- The Language Express, developer of web-based educational software including the award winning social skills program, The Social Express®, has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The Phase I SBIR award will help fund development of digital content to help educate and prepare young adults for their future in the workforce and everyday life.
Under the grant, The Language Express will partner with Drs. Matthew T. Marino and Eleazar Vasquez, associate professors at the University of Central Florida and co-founders of Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) Consulting LLC, to create web-based interactive games that place students in a virtual world of employment. The games will also include content enabling school professionals to help with the transition from youth to adulthood.
“As research scientists, we have focused on supporting critical life, social, and academic skills related to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). This approach not only aligns directly with The NSF's mission of supporting education for all fields of fundamental science and engineering, but additionally falls in line with Common Core Standards and the Universal Design for Learning framework”, says Dr. Vasquez. “By partnering with The Language Express, we can leverage their creativity and expertise in creating high quality digital content, and begin to fully realize the powerful potential of our findings.”
Vasquez and Marino’s research, which has been supported in part by $6.5 million in federal grants from the Institute of Education Sciences, the Office of Special Education Programs, and the NSF, focuses on the design and implementation of technology-enhanced STEM curricular materials. VLE Consulting is currently examining how the Universal Design for Learning framework can be included in videogames, iPad applications, and other virtual learning environments.
“We are confident that our commitment to improving children’s lives by researching and developing highly effective learning tools will be greatly accelerated by partnering with Drs. Marino and Vasquez,” said Marc Zimmerman, founder and CEO of The Language Express. “Maximizing our youth’s potential is the foundation on which I created The Language Express, and I am pleased and excited about the potential of our relationship,”
About The Language Express Inc.
Founded by parents of autistic twins in 2008, The Language Express is a privately held company based in Encinitas, Calif. The company’s mission is to help children with ADHD, Autism and Asperger’s to improve their lives by teaching social skills using video modeling. Visit the company at http://thesocialexpress.com/
About The NSF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program
The SBIR stimulates technological innovation in the private sector by strengthening the role of small business concerns in meeting Federal research and development needs, increasing the commercial application of federally supported research results, and fostering and encouraging participation by socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned small businesses.