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Most Innovative Companies

AltSchool

The World's Most Innovative Companies 2016Typically, a tiny chain of six private schools doesn't warrant national attention and a $100 million investment led by Mark Zuckerberg's and wife Priscilla Chan's Founders Fund. But AltSchool is not your typical education setting. Conceived by cofounders Max Ventilla (CEO, formerly the head of personalization at Google) and Bharat Mediratta (CTO, also a former Googler), AltSchool takes the old-school concept of the one-room schoolhouse and uses technology and outsider thinking to offer students a hyper-personalized experience that it thinks could be the answer to the problems entrenched in the American education system. "Micro-schools" host a range of ages in one space, and students move through the day with their own tablet, completing individual and group activities from a "playlist" that's customized to address their needs and interests. As they work, AltSchool uses tracking software, cameras, and wearable devices to collect data points and develop software that will eventually allow the schools to automate educator tasks such as planning and assessment, freeing them up for actual instruction. But the ultimate goal is even bigger: AltSchool plans to bundle the solutions pioneered in its classrooms to create what Ventilla calls an "operating system for a 21st century education" that can be licensed to districts nationwide.
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2016: Education
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