Free Enterprise Staff  | September 12, 2016

7 Education Stories Guaranteed to Inspire You

Education is very important. There’s no debating that. And with the new school year just around the corner, it’s a topic that’s on many people’s minds—including ours. For anyone in search of some educational inspiration, here are seven education stories guaranteed to get you in the learning mood.

1. PlayPosit

Former Teach for America corps member Ben Levy founded PlayPosit (formerly known as eduCanon) to help teachers, well, teach better. The startup, which was crafted through a bottom-up approach to education, creates interactive video lessons that are designed to address each instructor’s unique needs and classroom pain points. Teachers then have access to real-time student data, enabling them to make more informed, individualized decisions.

2. Yoobi

Yoobi designs and sells school products like notebooks, writing utensils, and binders that are intended to enhance student learning in the classroom. The business, which was founded by serial entrepreneur Ido Leffler, is also dedicated to helping classrooms in underserved communities across the U.S. Much like Tom’s, Yoobi donates an item to a needy classroom every time it logs a sale.

3. Dog Tag Bakery

A truly innovative educational program has taken off in Washington, D.C. That’s where, in collaboration with Georgetown University, Dog Tag Bakery is providing military veterans with business and job training courses to help them succeed in their post-military careers. Co-founded by Fr. Rick Curry, SJ and Connie Milstein, the organization combines classes at Georgetown with hands-on training at its neighborhood bakery. Dog Tag Bakery has already received a warm response from District locals and has expanded its hours to accommodate an influx of foot traffic.

4. 10 Best & 10 Worst Academic Performers

When it comes to education, not all states are created equal, with some clear standouts distinguishing themselves from the rest. Which states, then, are doing the best job of molding minds? Last year, we created an interactive infographic that highlighted the 10 best and 10 worst academic performers among the 50 states and Washington, D.C. Curious to know how your state fared?

5. Skillshare

When you hear the word education, you probably think of traditional brick-and-mortar institutions. But a growing number of online startups are breaking the conventional mold. Among this group is Skillshare, which provides web-based learning tutorials across a wide array of industries and disciplines. Whether you’re trying to learn how to sew, or you want to pick up some basic coding skills, Skillshare promises to help you on your educational journey.

6. General Assembly

Like Skillshare, General Assembly is a trailblazer in its innovative approach to learning. With outposts scattered across the globe, GA offers short- and long-form classes in what it calls “relevant, 21st century skills.” Geared toward professionals looking to advance their careers, GA offers courses that cover everything from digital marketing and social media, to front-end web development and data science.

7. arcBARKS

Based in North Carolina, arcBARKS is an organization that is truly doing good. The nonprofit, which was founded in 2011, provides hands-on vocational training to adults who are developmentally disabled and live in the surrounding Greensboro community. As arcBARKS program director Sarah Ray told Free Enterprise, participants in the program are taught practical and social skills that are essential in the working world. “We’re teaching culinary skills, of course, but it’s more than that. So, aside from learning how to make the treats, you’re learning how to operate in a workplace environment,” Ray said.