Chicago-based Big Things Inc., a developer of online communities and learning technologies, announced today that its breakthrough social learning platform MashPlant™ has been acquired by The Source for Learning, a Reston, Virginia-based non-profit providing quality educational resources to teachers and students.
MashPlant™ is the only social learning platform that allows students to create, collaborate, learn, and share classroom projects in any digital media format in a certified safe, COPPA-compliant environment.
“We launched MashPlant™ with the mission to combine the power of social media with the impact of project-based learning,” stated Jason Brett, chief executive officer of Big Things, Inc. “The Source for Learning was an early adopter and became an invaluable partner in the further development of MashPlant™, and we could not be more delighted that it will now be a permanent part of their offerings to educators.”
The Source for Learning is a nonprofit organization that specializes in creating, collecting, and curating high-quality, online content for both classroom use and professional learning, and makes those resources available to early childhood and K-12 educators for free.
“The Source for Learning was an early mover in the online, social learning space and has been using MashPlant™ to power our MySciLife community since 2014,” said the Source for Learning’s President and CEO, Lynn Rejniak. “With this acquisition, we will be able to continue to provide state-of-the-art resources and expand our programming for K-12 educators for years to come.”
“Development of MashPlant™ required more than 5500 hours and a team of eighteen developers, designers, engineers, writers, and visual artists,” stated Jesse Nolan, chief architect of product development for Big Things since 2014, who will be joining The Source for Learning as part of the acquisition.
“Our shareholders were very pleased with the value we created,” stated Brett. “More importantly, they’re proud of what we created, and that our motivating vision to make a positive impact on 21st century education will now be realized by The Source for Learning.”
“This acquisition will expand access by Chicago educators to more than 15,000 high-quality classroom and professional learning resources for early childhood and K-12 education including social learning assets developed and/or reviewed by master teachers,” added Rejniak. ”Further, the acquisition will allow Source For Learning to grow its social learning portfolio by combining the power and ingenuity of the MashPlant™ platform with rich, relevant content created by The Source for Learning, such as MySciLife, our social learning tool designed for Middle Level Science.”
Big Things Inc. is a privately held company founded in 2011 by Jason Brett, whose background prior to technology includes a rich history in entertainment as founder of Chicago’s legendary Apollo Theater, producer of the seminal film comedy, “About Last Night”, and most recently as the writer of “Miracle”, a new musical inspired by the Chicago Cubs’ 2016 World Series win, for which Mr. Brett was awarded the 2019 Jeff Award, the highest recognition in Chicago theater.
The Source for Learning is a 501(C) (3), that has been helping educators enhance teaching and learning, for 40 years.