LearnBop: A New Way to Personalize Learning In Middle School Math Class


Friday, October 3, 2014 - 10:30am

One of the greatest challenges teachers face  is meeting the constantly changing, diverse needs of their students.  The idea that a classroom teacher can stand at the front of the class and deliver a single lesson to a large group of students who will then all learn at the same pace is not realistic.  The facts are that each student in a class will learn in a different way, master concepts at different rates, and require support and encouragement from the teacher in order to meet his or her academic goals.   

This is why new technology-based solutions that help teachers to accurately assess student needs are so appealing – especially to teachers and administrators who are looking to create a more successful educational experience through personalized learning.  While it’s true that students who fall behind can seek extra assistance outside school hours or pay for a private tutor, for Bharani Rajakumar, founder of the award-winning math tutoring and assessment system LearnBop, the added burden on families to find the time and financial resources for a private tutor is unnecessary.  He believes that these situations can be addressed within the classroom, during normal school hours, with the smart application of technology, assessments and curriculum to boost both teacher effectiveness and student achievement.

Less than two years ago, Rajakumar leveraged the sum of his past experiences – from early education to his graduate work at Carnegie Mellon, as well as lessons he learned from working in the financial industry in New York City – to launch a program that would provide middle school students struggling with math, as well as those looking to accelerate their learning, with proven success strategies.  At its core, LearnBop replicates many of the advantages of having a one-on-one tutor, but without the expense and without adding to the school day.  It is also uniquely suited to the pedagogical emphasis and intent  of the Common Core State Standards in that students need to demonstrate their understanding of the concept to move forward in the system, rather than just produce a correct answer.  In essence, LearnBop encourages  students to think about solving problems and helps them in  developing their critical thinking and reasoning skills.

LearnBop has already seen success. Two years ago, at Middle School 385 in Brooklyn, New York, 75% of students did not pass the state math exam.  After a group of students used LearnBop in the classroom on a weekly basis this past year, the pass rate skyrocketed from barely 25% to 96% passing – a win not only for the students, but for the teaching staff and administration as well. 

After seeing the initial success of students using LearnBop, Rajakumar is determined to find a way to make the program accessible to as many students as possible. That’s why LearnBop has become an exclusive partner with Fuel Education.  Rajakumar’s emphasis on advancing the quality and accessibility of educational technology is perfectly aligned with Fuel Education’s mission to help its 2,000 school district partners deliver effective personalized learning. Together, LearnBop and Fuel Education are helping transform math education in the classroom.

To watch a video on Brooklyn Middle School 385’s experience, click here. To learn more about how you can buy the same pilot that Middle School 385 used last here, click here. To learn more about LearnBop’s partnership with Fuel Education, click here.








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