The Growing Divide: Using Gameplay and AI to Fight the Surge in Learning Gaps

Hey there Boddle Family!

As schools begin to return to normal operations and in-person classes, many children and teachers may find the transition a bigger challenge than expected. Many teachers are faced with the reality that most of their students effectively lost half a year, or more, of education. This loss not only creates new, large learning gaps, but also increases any previous learning gaps students might have had. Also, many first and second graders are entering the classroom for the first time. 

One second grade teacher shared with us her concerns for the coming school year. She explained how many students stayed home during kindergarten and then completed their first year online. Many of her incoming students will have their first first in-class experience this coming school year and might lack some classroom behavioral skills. Similarly, she explained how her students may lack the learning proficiency traditionally required for second grade, making her job significantly more difficult. 

Realistically, teachers don’t have the time to fully identify each individual student’s learning gaps and develop a plan to mend those gaps while also incorporating the necessary state standards into their lessons. We at Boddle understand how hard remote learning and teaching might have been on your families and students, and we can help teachers, parents, and students excel this coming school year.

Our Qualifications

This is where Boddle steps in as the support teachers are looking for. Recently selected as one of the 50 companies in the Google for Startups Founders Academy, Boddle is an edtech start-up that uses gameplay and machine learning to strengthen math skills. With over 300,000 registered students and standards aligned math for grades K-6, Boddle provides an engaging and interactive platform that identifies and targets learning gaps. We believe that when students are engaged with content and are able to have fun while learning, they will be able and willing to learn and retain more.

Our free platform presents teachers with multiple tools that strengthen their lessons and student comprehension. 

Boddle could be the answer to tackling math learning gaps before they become too wide for 3 reasons:

1. Fun and Interactive Games Encourage Learning

Boddle believes that children learn best when they’re engaged with the content. By ensuring our games are fun and interactive and then integrating lessons into gameplay in ways that reward and benefit the students, Boddle ignites an eagerness to continue playing. This results in increased time on the learning material. Students end up learning more math content than they might in a strictly material-focused program. Boddle makes learning fun and teaches students to appreciate knowledge and how they use it.

2. Diagnostic Tests Determine Placement and Identity Understanding Level

Traditionally, when children go to school, they are expected to have a certain level of understanding based on their grade. However, the reality is that many students have more than a few learning gaps--whether from summer learning loss or lack of total comprehension when first introduced to a concept. (To learn how to beat summer learning loss, read “Connect with Your Child and Fight Summer Learning Loss on Boddle.”)

Another aspect is that teachers need to incorporate state standards into their lessons, and they often don’t have time to fully and effectively address individual student’s learning gaps. This results in cumulative learning gaps which leads to feelings of inadequacy and negative outlooks on learning. However, Boddle fights to change that reality. 

Unlike in traditional school settings, Boddle uses machine learning to identify learning gaps and find what specific skills address that gap. The new diagnostic program identifies where students are at in the beginning, and immediately begins to target areas the students need to practice. This feature is also available to teachers and parents, enabling them to see where each student is at in their learning. Teachers can then design their lessons to address weak areas of understanding and supplement their lessons with Boddle. By incorporating any state standards the students need to review into their game time, teachers can tackle learning gaps while covering the current year’s required material. 

Boddle takes an innovative approach to teaching through our games, reward system, and overall message that celebrates learning and knowledge.

3. Live Data and Progress Reports Enable Teachers to Strengthen and Personalize Lessons

Boddle is fun for the students, but it is also hugely beneficial for teachers and parents. The tools we offer provide teachers access to live-data reports of each of their students as well as reveal which specific math skills students need to work on. Teachers can then take that information and build supplemental lessons to address those areas. 

Teachers can assign skills to the whole class or personalize the skills assigned to each individual student. These features allow teachers to teach required material in ways that most benefit the student. Learning gaps are identified and addressed, and the students are engaged with the material as well as taught to value and use their knowledge to better the world. 

The Effect

Instead of dreading math class, students can look forward to learning while playing games and customizing their world. Through our interactive and engaging interface, children are encouraged to continue playing and continue learning. Boddle identifies areas children need to work on and integrates material into their game time. Boddle also works with teachers to aid them in designing lessons that address the learning gaps and to strengthen the lessons they teach in class. Boddle currently is available for grades K-6 math on the web and iOS, and has plans to grow and expand its content offerings and release an Android app Summer 2021.

Since Boddle is free and can be used on multiple types of devices, students from different socio-economic groups can play Boddle both in and out of school. This allows children to continue learning over the summer months in a fun, interactive way, and help them get back on grade level. 

Go to the Boddle website at and sign up today! You can help change the future of your children and students by fighting learning gaps and building their understanding for future classes.