such as Solution Tree, Edmodo, and Clever.  2013 looks like another incredible year.  We’ll be announcing more financial supporters in early January, a new book in the early spring, and some Common Core features that we’re sure will knock your socks off!  Cheers to an amazing 2012 and wishing you a happy new year!

Keep on Trackin’
Mick Hewitt, CEO

As the snow keeps falling in the beautiful rocky mountains of Utah and the temperatures continue to plummet, the MasteryConnect team wanted to quickly take a break from creating new features and talking about tracking mastery to wish you a happy holiday season!

MasteryConnect Team copy

We can’t wait to spend a little bit of time celebrating with our families and friends.  But what we really want for the holidays is to continue having more and more teachers and schools join MasteryConnect and become part of the Mastery Movement!  Don’t forget to download the Common Core app on your new mobile device you find under the tree!

We know how dedicated teachers are, so if you end up working over the holidays and have a question, we are happy to assist you.  Our support team will be available as usual, except on Monday December 24 and Tuesday December 25.

The “voice” of MasteryConnect videos and an awesome business development manager, Christie Jennings, sadly missing from our team photo :(  Todd Resudek joined us from Skype to be in the picture!  We’ll be growing by leaps and bounds in 2013, if you’re interested in joining our team, please check out our jobs page.