Over the past year or so, I’ve noticed a surge in new, scrappy education startups. One of the most promising ones I’ve seen is ShowMe, previously called Easel Learning. The New York City startup just raised an $800,000 seed round from Lerer Ventures, SV Angel, betaworks, Learn Capital, BOLDstart, and angel investor Naval Ravikant. The company is hiring.
ShowMe turns your tablet computer into an interactive video whiteboard. Teachers can record lessons while speaking and drawing on the touchscreen. The resulting videos can then be viewed on the iPad app or the ShowMe website, where they can be searched shared, and voted up. The iPad app has been downloaded 150,000 times since its launch a month ago, which is not bad for an eduction app.
The videos are crowdsourced from teachers and educators in much the same way that Khan Academy offers up learning videos, but with the added whiteboard format which is particularly helpful for subjects such as math or science. But really it works for any subject where a whiteboard can be used as a teaching tool. ShowMe takes the whiteboard out of the classroom and puts it in students laps.
ShowMe’s technology also powers the Princeton Review’s SAt prep app. In the video below, which I shot last April, CEO San Kim shows off the technology.