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Writable Closes $3.2 Million in Seed Financing to Help Solve the K12 Writing Proficiency Crisis

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Writable Closes $3.2 Million in Seed Financing to Help Solve the K12 Writing Proficiency Crisis

Funding allows continued development/expansion of Writable's K12 writing practice platform and enhances support for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Humanities Solutions

PR Newswire

PALO ALTO, Calif., Aug. 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Writable (www.writable.com) today announced $3.2 million in seed financing led by Omidyar Technology Ventures including strategic participation from learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  The financing will be used to expand product development and help schools continue to assess, monitor, and grow their student outcomes in writing through Writable's authentic writing practice and feedback platform.

Writing proficiency in the US remains at 27% across K12 grade levels. Only 9% of writing assignments in high-needs schools require students to write more than one paragraph of text. At the same time, teachers are overburdened with grading and prep, which can consume up to ten hours per week of their time. Teachers and students both need more support to manage writing practice.

Writable provides a three-part feedback engine (peer-, self-, and teacher-review) and a set of common skill-focused writing assignments that save teachers time on preparation and feedback, and simultaneously scaffold and motivate students. The platform builds from a teacher's existing instruction and writing routines, transitioning the teacher from grader to guide and freeing teachers to spend more time working with students to improve their thinking and communication.

"Much of the industry has tried to solve the writing proficiency problem with artificial or disconnected writing assignments using multiple choice activities or AI grading helpers. Writable focuses on delivering authentic writing practice that connects to a teacher's existing instruction, streamlines workflow, and supports students to build metacognition and foster a growth mindset. Ultimately, writing is about demonstrating knowledge of a subject, and a purposeful, authentic writing process drives growth in areas far beyond the actual skills of writing," says Todor Tashev, managing partner at Omidyar Technology Ventures.

After working in over 1,000 schools in the 2017-2018 school year, Writable is expanding its distribution through a deep integration with HMH that connects easy-to-use, cross-curriculum writing practice to their best-in-class humanities instruction, enabling enhanced writing instruction and assessment in digital classrooms. "Extending Writable's platform to reach more classrooms will not only help teachers develop more successful writers, it will also build more effective thinkers who will drive our communities and workforce into the 21st century," says Andrew Goldman, CEO of Writable. "The relationship with HMH provides a much-needed intersection between best-in-class curriculum and innovative, yet practical tools that better connect students and teachers in learning."

Writable was founded in 2016 with a mission to build writers with purpose. With a team of educational technology and ELA veterans and academic advisors, the company has focused on both a strong pedagogical foundation as well as an investment in working alongside tools that already help teachers manage digital writing, such as Google Classroom and Google Docs. "Writable has taken a considered and research-based approach to its pedagogy: providing students time for structured practice, coaching them to give quality feedback to one another, and engaging in meaningful revision can all help writers grow," said Troy Hicks, Writable academic advisor, Heinemann author and National Writing Project site director.

About Writable:
Writable helps teachers scaffold and motivate students to become purposeful, proficient writers, and helps schools assess and monitor writing growth. With hundreds of assignment templates, Writable helps teachers strengthen their writing instruction, while saving time on prep and feedback. Founded in 2016, Writable is a Google for Education Partner and is venture funded by Omidyar Technology Ventures and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. For more information, visit www.writable.com.

About Omidyar Technology Ventures:
Omidyar Technology Ventures (OTV) is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm created and solely funded by eBay founder, technologist, and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar. OTV looks to partner with founders pursuing big, bold and transformative ideas. The firm invests in early and growth-stage technology companies in enterprise software, AI & big data, consumer services and marketplaces. For more information, visit www.omidyarventures.com.

Sources:
NAEP, 2011
The Education Trust, "Checking In: Do Classroom Assignments Reflect Today's Higher Standards?", 2015-2016

 

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SOURCE Writable

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