About Kugobi

The Concept

The development of Kugobi was established based on the educational concepts developed by the founder David Shpigler, the proud father of seven children.  As a strong believer of the importance of educational achievement, he struggled to find the right mix of educational tools that would help his children realize their potential in school and beyond.  He found that existing approaches tended to be undifferentiated and did not properly account for the individual needs and abilities of children – instead “teaching to the middle” too many times and forcing children to adjust to a predetermined program.

Developing his own program for supplemental educational enrichment, David found that each of his children responded best and achieved optimal results when they were exposed to materials that were best suited to their own level of competency and learning styles.  However, compiling the right set of materials for each child involved a painstaking approach of gathering educational materials from different sources and trying best to develop a logical program based on a disparate source of materials.

The Problem

A wide variety of educational reforms and programs have been championed in a pursuit to improve education in the United States.  Some recent ideas include enforcing standards, opening charter schools, providing vouchers for private education, improving teacher pay; two recent federal programs include No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top.  Despite these efforts, by almost any standard the quality of education in this country is lagging, with U.S. schools still languishing in the middle of international rankings, behind the schools of such countries as Estonia and Slovenia.

Technology innovation impacts nearly every industry and enables customers to get a personalized experience.  However, for some reason education still lags, with children still largely being taught in the same manner as 100 years ago.  Select implementations of technology in education like smart boards don’t really solve the core problem.  Instead, what we need is an educational approach that is student-centered, rather than curriculum-centered.  True dynamic adaptive learning empowers the student by enabling him/her to be taught according to his/her needs.  Existing solutions feature adaptivity limited to student assessment and simple branching protocols rather than using the power of machine learning and cognitive analytics to make education customized for each and every student.

Many parents that we’ve spoken with expressed frustration with existing approaches to help maximize their children’s potential.  Interviews that we conducted with hundreds of parents, teachers, and administrators showed that for many, the limitations with respect to the personalization of educational materials to be a chief concern:

  • “The great thing about online learning is how advanced it is … the biggest problem is that it is not personalized” – John, father of 8, 11, and 12 year olds
  • “Repetition in educational technology may be useful, but it can be a waste of time if the student is ready to move on and the program forces you to spend a certain amount of time on a lesson.” – Rudy, father of 11 year old
  • “Offering personalized learning cadence to each kid’s learning capacity is absolutely a great idea.” – Vincent, father of 2 year old

The Solution

Kugobi brings together innovative pedagogy with true machine learning to deliver value to students by utilizing the leading tools in cognitive analytics that interface with the learning science built into the back end of our system – an approach that results in an online learning system that offers true adaptive learning that responds to the student’s need on a fully dynamic basis.  Using this blend, we now have the ability to identify the specific source of difficulty and opportunity for each child in a truly dynamic way.

Kugobi blends adaptive learning technology through machine learning with the pedagogy of standards-based education, principles of Conditions of Learning, and Threshold Concepts educational theory.  Using cognitive analytics, Kugobi can identify the potential for difficulty and success to guide each learner down an individualized path.  Protocols are in place to integrate the information we receive to create a learner profile and respond to real-time progress monitoring with big data analytics.  The true innovation involves the dynamic ability of the program to grow with each learner at their own pace and comprehension as well as improve the pedagogy based on collective data.