Boddle Learning Uses Gaming to Help Students in Math

The latest investment from Pharrell’s Black Ambition Fund and Google’s Black Founders Fund is Tulsa-based Boddle Learning. This free educational platform uses 3D technology to help teachers, parents, and students in a gaming system environment. In 2019, Edna Martinson and Clarence Tan founded and created Boddle Learning. This tool offers a personalized math experience for students from K to 6th grade. They chose Boddle Learning as a play on words, where they are filling up a “bottle.” The idea is for the kids to fill up on knowledge and pour out/share it with others.

They believe every kid deserves high-quality learning content at their fingertips.  Boddle Learning’s co-founder, Edna Martinson, came to the United States 11 years ago from Uganda to pursue higher education. She utilizes her marketing and operations background to propel Boddle Learning to help students with their math education. Clarence Tan loves video games which propelled him to build educational games. The pair met at church, married, and merged their respective talents to create Boddle Learning. This type of educational tool could not have come on the scene at any other time. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many schools to change their learning style from in-person classrooms to virtual classrooms.

This educational tool is engaging; it has adaptive technology which identifies learning gaps and provides real-time reports. The extra funding will allow Boddle Learning to reach more students in in-person classrooms and virtual classrooms. The funds will also enable Edna & Clarence to hire more staff, speed up the development, expand the technology, and reach more under-served communities. This game allows the students to create a personalized experience with customizable characters, play bonus games, and earn rewards. The teachers can upload test and study materials while monitoring the student’s progress. Edna and Clarence previously participated in a Google start-up program. Besides the monetary award, they have access to Google resources. They have access to technical support, mentorships, advisors, networking, and cloud credit. This partnership allows them to have access to ad grants and marketing resources. In addition, the Google partnership will enable them to integrate Boddle with Google Classroom and the Google Nation. The enhancements in technology will allow seamless integration and streamline the onboarding process in the classrooms.

Boddle Learning Chicago Defender
Kids learning math using Boddle.

The inspiration to create Boddle came from Edna and Clarence’s love for video games. They created other education-based video games in the past, but they made math education the focus and created the game around it. Boddle Learning tool allows teachers to add test prep and homework assignments for their students, and parents can access the system and track their children’s progress. Google for Startups Black Founders Fund supports Boddle’s mission to help kids learn and connect teachers with engaging and transformative educational experiences.

Boddle Learning is a free math education tool. The Boddle Learning team reached out to family and friends to spread the news about this incredible tool. They also shared the tool in several teacher groups on Facebook. Over the past three years, they saw a significant increase in usage among students due to increased virtual learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents will appreciate Boddle Learning’s uniqueness compared to traditional video games, and it makes parents feel better knowing how the student is progressing with the lessons. In addition, the parents see a boost in confidence in their students as they get information on the assignments and real-time student progress.

The COVID-19 pandemic turned the education system on its head. Edna and Clarence believe the educational system will continue to evolve in response to the current state of the world. They think schools will need to create more personalized tools for learning. The learning tools need to be more engaging and adaptive because students have different learning styles. The students need access to one-on-one devices, internet access, and more learning tools. Due to the hiccups experienced with virtual learning, many parents turned to homeschool. Some parents home school because many kids could not adapt to the virtual classroom. The COVID-19 pandemic helped increase the demand for Boddle Learning.

The teachers have found the benefits of the game to be very positive. Engagement has been the top priority of both teachers and parents. Boddle Learning is a fun and engaging tool this helps teachers as they move back into the classroom. The team thought it was best to focus on kindergarten to 6th-grade students. The years between K to 6th grade are pivotal for learning to make the most significant impact. The Boddle team hopes to add more tools for higher grades in the future.  For more information on Boodle Learning, please visit Boddle Learning – 3D Math Game for K-6 Kids or social media @boodlelearning.


Theresa Horton is a contributing writer for the Chicago Defender. Find her on social media @passionateresources. 



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