Merlyn, the digital assistant for teachers, has been named a Top EdTech Product of the Year by District Administration.
The awards, handed out by the top publication for education leaders in public K-12 districts, spotlight the most innovative ed-tech solutions on the market. Merlyn was chosen as the Startup winner in the Learning Technology category.
Merlyn, developed by the team at Merlyn Mind, is an artificial intelligence-powered digital assistant that allows teachers to quickly and naturally control their classroom technology. It's for teachers who want to get the most out of their technology without being tethered to a computer or display.
According to company co-founder and CEO Satya Nitta, a typical teacher uses 20 to 30 digital applications, sites and tech services in a day.
“We expect teachers to be superhuman and juggle all the apps and devices in their classroom while at the same time creating an engaging learning environment,” says Nitta. “With Merlyn, we are giving teachers AI superpowers to control their classroom tech naturally and instantly from anywhere in the room. That way, they can maintain the flow of class, increase engagement, and drive successful learning outcomes.”
With Merlyn, a teacher can use their voice or remote control to do things such as setting a timer, opening and navigating through a Google Slides presentation, switching HDMI inputs, and searching the web.
Nitta co-founded Merlyn Mind in 2017 with Ravi Kokku and Sharad Sundararajan. Previously, the three AI experts led education efforts in IBM’s Watson AI research division. The team at Merlyn Mind spent three years building and piloting Merlyn in more than 50 classrooms before releasing it to the market in the summer of 2021.
From predicting your new favorite TV show to mapping every protein known to man, artificial intelligence is changing the way we live, work and play. Global corporate investment in AI reached $93 billion in 2021, transforming the automotive, banking, utilities, defense, food service, insurance, entertainment and health care industries.
These days, AI is everywhere. Except in the 35 million classrooms around the world.
“The last decade has been head-spinning in the evolution of AI,” says Nitta. “Deep learning as a field is really coming of age, advancing language understanding, speech recognition, image recognition, and these days, helping generate language. These all have incredible potential. We see ourselves as translators to bring these thrilling advancements to education to help teachers and students.”
Merlyn is already helping teachers manage their classrooms from coast to coast in the United States and in select schools in the United Kingdom. After piloting Merlyn throughout its rural North Carolina district, Caldwell County Schools are now adding Merlyn to an additional 50 classrooms.
Hudson Middle School Principal Katie Elliott has seen Merlyn ease the cognitive load on her teachers.
“The logistical hurdles of the modern classroom fade away when a teacher can just use their voice to seamlessly move from activity to activity,” she says.
Anna Bruton, a teacher at neighboring Lower Creek Elementary, agrees. “It’s the best piece of instructional technology we’ve ever been given,” she says.
Submissions for the District Administration awards were judged on their innovation in the ed-tech space, with a focus on how the tools are breaking new ground, how much value they add to education, and how easy they are to use.
The winners of the Startup categories will be publicly announced from 3-4 p.m. CT at the Startup Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at the Future of Education Technology Conference in New Orleans.
To schedule a free Merlyn demo and see how AI can automate everyday tasks in the classroom, visit merlyn.org.
Merlyn Mind is an AI technology company translating the latest advances in AI to improve human productivity with workflow automation. Our first solution is Merlyn, the digital assistant for education. Merlyn seamlessly integrates into classrooms and existing ed-tech tools to automate everyday workflows for teachers so they can focus more time and attention on students. Merlyn is accessed through Symphony Classroom, an AI hub custom-built for the unique needs of education. Merlyn Mind is backed by visionary investors, led by Learn Capital. The company has attracted top talent from IBM Watson, Amazon Alexa, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Broadcom, the Allen Institute for AI, and other innovative organizations. Merlyn Mind is headquartered in New YorkCity. For more information, visit merlyn.org.
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