We are a consulting group that exists to explore new boundaries in Education and Technology.
We like to play games, make things, and experience the world. Our love of learning and creativity drives us to explore the edges of education and learning technologies. We want to change education, but we understand that change is hard and education isn't built to be changed easily.
Our solution to this is The Learning Underground. TLU allows us the freedom to explore new ideas in a way that the institution and bureaucracy of education cannot accommodate.
We can try out something new, evaluate it, and implement it (if it has value) in a fraction of the time it would take to try something new using traditional modes.
Do you have an idea you'd like to explore? Get in touch with us, and let's see what we can create together!
Orientater is the first online student orientation that uses a combination of personalized remediation with authentic student tech skills assessment.
What does that mean? It means that we don't ask students if they can send an email attachment or take a screen shot - we make them do it, and then we capture the results.
Students never pay a dime, and will always have access to their own personal data and learning resources.
School and teacher accounts are also available, with access to data and reporting, as well as the ability to provide custom resources to their students.
The Chore Wizard
The Chore Wizard takes household chores, and turns them upside-down. An experimentation in the application of games theory to household tasks, this web-based application motivates family members to get things done by introducing choice, autonomy, and competition.
Family members log in, choose from available chores, and mark them complete when they are done. The Chore Wizard takes care of the rest - it keeps track of who needs to do how much, and what needs to be done next.
All it takes is a few minutes to set up your account, enter your chores, and get going.
This adaptive learning tool can take any set of content or learning standards, and turn it into a powerful tool that gives students exactly what they need to learn, exactly when they need to learn it.
Combining a wide variety of assessment tools with standards-driven mulitmedia delivery, MyLearningMachine increases student success in understanding the critical learning outcomes in any course of study.
This experimental framework is being developed with full LMS capabilities, including messaging and gradebook for the Fall of 2015. Early access is available for those who are interested.
MLM is not available for public testing. If you are interested in a demo, contact us.
The Learning Underground is built to be nimble. We build teams from our numerous contacts in the field, creating exactly what we need for each project we tackle.
That said, there are a few of us that are a more permanent part of TLU:
Growing up, Bill almost always had either a computer keyboard, a paintbrush or a game controller in his hands.
After completing a BA in Psychology (and realizing that not much can be done with that), Bill came to be involved in education through his love of technology.
Fascinated by the possibilties for how technology could change and enhance learning, Bill completed an M.A. and a Ph.D. in technology and education.
Bill currently teaches Computer Science, and also teaches in the Graduate School of Education and Psychology at Pepperdine University, and he still makes time for the really important things - like building robots and playing games.
Matt has always been an artist at heart.
In his youth, while most of his friends would play with their HotWheels cars, Matt was usually sitting nearby illustrating characters and scenes from the imaginary worlds he would draw up in his own head. As his friends made noises corresponding to car crashes and firetruck sirens, Matt too was creating sound effects, only they were often the roars of dragons or the sounds of a rocket boosters carrying a spacecraft to some far away world which he would be illustrating on a piece of paper.
These dreamlike meanderings have always been present with Matt, especially throughout his education. In fact, whenever there was an assignment he didn't want to do, the first thing he would implement was correlating the project with his dream world in order to make the task seem more fun.
This combination would fascinate Matt throughout all of his life. During the pursuit of his Master's Degree in Learning Technology, Matt was able to meld several of his greatest passions: Art/Design, Teaching and Technology. At this time he became intrigued by the potential that could be created to aid in making learning fun for students of all ages. His role at The Learning Underground is ideally situated to do just that.
Robert has spent his whole life playing and creating in a digital playground, surrounded by video games, robots and computers.
In his free time, Robert enjoys piloting his drone, making games, and playing ranked Starcraft II matches.
He fine tuned his early reading and writing skills exploring the realms of World of Warcraft, and started programming not too long after.
Now, he takes a lead role in iOS and Unity game development for The Learning Underground, and also works in user experience testing and quality assurance.
That learning should be fun, relevant and useful.
That education can do better.
That technology can fundamentally change the way we learn.
That great ideas won't grow unless they are given a chance.
That we can be that chance.
The current environment in education makes innovation and change so difficult, people with great ideas often give up before the ideas ever get a chance to mature.
The Learning Underground exists to help those great ideas become a reality, and hopefully, make a positive difference in education.