TULSA — As more kids are spending time in front of screens, a new Tulsa-based online company is helping students across the country excel.
Boddle Learning is an educational gaming platform that helps teachers and parents assist in teaching students in kindergarten through sixth grade. It began as a startup in Kansas City and has made the move to Tulsa after a big investment.
Co-founder Edna Martinson said, “Our big focus was, hey, let’s make this such a fun game because there’s several educational games that kids these days can sniff out the education part then and there.”
Martinson and her co-founder spent time in classrooms and after-school programs to find out what the biggest need was. She said, “One thing that we realized, which is an issue nationwide, is you’ve got kids who are not on grade level. For example, in a fourth grade class, you would have students who are maybe on a third grade or second grade level.”
The co-founder said the two big problems for educators is identifying and addressing the individual learning gaps and finding innovative, creative ways to close those learning gaps. That’s where Boddle comes in - assisting teachers in their classrooms around the nation and even parents at home, especially as many parents are becoming teachers themselves right now.
Martinson said, “When COVID first hit and everything went remote, we saw a spike in parents wanting a tool for their kids. Kids are going to be on screen time, so why not make it worthwhile, healthy screen time?”
And while kids are having fun playing a video game, the program also lets teachers and parents grade and assess the students on the back end – to see where they excelled and where they performed poorly in the game.
Michael Basch, managing partner of Atento Capital, said, “We felt that it was something that we wanted to get behind, and we believe in the founders. So, we made an investment and now they’re moving to Tulsa.”
Atento Capital is an early stage investment firm in Tulsa that invested $350,000 in Boddle. Basch added, “We think Boddle, which has gone from zero to 40,000 kids each week on their platform over the course of this year, is in a position to basically help kids to better in math . . . We think they’re here to stay. We wanted to capture that in Tulsa, and we look forward to having a conversation hopefully with TPS and some of the charter schools about helping expand them here."
Martinson added, "Seeing the community and really seeing it as a place that Boddle can grow and make an impact in the community, it definitely seemed like the next right step for Boddle.”
Right now, you can sign up for Boddle online, but Martinson says the app version will soon be available for tablets and smartphones.
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