Arcadia Apps Powers Common Core Courseware

Common Core Literacy Game Challenges Students to Find the Missing Agents

WestEd Interactive Courseware a Result of Partnership Between Rigorous Research and Nimble Innovation

 Missing Agents

San Francisco, California — October 11, 2013 — WestEd and Arcadia Apps are collaborating on an online, interactive courseware solution that supports 7th and 8th grade students in mastering the Common Core State Standards in literacy.

This collaboration between a small business and a national research organization is building “The Missing Agents,” interactive courseware that asks students to decipher clues and help locate four missing secret agents. “Where have the agents gone?” “What were they working on when they disappeared?” “What are the secrets of The Missing Agents?”

Students piece together clues to earn points and move through the ranks of the Agency to solve the mystery. They engage in authentic writing activities and access timely feedback throughout the game, all while under the guise of analyzing clues to solve the larger mystery.

Teachers receive timely feedback to help individualize instruction and address the specific needs of each student.

“Educational games need to be supported by quality research and curriculum development,” says Glen Harvey, CEO of WestEd. “Our work with Arcadia Apps will show how rigorous education tied to the Common Core State Standards can lead to compelling games for middle school students.”

Development of “The Missing Agents” is supported by a grant WestEd received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It is one of 29 competitive grants the foundation awarded for web-based courseware focused on literacy and the Common Core State Standards.

“The Missing Agents” is expected to be available for the 2014-15 school year. Watch this video to learn more about the game and how it functions for students and teachers to increase literacy.




About WestEd
WestEd, a national nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency, works with education and other communities to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults. WestEd has 16 offices nationwide, from Washington and Boston to Arizona and California. Its corporate headquarters are in San Francisco. More information about WestEd is available at


About Arcadia Apps
Arcadia Apps is a software company that makes an app publishing platform and a courseware management system that reduce the cost and time of creating and delivering interactive courses and assessment apps.  Founded and based in Los Altos, California, Arcadia Apps also provides professional services for the creation of highly-interactive tablet, smartphone, and web apps serving the education market. More information is available at


Contact Information

Wens Gerdyman

Matthew Spaur



Kaplan SAT Quiz U by Arcadia Apps wins 2013 Eddie Award


The Computer Education Gazette has named Kaplan SAT Quiz U as the winner of the 2013 EDDIE Award for Best Test Preparation iPad App. The app’s content is provided by Kaplan Test Prep and the technology is developed by Arcadia Apps.

In their review, the editors said:

The iPad interface is elegant and intuitive: Large arrows move the user back and forth through study questions, and there is the opportunity to bookmark a problem and revisit it later. When answers are incorrect, the View Explanation button provides high quality audio tips on how to approach the problem and look for key ideas (often there are whiteboard notations). A toolbar includes a pen tool for solving problems, highlighting text, or eliminating answer choices. There is immediate feedback on overall progress, and the user can post a question on the discussion board and receive a timely answer from a Kaplan teacher.”

Arcadia Apps is proud of this achievement, jointly accomplished with the collaboration of a top notch partner like Kaplan Test Prep.

Connecting Nimble Innovation and Rigorous Research

Arcadia Apps and West Ed are partnering to propose a co-presentation at the 2014 SXSW (South by Southwest) conference. Please help us by voting to select our proposal, excerpted below. To vote for this presentation, click the thumb up in the following web page (you will be prompted to sign up with SXSW, click Sign In in the upper right).

Innovation from small businesses is essential in the rapidly evolving education landscape. However, innovative ideas are useful only to the extent that they are supported by rigorous research in education. Arcadia Apps, a small business that has developed a robust assessment platform for mobile and web delivery that incorporates interactive, collaborative, and social features, and WestEd, a nonprofit research organization with extensive experience implementing assessment and instructional solutions for state and federal education agencies, have partnered to develop interactive literacy courseware for middle school students. This partnership builds on the strengths of each organization to deliver an innovative solution for schools that is grounded in current scientific research. Implications of small business/nonprofit research organization partnership for product development, federal and foundation funding, distribution, and intellectual property will be discussed.

Local Coverage of Arcadia Apps in Los Altos Town Crier

Local startup aims to squeeze the classroom into mobile devices

Written by Diego Abeloos – Staff Writer/

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

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Los Altos resident Wens Gerdyman believes preparing for a standardized test like the SAT should start by simply turning on a tablet or smartphone.

“Our vision is to make learning mobile,” said Gerdyman, co-founder of ArcadiaPrep, a Los Altos startup that creates iOS and Android-based apps for exam preparation. “You should be able to learn and study everywhere. We’re looking to turn mobile devices – like phones and tablets – into learning devices, not just gaming devices.”

Gerdyman said the idea for his company came about when he and business partner Jing Wang – also a Los Altos resident – were in the midst of creating an LSAT preparation app.

“We realized that we could turn this into a platform instead of just creating a single app,” he said.

Working in partnership with educational content publishers, ArcadiaPrep offers SAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT and MCAT apps – so far. Gerdyman said the company hopes to expand its reach in the world of education.

Gerdyman conceded that finding a willing content partner initially proved to be more challenging than he anticipated before linking up with Los Angeles-based test-prep publisher Nova Press. Since then, he noted, the company has added WestEd – a San Francisco-based education agency – and Kaplan Test Prep, among others, to its ranks.

Gerdyman said one of his company’s most recently unveiled projects is Kaplan’s SAT Quiz U, which he called “a big step” for ArcadiaPrep.

The free and premium content offers users multiple-choice quizzes for each testing section and access to more than 450 practice questions. Additional features include performance-tracking reports and walk-through video tutorials for certain questions and access to Kaplan discussion boards where users can receive feedback from the company’s SAT teachers.

The challenge, Gerdyman said, was to create an experience that fosters an atmosphere for learning that can hold a student’s focus.

“When you’re trying to acquire knowledge, how do you make it engaging and how do you make it exciting for the students?” he said.

Gerdyman added that for ArcadiaPrep to achieve long-term success, the educational content marketplace would have to view the company as more than just a technology provider. So the company continues to experiment with various business models to make it more sustainable.

“Test preparation is a very unique market,” Gerdyman said. “In terms of size, it’s small and there are already established players. But we’d like to try this because there’s always an immediate need – people want to pass tests. Every year there’s a new batch of people who want to pass tests, whether it’s LSAT, SAT, GRE or GMAT. There’s always a turnover.”

In addition to standardized testing, Gerdyman said ArcadiaPrep is developing product concepts with WestEd to provide reading and writing apps for elementary school students. In the future, he added, ArcadiaPrep aims to expand its platform to include higher education and corporate training apps.

For more information, visit

Online Wall Street Journal: Kaplan Test Prep SAT(R)* Quiz U is now on Arcadia Apps

Kaplan Test Prep Launches Kaplan’s SAT(R)* Quiz U for the iPhone and iPad, Providing Busy High School Students With Hundreds of Questions for On-the-Go, Effective Prep

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NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 16, 2013--

Angry Birds, Temple Run, Draw Something…all fun apps, but none prepare increasingly busy teens for the critical college admissions test, like Kaplan Test Prep’s new Kaplan’s SAT Quiz U, now available for download for the iPhone and iPad in the iTunes store at:

Here’s how it works. Students get free, short diagnostic quizzes with Kaplan’s SAT Quiz U for each of the three sections of the exam: Math, Critical Reading and Writing. Each diagnostic will identify students’ areas of strengths and weaknesses in that section, then students can download (for 99 cents each) targeted practice packs for the areas most challenging to them to improve their score on Test Day. Each practice pack provides students with about 40 questions arranged in timed 3-5 minute quizzes. After students have mastered the questions, they can move on to the next step for high scorers and download the Challenge Pack ($1.99), which focuses on the highest difficulty questions that students will see on the SAT’s Math, Critical Reading and Writing sections.

The feature-rich app was developed on Arcadia Apps, a software platform that enables content providers to publish highly interactive and engaging educational apps. For example, in lieu of paper and pencil, students can simply use their fingers or a stylus to draw on the workspace next to the question to work out the right answer. A built-in calculator can easily be pulled up as students work through the problem. Students will also learn Kaplan strategies taught by Kaplan teachers through detailed video answers and explanations for all questions.

“Kaplan Test Prep has always sought to make test prep as accessible as possible and with students rarely leaving home without their iPhone or iPad, Kaplan’s SAT Quiz U gives them the portable, fast-paced, prep they need to get ready for the SAT almost anywhere they want, when they want, ” said Eitan Dantzig, director of online SAT and ACT prep, Kaplan Test Prep. “We speak with our students on a regular basis and we know this is the kind of app that will help them balance their responsibilities in both their academic and social lives.”

Wens Gerdyman, co-founder of Arcadia Apps, added, “We worked with Kaplan to add adaptive feedback and game mechanics to make the student experience more engaging. Add Kaplan’s top-notch problem sets and instructions, and you have an app that is guaranteed to help students improve their understanding and ultimately their test scores.”

Kaplan was the first test prep company to bring SAT prep to iOS devices back in 2007. Prior to that, Kaplan provided students with portable prep delivered to their smartphones. Since then, the test prep company has provided students with a series of other SAT and ACT apps for their mobile devices, including Flashcubes. Later this year, Kaplan will make Kaplan’s SAT Quiz U available for Android devices. And for students who want prep for the ACT, that’s coming too — Kaplan’s ACT Quiz U will launch this summer.

In 2012, more than 1.66 million students in the class of 2012 took the SAT, making it the largest class of SAT takers in history in the exam’s nearly 90-year history. According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, a student’s score on the SAT (or ACT(R)) remains the third most important factor in the college admissions process, just behind grades in college prep courses like Advanced Placement.

*SAT is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product. ACT is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with Kaplan.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep ( is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

About Arcadia Apps

The Arcadia Apps ( software platform allows content providers to launch high-quality apps in a scalable manner for iOS, Android OS, and the web. The platform allows content providers to produce professional looking, highly interactive apps in iTunes App Store and Android marketplaces. The cloud-based Learning Object library supports graphics, exercise sets, and video clips and tutorials. Founded in Silicon Valley, Arcadia Apps is one of the leading providers of mobile education software platform.

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO)

    CONTACT: Kaplan Test Prep

Russell Schaffer, 212-453-7538

Twitter: @KapTestNews

    SOURCE: Kaplan Test Prep 
Copyright Business Wire 2013