Baltimore's ClassTracks wants to help students learn foreign language their own way

The Baltimore City Public School students in Lida Zlatic’s Spanish class were like most students — learning at different paces. Some struggled to keep up with her foreign language lessons, while others could have taken a mid-day siesta and still been ahead of the group.

Zlatic noticed how other teachers were using technology to personalize students’ classroom experience, and set to work to create a tool that would help language students learn and study at their own pace.

Zlatic and co-founders Thierry Uwilingiyimana and Jamel Daugherty launched ClassTracks in January 2015 and the company has been gaining momentum since. ClassTracks is part of the 2016 AccelerateBaltimore class and plans to go after a funding round after completing the Emerging Technology Center's accelerator program this spring.

The company’s online language learning platform will transition from beta mode to a subscription model this fall, for the 2016-2017 school year.

ClassTracks piloted the program with 10 teachers in 2015 and grew its test group to 20 teachers.

In January 2016 the company transitioned to an open beta, meaning its program is still in test-mode, but open to anyone who wants to use it. The program has about 50 teacher users right now. That number could double in the next month, as ClassTracks finishes training for another cohort of teachers interested in helping fine-tune the resource.

ClassTracks is designed as a sophisticated set of digital flashcards. Teachers add their own content to ClassTracks, then students get access to study the information. When students start to ace questions, the material gets harder, to help students gain a more in-depth understanding of the lessons.

The program can report results back to students and teachers, to help them better understand where they are doing well and where they still need help.

Since ClassTracks is an online tool, the company has been going after clients from around the country, and even on the other side of the world.

Some of the company’s early clients are teachers in China, New York, California, Louisiana and Alabama.

(Article by Baltimore Business Journal)