TechCrunch Disrupt is kicking off in San Francisco this week where startups get the chance to start disrupting the tech industry -- and possibly even the future of learning.
We've already seen what startups are capable of when they take on the challenge of changing education.
Remember textbooks, notebooks, pens, pencils and endless chalkboard notes? Exhausting.
When companies like Rafter entered the industry, it sparked a change for the better. In 2006, Rafter launched BookRenter, the first textbook rental site. But then they went further.
Textbooks and course materials went digital -- not only saving space in university bookstores, but the switch cut costs for students.
And it went beyond the desk.
In 2012, Udacity brought higher education to the students. The educational organization entered into the tech industry and offered students a more convenient way to learn: online.
It's technology like this that enable students to learn anything from anywhere.
And the lessons can be more personalized. No more one-size-fits-all.
Take a peek at schools and technology in the gallery below:
One great example of this came from the OpenStax project at Rice University. It not only provides an array of subjects, but it uses algorithms to enable textbooks to adapt to individual students. So as students learn from the book, the book also learns from the students.
That's pretty smart.
And the EdTech startups keep on coming. This year we have our eye on a few:
Picmonic: which centers around the idea that "a picture is worth a thousand words." It enables students to create and share visuals like diagrams and even cartoons to prepare college students for standardized tests and finals.
Mystery Science: A video series that answers simple science questions that don't seem so simple at first to K-6th graders. Like "how are rocks made?" or "if hot air rises, why is there snow on top of mountains?" Pretty helpful for teachers too.
And NI-O Toys: It develops 3D-printed, customizable toys that encourage kids to learn.
Who says learning can't be fun? Not technology.