HR & EDUCATION | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore

Hot startup ‘Teamie’ connects teachers and students in virtual school

No more "my dog at my homework" excuses as assignents go online.

Local startup brings you a cloud-based platform that makes learning even more fun.

The Education sector faces several challenges such as low student engagement, teacher productivity and quality, communication & transparency of information with  stakeholders, and high cost of IT solutions and here's where Teamie comes in.

Teamie is a learning platform started in 2011 that lets you connect with your classmates & teachers, discuss & ask questions, work & collaborate on projects and access your school virtually.

According to co-founder Ashwin Singh, Teamie identified the impact that the three mega trends can have on the education sector.  Hence by leveraging on these trends, Teamie, he said aims to make learning more social, fun and  engaging; drive teacher productivity by allowing mobile and web access to grading tools and learning discussions beyond the physical classroom; and leverage the cloud to offer a subscription service that is affordable, manageable with their limited IT resources and not cost prohibitive.

What you should know about Teamie:

Teamie provides a familiar social network-like workspace together with lessons and assignments that the teacher can post in their virtual classrooms. Hence Teamie mimics the  school experience by providing features like online classrooms, study groups (for group projects with a document store and task manager), bulletin board and locker room.

Teamie has purpose-built the social collaboration tools to enhance learning. Some examples of this are:

1) Instead of just sharing a post, users can share a thought or ask a question. These capabilities allow teachers & students to quickly look at the important questions  asked in class, and begin their discussion.

2) All social networks have a newsfeed, however, the newsfeed just keeps going on without allowing the user to search or filter. The noise to signal ratio on public social networks is extremely high. On a platform like Facebook it is perhaps not  that important, but on Teamie, where the discussions are related to your learning, it is important for users to be able to get to the important and relevant discussions at the soonest. Teamie has enabled this by building filters such as - by type of post (question or thought), by role (discussions where teacher has interacted), by user (discussions where my friend Harry was involved), or by context (discussions about “Assignment 1”).

3) Teamie allows users to attach any document with their thought or questions. These documents play in-line in the browser itself, without the need for the users to have the application software installed on their computers.

4) Teamie allows teachers or students to be able to annotate on the attached
documents, and leave their feedback or comments. This is extremely useful when
students are working together on a group project reports, or when teacher is
marking an essay type question online.

5) Teamie brings information from the users’ social learning network and
provides insights and more information. For example, when a student goes to any
quiz on Teamie, the user sees what % of students have already attempted the quiz,
all discussions that are related to that quiz, and basic info about the quiz in terms of
weightage, number of questions, etc.

6) Teamie has a “Report” feature that enables users to be able to report any
discussion that is inappropriate. This has been created to help prevent any cyberbullying and provide an online tool for students to report incidents.

Teamie has gamification elements built into the platform that reward positive behaviour  through points and badges that are awarded for any action on the platform. The point scheme is  designed to encourage users to share content, ask questions, answer questions and take  academic lessons or assignments on time.

Teamie has the feature sets of a Learning Management System i.e. Teachers can create lessons/assignments on the platform, or upload lessons/assignments. Teamie has online grading and reporting, and automatic grading for certain assignment types. Teamie allows teachers to create content which gets automatically populated in the school’s Knowledge bank, a repository and intellectual property for the institute 

Company Profile:

Name of the company: Teamie Pte Ltd
Founder/Founders: Shivanu Shukla & Ashwin Singh
Website: www.theteamie.com
Major Investors: Angel Investor
Total funding at hand: S$800K
 Target fund: S$3 million - S$5 million
Source of funding: Angel Investor
 Start of operation: March, 2011

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