Focus EDU uses brainwave-tracking headbands and a software platform to help educators monitor student engagement and attention states throughout a lesson while in the classroom. The product is offered by BrainCo, a high-tech company started in 2015 that offers Brain Machine Interface (BMI) wearables. According to its website, “BrainCo’s FocusEDU provides the world’s first technology that can quantify real-time student engagement in the classroom” (BrainCo, 2018).
Focus EDU software reports on classroom and individual learner attention states through electroencephalography (EEG) data collected from the student headbands and displayed on the teacher’s monitor. This information can be used to inform and adjust teaching practices to help maximize student engagement. Students can also use the headband with computer-based neurofeedback games to prepare for learning before lessons begin, and to access visualization exercises to get into calm states of mind that promote self-regulation and attention.
In addition to real-time tracking, the platform provides reports on individual student and classroom attention states that can be reviewed to determine improvements over time and to assess the impact of changes in teaching approaches.
Founder and CEO Bicheng Han, PhD candidate at Harvard Center for Brain Science, was included in the 2017 Forbes China’s “30 under 30 China” list of leading innovators in the healthcare and science category, and in the 2017 MIT Technology Review “Innovators Under 35” list. BrainCo was the winner of the 2015 pitch competition at the Harvard China Forum for its Focus EDU products; and also won the 2017 annual Pitch Fest at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference in the “Most Innovative” category.
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