Cashtivity, the award-winning education technology team that brings authentic, real-world experiences to math and science classrooms, is rebranding as Mindsets Learning.
Founded in 2015, the team’s mission is to spark students’ creative and entrepreneurial mindset and prepare students with the skills to succeed. The Mindsets Learning name nurtures this mission to a new level.
“The name Mindsets Learning better encapsulates our commitment to empowering teachers and students. We help educators with inquiry based, real-world lessons that bring relevancy, depth of knowledge and context to immerse students in learning, The stories behind the lessons are drawn from current events, the world of work and every day life.” said Marissa Di Pasquale, Mindsets Learning founder and CEO.
The team first got its start with a tool to help students build a business. “Building their authentic mini business was the most memorable learning activity reported by students year after year”. Soon, the team re-focused from entrepreneurship education into the math classroom when it became clear that math teachers wanted to link math instruction to their real-world contexts.
“Math teachers initially came to us with very specific needs to evolve our Build a Business tool to suit math instruction. They loved how the tool inspired students to learn by doing and create those real world connections”.
The team listened and along the journey spoke with many, many teachers and administrators. “We realized a tool was no longer enough. Teachers needed pedagogy, content and lessons to teach with. So we set about doing this, we built an instructional team and learned how to create inquiry based content and lessons — which we call Challenges — and blend these with cutting edge interactive technology to provide a single, convenient bundle for teachers. As math teachers started to introduce the Challenges into their teaching routines, we found science teachers creating extension challenges from math into science. It is really exciting to see teachers collaborating and co-teaching like this.”
Today, thousands of teachers in the US and around the world, including those at international schools in China, are actively using the new library.
Mindsets Challenges are aligned to Common Core State Standards for math and Next Generation Science Standards for science so they’re ready to use alongside existing curriculum adoptions. Marissa says her team has also been busy aligning its Challenges to support the Texas TEKS and Australian math standards.
Using these Challenges, students solve real-world problems applying their math skills while building their 21st-century skills. Each Challenge is live, collaborative, and interactive, featuring real-time student and class responses. Students complete a single challenge in 1–2, 45–60 minute classes while their teacher serves as a learning facilitator, educator, and mentor.
“The student journey is one of a social learner,” Marissa says, “and our job is to understand this as intimately as we understand how math teachers- and now science teachers — teach. It goes beyond teaching content to supporting teachers with pedagogy and interactivity to bring rich discussion and immersive learning experiences in the classroom. “ Marissa’s approach means Mindsets Learning has always been a design-led company, something nearly unique in the world of educational technology.
The team has the backing from the Learnlaunch network out of Boston, and has also won the edtech award from NASDAQ, the world’s largest stock exchange in NYC. The award was extraordinary. It signals the commitment of business and industry to work with educators and edtech companies to help bridge the massive gulf between academic learning and real world skills.
“Students will need more than domain-specific skills to succeed in college and career,” she said. “They will also need to develop a range of mindsets such as the collaborative mindset, the creative mindset, the entrepreneurial mindset, and the mathematical mindset.”
“Mindsets Challenges inspires students to become critical thinkers instead of passive recipients who wait for their teachers to tell them what to do.”
The team has successfully entered the US K12 middle school STEM market with a scalable, gamified teaching and learning platform. Microsoft is a go-to-market partner as the team focus on scaling inquiry based content and technology to meet local needs of teachers around the world.
Mindsets Challenges equip teachers with more time to work directly with students instead of hunting for great content and figuring out how to teach it. With Mindsets Challenges, teachers can be innovative, delivering a collaborating lesson instead of a lecture.
Parents too, now have a tool with real world situations they can relate to, and help their child. For example, in the Where to Work Challenge students use their math skills to decide between two job offers — which one should they accept and why?. “This one is hugely popular. Its relevant and highly relatable. Families can sit around the dinner table and have a conversation about this.”
“Our dedication to students, their voice and to developing experiential skills remains as strong as ever,” Marissa said. She and the Mindsets Learning team realize that educators as well as parents, industry, and universities want more of the company’s learning-by-doing approach in order to prepare students for college and career success. “We’re just getting started.”
To learn more about Mindsets Learning, its Challenges, and what the company is bringing to math, science & STEM classrooms, visit www.mindsets.com.