The Fanschool team comprises educators, entrepreneurs, and engineers with decades of experience in the classroom, having previously built edtech organizations at the intersection of pedagogy and technology.
Laura Kniffin, Integrator, has been part of the founding story for multiple edtech companies, including Sophia Learning and Kidblog. Laura uses her creative and organizational skills to serve K-12 students around the world. She has years of experience in UX design and has worked directly with thousands of teachers to successfully implement digital tools in the classroom and beyond.
Zach Robertson, Sales, brings years of experience as a Director in the edtech sector. Zach works directly with administrators, curriculum directors, and classroom teachers at districts of all sizes. Zach has built international relationships with key stakeholders to drive learning outcomes and deliver value for organizations on-budget, with customized configurations to achieve their unique academic goals.
Eric Nelson, Outreach & Engagement, founded the original Fanschool platform after creating “fantasy geopolitics” to gamify his high school social studies classroom. Students drafted teams of countries, followed them in the news, adjusted lineups and traded countries while becoming more aware about what’s happening in the world. Students scored points every time their countries were mentioned in the news. Eric has received national awards and is the co-organizer of EdNorth, one of the largest edtech meetup groups in the world, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Dr. John Moravec, Research & Development, is a scholar on the future of work and education; a global speaker; and is the founder of Education Futures. His work has inspired new schools, social technology startups, and initiatives around the world. He is most noted for creating the knowmads concept and as the lead author of Manifesto 15, a statement with principles for evolving learning. John is passionate about creating preferred futures for humanity and sees education and workforce development as key areas to study and advocate for changes.
Ben Pedersen, Engineering, previously co-founded InsertLearning, an app that turns the Internet into an interactive learning experience. Downloaded by over 100,000 teachers, the Chrome extension creates rich, embedded lessons for students with interactive questions, discussions, videos, and live annotations. Ben has years of technical experience harnessing the power of the Web to improve learning experiences for students.
Matt Hardy, Finance, previously co-founded Kidblog, the safe student publishing platform for teachers and schools around the world. Founded in 2009, Kidblog pioneered the digital classroom revolution by equipping teachers with the tools to empower students online. Matt has deep experience engineering privacy controls to create a moderated publishing space that extends beyond the four walls of the classroom (and beyond the limits of the traditional Learning Management System) to amplify students’ voices.