Reading at all levels is tough to teach. It is virtually impossible to assess students’ level of comprehension and engagement while they are completing a reading assignment. Students can’t “show” their work and teachers can’t get inside their students’ heads.
Gobstopper, a new online tool for Humanities teachers, revolutionizes how we give reading assignments and how students complete them. Gobstopper is an e-reading platform for schools that allows educators to put the questions and quizzes they would normally place in worksheets directly into the text. Teachers can make a quiz pop up at the end of the chapter that is automatically graded by Gobstopper. They can even embed videos of themselves explaining difficult concepts at exactly the moment a student encounters the difficult passage in their reading.
Gobstopper changes everything. Teachers no longer have to photocopy, distribute, or collect worksheets. They no longer have to inventory, distribute and account for the books they teach; and, they get amazing data every morning that tells them who did the reading and who didn’t as well as whether or not students understood things as they read.
Co-Founder & CEO. Jason is no stranger to the intersection between education, technology, and entrepreneurship. Singer is the founder of both KIPP Summit Academy and KIPP King Collegiate High School, two extraordinarily high performing college preparatory charter schools within the KIPP Network. KIPP King Collegiate High School is considered a national model for developing critical thinking skills among students (for a look inside, check out this video). Notably, Jason is also a former English teacher, district-wide Teacher of the Year, and Fulbright Scholar.
In 2009, Jason received a Jefferson Award for Public Service for his work serving students and their families while leading KIPP Summit Academy and KIPP King Collegiate High School.
Prior to his decade with KIPP, Singer co-founded FairAir, a market exchange for airline tickets, where he served as Vice President of Business Development, and CHALK, a nationally recognized youth employment and development nonprofit, where he served as the organization’s Executive Director. CHALK’s Virtual Visitors program, a Microsoft Connected Learning Community Award recipient, was an early pioneer in the online education technology space.
Singer holds a B.A. in English and World History from Pitzer College and a M.A. in Secondary Education from the University of Mississipi where he earned his Master’s degree as a member of the Mississippi Teacher Corps.
Jason is currently reading Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh and loves reading Iggy Peck the Architect by Andrea Beaty to his two wonderful boys.
Co-Founder & CTO. Mauricio has a track record of identifying business opportunities and building technology solutions to exploit them. Mauricio most recently co-founded a photo sharing and social media company where he was CTO.
Previously Mr. Alvarez was Deputy CTO at BEA Systems (now part of Oracle) during which time the company integrated its line of products into a comprehensive platform solution and streamlined its sales process, resulting in revenues over $1B. He also served as Senior Director of Strategic Alliances where he instrumented critical acquisitions in the infrastructure and security areas. As Senior Director of Engineering, Mr. Alvarez was responsible for the consolidation of the engineering team and products of the eCA division.
Mr. Alvarez joined BEA in connection with its merger with The Theory Center, a provider of component-based software that he co-founded and where he served as Vice President of Engineering.
Mr. Alvarez received a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and a M.S. in Computer Science from Cornell University.
Mauricio is currently reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and loves reading The Fox with Sox to his three incredible kids.
Curriculum Developer. Marika taught high school Composition and Literature for six years at a small private school in Oakland, where about half of her students were English Language Learners.
As an educator, Marika is extraordinarily talented at developing teacher created materials that drive student achievement and authentic engagement in the text. She is a voracious reader and talented and award winning writer in her own right. Already well versed in the new Common Core standards, she brings an incredible breadth and depth of literary knowledge and curriculum development experience to Gobstopper. Marika’s questions and quizzes are a big part of Gobstopper’s secret sauce – they make the student’s lean in a little closer, say “hmmmm,” re-read the text, and reach the “aha” moment sparked by reading great books.
Marika received her B.A. in English from the University of Florida and her M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan.
Marika is currently reading Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke and is currently building a phenomenally engaging curriculet for Dracula by Bram Stoker.
Senior Engineer. Sean Neden is a recent transplant to the Bay Area from Phoenix. With a decade of experience in software development, Sean believes that a good user experience is just as important to software design as algorithms and scalability. He is always looking to bring simplicity and good design to all aspects of web development. Sean’s vision and expertise in UX design and front end development will ensure that students and teachers enjoy using Gobstopper as much as they enjoy eating gobstoppers.
Sean received his B.A. in Computer Information Systems from Devry University.
Sean is currently reading a riveting Epub 3.0 Standards document and loves reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein to his awesome little ones.