what is it?
who needs it?
ZigZag, Inc. is the sole owner, operator and developer of the newSLATE web site and the newSLATE online learning technologies. ZigZag, Inc. offers these technologies to teachers, students and educational institutions through a subscription service.
Here are some highlights of the ZigZag, Inc. timeline:
ZigZag, Inc. was founded in 1996 by Ted and Marsha Hopp.
"Believing in the promise of the Internet for the future of both education and software delivery, we set up a website and began designing prototype on-line activities with the goal of taking the web experience to a much higher level of interactivity. By late 1996, we had produced our first Java applet game, "The Hanukkah House." The extraordinarily positive response to this game led us to invest our efforts in extending and experimenting with the underlying Java framework, from which we built several new games.
"The Hanukkah House" also attracted the attention of the Language Resource Center at the University of Michigan. They were interested in experimenting with the software to create new types of on-line foreign language exercises for their students. Through a cooperative research agreement between ZigZag, Inc. and the University of Michigan, we entered into a collaborative development which resulted in our "showU" applet for language comprehension exercises. This work was presented by the University researchers at two conferences in June, 1999.
"We continued throughout this time with our development of a variety of Judaic learning applets, learning by e-mail and through personal meetings about the actual classroom experiences of teachers using our website activities. The response was overwhelmingly favorable, especially with regard to ease of use. Yet our work with the University clearly held the promise of becoming the core engine for new types of on-line exercises that could be used by a wider range of students. Seeing the opportunity to make a difference on a much larger scale than we had originally imagined might be possible, we accelerated our work on enhancing the "showU" framework. The result is our patent-pending newSLATE technology which helps students master their own learning materials."