iSchool student startup buildPathways allows educators and students to create visual maps of information and connect them to classroom learning concepts.

By: Hailey Temple

During his career at the School of Information Studies (iSchool), graduate student Koby Brandstein has turned his passion for improving education into a reality with his startup, buildPathways. 

buildPathways is an educational learning tool that allows teachers and students to create visual maps to connect concepts from the classroom. Students select the images or videos that help them associate with concepts and connect ideas together in a web-like design. 

When he was an undergraduate at the iSchool, Brandstein began exploring ways he could help educators address the diverse learning methods students need in the classroom. With his background in information technology, Brandstein began developing buildPathways to individualize learning while applying concepts learned in classes. 

“I found that educators were trying to accommodate the unique various learning needs of students, but lacked an efficient and scalable way to do it.  I wanted to create technology that helps students individually make sense of classroom concepts that everybody is supposed to be learning. It helps make more meaningful connections to what they are learning in class,” said Brandstein.  

Last year, Brandstein began working at the Syracuse Student Sandbox, where he found resources and mentor support for buildPathways and graduated from the iSchool. To continue his education and progress with buildPathways, Brandstein earned the Kauffman Entrepreneurship Engagement Fellows Scholarship. He will graduate this year with a Master’s Degree in Information Management and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Information Security. 

During his final year at the iSchool, Brandstein has been testing and piloting buildPathways with educators and students. Central New York schools, tutors, and tutoring centers have already adopted buildPathways, and Brandstein is working to expand the platform into other schools across the country. 

Brandstein also won $8,000 in April at the RvD Idea Awards to continue his ventures with buildPathways.

“I have such a strong passion for working with educators to help their students by developing effective learning strategies,” said Brandstein. “Thanks to the iSchool and the Tech Garden, I have the skills and resources to make that happen.”