Podsie is a nonprofit ed-tech organization whose mission is to empower teachers and to improve student learning outcomes.
To achieve our mission, we want to solve this problem: Despite decades of breakthroughs in the science of learning, evidence-based practices from those breakthroughs are widely underutilized in classrooms. Put simply, learning scientists have proven multiple strategies to be highly effective in improving learning, but these strategies are not being used. As a result, teachers are not being equipped with the most effective tools, and students are not being given the best chance to reach their full academic potential.
To help solve this issue, we’ve built a free web app that allows teachers and students to easily implement these evidence-based strategies in their classrooms on a day-to-day basis. We believe that building the appropriate technology and empowering teachers can bridge this gap between research and classrooms, which would result in substantial learning gains among students. One of Podsie’s biggest inspirations came from a study in 2014, when scientists developed software to combine spacing and retrieval in order to automate personalized review for students. This approach improved long-term learning gains by 16.5% compared to traditional methods.
One of our biggest daily motivations is knowing that a whopping 16.5% of average learning gains is out there waiting to be unlocked for students!
Board of Directors
Cofounder & CEO at Podsie
Associate Professor of Cognitive Psychology at Rhode Island College & Founder of The Learning Scientists
Cofounder & CEO at Topknot
Associate Professor at Insitute for Intelligent Systems
Research Scientist in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University
Cofounder & COO at Trialspark
Hear from a Podsie Teacher
Throughout my career, I have seen in every single student a great potential to succeed. Podsie has, for so many of my students, realized that potential, granting them both confidence in their learning as well as high academic achievement.
Podsie's evidence-backed pedagogies have empowered my students to do great work this past year. The algorithm behind Podsie makes students learn effectively and efficiently. The personal deck system creates differentiation, allowing students to work with the content they have yet to master. This has helped foster in my classrooms an environment in which independent learning takes place. My students love using it.
Podsie is completely free for teachers and students!
Podsie relies on grants, competition prizes, individual contributions, and school/district subscriptions. We will never ever sell your (or your students') data. Our long-term goal is to be fully self-sustaining on school/district subscriptions.
We get this question a lot! Being a nonprofit organization lets us prioritize our number one priority —improving student learning outcomes— over profit. Bridging the gap between learning science research and K-12 classrooms requires focusing on a research-backed learning tool, nurturing strong partnerships with educators, and building trustful relationships with learning scientists. As a nonprofit, we can make long-term investments and foster those critical areas without prioritizing shareholder returns.
At the end of the day, we believe that all teachers and students should have easy and open access to effective, research-backed strategies, and we believe that being a nonprofit gives us the best chance at achieving this goal.
Retrieval practice is an incredibly powerful strategy in which students actively draw out previously-taught knowledge from their brains, thus enhancing "diverse forms of learning, including memory, problem-solving, and generalization to new situations." When we challenge students to frequently and intentionally retrieve knowledge, they grow in their abilities to retain and quickly access information. We believe that both retention and quick retrieval are essential foundations for students when it comes to "deeper learning" and transferring skills and conventions to different contexts. Traditionally, quizzes and tests are used in the classroom as a form of retrieval practice. At Podsie, we combine the research-backed power of frequent, low-stakes retrieval practice with spacing and interleaving to enhance the learning of students.
Spacing gives students an opportunity to practice the skills, conventions, and strategies that a teacher has already finished teaching in a way that is aligned with cognitive science research. Our spacing algorithm ensures that students are practicing previously-taught standards based on:
their demonstrated mastery of the standard
specific time intervals that enhance their retention of the standard
the concepts that students find more challenging to retrieve will show up first, and more frequently.
Interleaving is accomplished by allowing students to practice multiple previously-taught standards that are interleaved with more recent standards.
Differentiation is accomplished through personal decks, which are uniquely tailored to each individual student.
Whenever a teacher assigns a class or group of students a set of practice questions, these questions are fed into their personal decks, and our spacing algorithm does the work to ensure students are retrieving the knowledge that they, as individual learners, need to practice the most.
We understand both the need and the impossibility of creating 100+ assignments for each unique learner that a teacher has in their classroom. Podsie has differentiation covered.
Schmidt Futures & Citadel Tools Competition Winner
Podsie was one of 18 teams picked to share more than $1.5-million in competitive awards to seed new technologies and address student learning loss from the coronavirus pandemic.
For Individual Teachers
Our mission is to make learning science best practices more accessible to teachers and students, so we're completely free! Once you sign up, you'll have access to Podsie's full range of features, which includes:
- Easy-to-use formative assessment tool
- Automated and differentiated review for each of your students
- Rich data insights on how your students are doing
For schools and districts, we offer:
- Features that allow teachers in your school/district to collaborate with each other on Podsie
- Professional development
- Admin-level data reports on student learning progress
- Custom setup