Archive for the 'Individualized Learning' Category

Hurry: “Teacher Innovator of the Year” Deadline is This Week

Attention teachers: Do you have a story to share with other teachers around the country about how you’re incorporating our online supplemental learning program into your classroom?

We’ve been on the prowl to find the “Apangea Learning Teacher Innovator of the Year” and right now we’re busy reviewing submissions from your peers in school districts nationwide. They’re telling us all the imaginative ways they’re putting our online supplemental learning program to work in their classrooms and how they’re getting their students pumped to work hard.

Got a story to tell? We want to hear it. But you’ll have to hurry – the deadline is Saturday, May 9th.  Please submit ideas to

We’ll be issuing a news release after we’ve picked the winner and runner-ups.

Stay tuned … big news ahead.


Vista Del Lago High School Students Win ALapalooza ALthusiasm Award

Congratulations to the students at Vista Del Lago High School (Moreno Valley, CA) who won the ALapalooza ALthusiasm award, a national math contest sponsored by Apangea Learning. A special event will recognize these students for their accomplishments at Vista Del Lago High School on Thursday, August 28 beginning at 1 p.m. PST. 


Vista Del Lago High School competed with other summer school programs nationwide in Apangea Learning’s ALapalooza: Summer of Math Tour contest.  Vista Del Lago’s summer school students beat out more than 100 schools across the nation to win the ALapalooza ALthusiasm award, a prize given based on the number of after-school hours spent learning math — hours worked during their personal time that went above and beyond what was required for their summer school requirements!


“Our goal at Apangea Learning is to motivate students to want to learn math.  The students at Vista Del Lago showed amazing determination to succeed academically by working on Apangea Learning Math during their own time – even on nights and weekends.  It’s great when educators can get students fired up about learning!” said Apangea Learning CEO, Louis Piconi.

New Version of Apangea Learning’s Online Math Tutoring Solution Launched and Now Available to Parents for First Time

Today, we release a new version of our flagship math solution (formerly known as SmartHelp). Rebranded as Apangea Learning Math, a number of enhancements have been made to the product. Additionally, this new version is now also available for direct purchase by parents for use at home.  Previously, Apangea Learning Math was sold exclusively to schools/school districts.


Apangea Learning Math provides each student one-student-to-one-teacher differentiated math instruction through a unique integration of “intelligent” computer-animated learning coaches and live, certified teachers who instruct students online. A student’s learning pathway can be individually customized based on state standards, the student’s grade level and his/her proficiency level. New enhancements found in Apangea Learning Math include:


·         The Practice Zone – After completing all of the core problems in a module, students will complete a series of problems in the Practice Zone. This facilitates the transfer of skills learned in Apangea Learning Math to not only classroom exams, but also to high stakes assessment exams. Students can also select the design of their own Practice Zone page (customized skin) further personalizing their learning experience.

·         Altruistic Motivation – In addition to earning gift cards to their favorite retailers, Apangea Learning Math’s motivation system now allows students to donate the monetary value of their earned “ApangeaPoints” to a charitable cause of their choice.

·         Enhanced Page Design – The teacher and student homepages have been redesigned to a three column format to provide easier navigation and access to critical information.


“Launching Apangea Learning Math into both the retail and B2B platforms marks a very important milestone for the company,” explained Apangea Learning CEO, Louis Piconi. “Additionally, the Practice Zone will significantly help students improve their test scores. Many students feel a great deal of anxiety around test taking. To help alleviate this and build academic confidence, Apangea Learning Math’s Practice Zone is designed to teach students how to transfer the skills learned online to their written exams.”

Live from the NECC Tradeshow Floor

Greetings from the National Education Computing Conference (NECC) tradeshow floor!  NECC is the world’s largest technology education tradeshow and conference in the world and Apangea Learning is in the thick of things!  


I thought I would take some time this week to bring the show to life for everyone, not just for the handful of us here in San Antonio.  As with most of the large education conferences, Sunday is not a day of rest.  Rather, it is a day of building the booth.  What starts as a huge, messy convention center ends up as a glamorous exhibit hall after a long day and night.  It is absolute chaos:


And in the middle of this mess is the 10’ x 20’ space that we will call home for the next three days. 


After many hours, the booth is almost ready to go…just a few last preparations in the morning…and a team meeting…and then 12,000 plus people will descend onto the tradeshow floor.


Watch your for the next installment of “Live from the Tradeshow Floor”.


Best regards,


Texas PTA Combats Summer Learning Loss While Raising Funds

According to John Hopkins University Center for Summer Learning, students lose (on average) approximately 2.6 months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Making matters worse, teachers spend four to six weeks reviewing what was learned in previous years once students return. To combat this summer learning loss, the Texas Parent and Teacher Association (PTA) has joined forces with Apangea Learning to provide students unlimited math tutoring over the summer months.


Apangea Learning provides students personalized, one-on-one math tutoring through its unique combination of Web-based instruction and live, online teachers. Students tutored by Apangea Learning are automatically enrolled in the company’s motivation program, which includes a rewards system for work completed, contests and random opportunities to win meaningful prizes (iPods, Nintendo DL Lites, gift cards, etc.).


Utilized by school districts throughout Texas (and the United States), Apangea Learning’s proven approach to math tutoring has helped thousands of Texan students achieve significant academic success within the classroom. 


According to Mayen Nelson of the Houston Independent School District, 21 of her 26 eighth graders passed the TAKS exam because of the Apangea Learning program.


“I passed my TAKS exam. I’m going to high school!” Powerful words that Frida, a student at Grand Prairie Independent School District, thought she would never be able to say.


Through this partnership with the Texas PTA, parents can now purchase a full summer of individualized math tutoring for $100, of which $20 will be donated back to the parents’ local PTA. Parents can enroll their children at


“The Texas PTA is very excited about our partnership with Apangea Learning. Not only are we helping to overcome summer learning loss, but also providing our members a great and easy way to raise funds this summer,” stated Isaac Simon, Texas PTA’s Director of Marketing and Fund Development.

Altruism: a true motivator

al·tru·ism   [al-troo-iz-uh m] –noun


1. The principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others


It is relatively easy to motivate someone with a dangling carrot if that carrot directly benefits them. However, would that same person be as motivated if that carrot only benefited another? In the end, the answer comes down to the individual. But, we were happy to discover that as a whole, today’s students (tomorrow’s leaders) truly have an altruistic spirit about them.


During the winter holiday, Apangea Learning held a national contest to encourage students to use SmartHelp over the winter break. Unlike previous contests, this contest did not have students competing one-on-one for prizes such as iPods and Nintendo DS Lite. Instead, it had a new twist: altruism.


During this season of traditional goodwill and giving, students would now work together as a class to compete against other classes not for gadgets or pizza parties, but for the opportunity to help complete strangers. Apangea Learning would donate $1,000 to the charity of the winning class’ choice.


The participation in this contest was phenomenal.


Since that contest, Apangea Learning has held additional altruism contests that yielded equally impressive student participation.  Winners of these contests (and the charities they chose) include:


  • Bill Arnold Middle School (TX): Leukemia and Lymphoma Society North Dallas Chapter
  • North Kenwood/Oakland Middle Campus of the University of Chicago Charter School (IL): Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
  • Southeast Local Middle School (OH): Akron Children’s Hospital 

The students altruistic spirit did not go unnoticed. Click the following links to view a few of the stories that ran as a result of the students’ efforts: 

Apangea Learning Announces Record-breaking First Quarter!

SmartHelp has been instrumental in helping thousands of students to not only learn and comprehend math, but also achieve academic success when taking state assessment exams. Much of our new growth this quarter can be attributed to our current customers sharing their success with other school districts. With a 100 percent renewal rate, this is a great testament to SmartHelp’s ability to serve the learning needs of all our customers.

Louis Piconi, Apangea Learning’s CEO and Co-founder

I am happy to announce that Apangea Learning had a record-breaking first quarter for the 2008 fiscal year. The company signed 79 contracts, consisting of new customer acquisitions and current customer renewals.

Our online, supplemental math program, SmartHelp, is now being implemented in 29 states across the United States and the District of Columbia, representing a 25 percent increase in state penetration over the past three months. New customers utilizing SmartHelp include: Arlington Public Schools (VA), Augusta County School (VA), DC Public Schools (DC), Chicago Public Schools (IL), Huntsville City Schools (AL) and Pomona Unified School District (CA).

Additionally, Apangea Learning achieved a 100 percent renewal rate for its current customers whose contracts were up for renewal during the first quarter of 2008.

Our gratitude goes out to everyone who made this an amazing quarter – our current customers, our new customers and the dedicated staff at Apangea Learning.