Antimatter brings posting to the classroom • TechCrunch


Antimatter co-founder Jonathan Leibov says, “To be able to post a post, you have to understand the subject matter very well. “In a sense, posting a shot is the highest form of consciousness.”

As silly as it sounds, Leibov is on to something. With a five-person team and a small amount of venture funding, Antimatter is building the smartest education technology company on the market on a simple premise: to make good notes about a subject, you need to know what you’re talking about.

“I talked to my best friend from college who is now a high school history teacher, and he told me, ‘I use memes all the time in class,'” says Libov. His friend introduced him to the concept of Bloom’s Taxonomy, an educational framework that explains how students can best retain what they have learned. If a student completes vocabulary for a test, the night before the test, they can cram flashcards into their brain, get an A, and forget what they learned. But the highest level of Bloom’s Taxonomy is creating something new based on what you have learned. Students won’t have time to write a three-act play about how World War I began – but they can make notes about it.

Image Credits: Memes from Antimatter

“This is not just a gag,” said Leibov. “[Memes] They are very small stories that people have created, which creates a huge task for teachers to help students understand the topic.

After a private beta in the spring, Antimatter is now open to any teacher to sign up and create a “studio” for their class. Then students can use the built-in antimatter meme maker to make fun of a recent lesson in AP European History or explain a physics concept with visual aids—a function that’s really built into Own mobile application Last year, the Antimatter team wondered why there wasn’t a better meme generator. In the studio, students can comment on similar stories to each other, or “bless” a memory by improving it.

Leibov, a former analyst at Union Square Ventures and product lead at Bloomberg LP, got the idea for Antimeter from his experiences online.

Antimatter, a sample studio built for TechCrunch

Antimatter, a sample studio built for TechCrunch

“I’ve been in a handful of learning meme communities like the Physics Memes subreddit and meme communities. Daily Roman updates on Twitter,” Leibov told TechCrunch.

But accounts like Story Memes Explained on Instagram take the idea home — the site not only shares memes, but also adds a caption explaining the story behind the meme, so you can learn something new if you didn’t understand the meme.

Antimatter is currently free for educators, though down the road, Leibov thinks Antimatter might try to monetize it by selling subscriptions. If a student teacher isn’t using Antimatter, they can still participate by searching for topics they want to learn more about or posting their own educational memories. As with any online resource, there’s a risk that some users might post fake memes — but when included in the classroom, for example, students and teachers can discuss among themselves why a meme needs a little work.

“Ultimately, we want to write Wikipedia with memes, shitposts, animations, and videos,” said Leibov.





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