Startup Spotlight: ClassConnect
ClassConnect, in public beta as of March 5th, is a grassroots internet success story. The startup, founded and run completely by Eric Simons, is a simple platform for assembling lesson materials online. Using a Google Docs-style interface, ClassConnect allows for teachers to share files, web pages, videos, and more with their students in real-time through a simple URL.
Eric Simons pulled the ed-tech equivalent of a Kobe Bryant, developing ClassConnect full-time straight out of high school, instead of going to college. Simons graduated, moved to Silicon Valley, and was accepted into the first Imagine K12 cohort, a jump-starter program for education technology entrepreneurs.
ClassConnect makes creating and sharing lesson plans effective, simple, and rewarding. The service is entirely web-based, making it easy to access materials from home or from school, sans extraneous programs, downloads, and tedious installation processes.
It’s also a great teacher-to-teacher resource. Users can tag their lessons and indicate what education standards they fulfill, (like Common Core standards), and these lessons can be shared publicly with every one of ClassConnect’s users, allowing teachers to search lesson plans and choose resources from other users to incorporate into their own classrooms.
At any given time, Simons could be working on ClassConnect from a number of Silicon Valley couches or low-rent apartments. On his biography page, Simons claims to “sleep on friends’ couches, eat Ramen noodles, work 12-16 hours a day” — a claim backed up by a tweet dated March 24 from his personal Twitter account asking: “Friends that live in the Bay Area: Does anyone have a room/couch to rent for the month of April?”
Join the public beta for ClassConnect at their home page, and sound off below if you’re using the service. Tell us what you think of it, or share your own ClassConnect URL.