Technology Innovation


The Walking Classroom
Chapel Hill, NC

Developed by a 5th-grade teacher, Laura Fenn, The Walking Classroom utilizes all-in-one dedicated audio players -WalkKits – to deliver educational podcasts to students as they walk and listen. Having enjoyed listening to podcasts while walking herself, Ms. Fenn recognized an opportunity to bring the benefits of daily walking to her classroom without sacrificing instructional time. Each WalkKit comes pre-loaded with a year’s worth of original content which is directly aligned to the Common Core State Standards and is ready to go out of the box. Most podcasts begin with a health-related message, and each podcast is supported by an extensive lesson plan so that teachers may simply and seamlessly implement the program into their existing curriculum. The Walking Classroom is an effective instructional tool to help teachers reach students with different learning styles so all students can be successful, especially previously underperforming students. Dr. Paula DiBiasio of Elon University is currently investigating the effects of student participation in The Walking Classroom program, and preliminary findings show that students are more physically active and demonstrating terrific academic growth. Students, teachers, administrators and parents alike have been incredibly receptive to the program.

Chapel Hill, NC

Founded by UNC business student Coleman Greene, Sqord is an online social game powered by physical activity. Sqord uses a combination of simple hardware and software technology to measure and report a player’s activity, turning that data into an engaging game-like experience that is fully customizable and highly social. Greene launched this idea after realizing that the old way of play had to be cooler. Sqord is combining real-world physical activity with cutting-edge technology in order to bring youth activity and fitness into a whole new world of awesome. Sqord is an interactive website that makes your life a game, where everything you do earns you points. Users are able to track activity using the accelerometer technology inside the Sqord Power Bands, where data is then sent automagically to Sqord Online to track overall progress, compete with friends and earn points and rewards for getting up and getting moving. Based on feedback from kids and early pilot results, Sqord has built a network that will allow users to compete with each other, work towards goals together, and earn various rewards for their real-world activity. Members will be able to customize their avatars while earning points for leveling up and badges for various achievements.