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Kiwi Startup KaiBot In Kainundrum Named As Finalist In The EdTech Awards 2024

New Zealand tech startup Kai’s Education continues to build its international reputation with its Kiwi-designed AI learning robot, Kaibot, and online platform Kaibot in Kainundrum being named as finalist in the Assistive Learning category in the EdTech Awards 2024.

The EdTech Awards is a global competition established in 2010 to recognise, acknowledge, and celebrate the most exceptional innovators, leaders, and trendsetters in education technology.

It’s another significant achievement for the small tech business which continues to punch well above its weight, with Kai’s Education learning programmes being adopted in educational institutions around the world.

“This is a huge achievement for Kai’s Education,” says co-founder Ronel Schodt.

“It helps to raise our profile to educators and investors, especially for our accessible education tools. Each award or nomination helps to cement Kai’s Education as a contender in the global EdTech marketplace,” she says.

Kai’s Education was founded by entrepreneur Bruce Jackson who was seeking to develop a simple, fun device that could teach kids of all ages how to code.

A key challenge was to create a system that didn’t require the use of a computer or tablet to teach coding. So, he developed Kaibot, a small AI-assisted robot with a deck of flashcards to teach the principles of coding in a fun and interactive way - supported by an online portal, Kainundrum that allows a student’s coding to be visualised on a computer or tablet, with all kinds of exciting integrations and advanced coding challenges.

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Last year after recognising the challenges faced by blind and partially sighted students, they developed braille and text-to-speech packages for Kaibot as well. Now, both Kaibot and the larger, more advanced Kai's Clan collaborative AR VR Robot systems are recognised by top education professionals, with advanced learning programmes developed to teach children of all ages and their teachers.

“The magic of Kaibot is in its simplicity,” says Schodt.

“Children can master the basics of coding without being first challenged with learning how to use a computer, and then can apply their new skills to increasingly difficult challenges with confidence. And teachers tell us that they themselves not only learned how to code from Kaibot, but have learned how to teach coding to their students as well,” she says.

Schodt says that the accessibility of Kai’s Education tools is generating strong interest from Special Needs teachers around the globe.

“We have braille coding cards, but you can now also get Kainundrum in text-to-speech Spanish for the US market. And, for New Zealand, there are not only screen-free coding cards in English, Te Reo, and Spanish, we also have Te Reo in text using Kainundrum.

“We’re also rolling out KaiBot in Swift Playgrounds which is specially developed for the Apple eco-system – a really exciting development,” she says.

Success in the US has seen Kai’s Education open a US subsidiary based in Delaware with a dedicated US Sales team to cover the huge territory. Kaibot is now established in six universities in the US for teacher training and the company has just rolled out Canyon District School in Utah with KaiBots in all 28 of their Elementary schools, including their five special needs classes.

This rapid growth has also seen top Kiwi EdTech entrepreneur, Bob Drummond, Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Kami join the Kai’s Education board, bringing significant experience in scaling tech startups and growing market share.

Drummond was a Finalist in the New Zealander of the Year Awards 2021 and a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2021, plus he’s been on boards, consultancies and think tanks throughout his 30 years in business.

“I’m very excited to be supporting Kai’s Education,” says Drummond.

“I’ve seen the company making an impact at the US education trade shows and have been impressed with their energy and their vision. I believe they have the fundamentals of a truly groundbreaking EdTech firm and I’m happy to lend my experience toward their success,” he says.

Kai’s Education will be presenting at numerous trade events and workshops throughout the US this year and Ronel Schodt says that with computer science and digital technologies now becoming a compulsory part of the curriculum right around the world, the potential for KaiBot, and Kainundrum, is enormous.

“We’re excited to be one of the first businesses in the world to combine robotics, AI and both physical and online tools to create a genuinely enjoyable learning experience for students of all abilities.

“We now have more than 50,000 students using our robots and that number is set to explode as these new contracts land. Watch this space!” Schodt says.

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