Zuckerberg’s new education startup venture co-led a 4 million dolars seed funding of Panorama, a company that says it provides the only survey and analytics platform specifically designed for schools.
Founded by a group of recent Yale graduates, Panorama Education is selling schools tools that help them collect and analyze survey data from students, parents, and teachers. “Most edtech companies fail because they can’t close sales, but we are now in 3,600 schools and every customer is paying,” says co-founder Aaron Feuer.
As CEO and lead developer for Panorama Education, Feuer wrote the basic algorithms that underlie Panorama’s technology. One innovation is the usage of white paper instead of traditional Scantron forms for their surveys, which are much more expensive to print. After having students fill out surveys sent by Panorama, the papers are then returned and scanned, and afterwards, computers collect information about the students’ choices. Feuer designed the algorithms necessary to analyze the scanned surveys and extract the appropriate information, rotating the scanned piece of paper into the right configuration and overlaying a grid structure to find filled multiple choice answers and record them.
Panorama works with schools to diagnose and understand what is happening at both the classroom and school levels. The survey instruments help provide insights into how individual teachers can improve their instruction, as well as how school leaders can improve school performance across a range of measures.
“Our schools weren’t using feedback from teachers, parents, and students effectively,” explained Panorama co-founder Aaron Feuer, who launched the platform while still an undergraduate student at Yale.
“There was a missed opportunity to understand everyone’s experiences and learn what was and wasn’t working,” he continued. “That data is extremely important when addressing issues such as parent involvement, bullying prevention, school safety, and student engagement. So when I was in high school in Los Angeles, we led a statewide campaign to use this feedback in education,” said Feuer. “We quickly realized that our school leaders wanted the feedback too, but they did not have an easy, affordable way to collect data, analyze the information, and take action. We decided to build that technology for public education.”
The company said its technology serves more than 4,000 schools, covering more than 1 million students. According to Feuer, Panorama plans to use the proceeds from this seed round to launch a new free tool for individual teachers and to add new data analytics features to its platform.
Panorama’s platform is used in more than 4,000 schools and serves more than one million students. Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan founded Startup:Education with a 2010 $100 million investment in Newark, NJ schools.