Philadelphia Edtech Company Digitability Launches New Training Tool as Demand Surges

Michele McKeone watched through Instagram as her friends learned new recipes and picked up quarantine hobbies when the Covid-19 pandemic brought the world to a halt in March. At the same time, her Philadelphia edtech company Digitability was suddenly moving at a breakneck speed.

“We’ve been busier than ever,” she said.

School districts are federally required to offer transitional work training to certain students with special education needs starting at age 14, McKeone said, but when Covid-19 hit, schools’ usual go-to options – hospitals or retail stores – were no longer an option.

So they turned to Digitability, which had already designed a workforce and digital literacy platform for neurodiverse students or those with cognitive disabilities that could be used virtually, in-person or in a hybrid mode. Now, as the company has doubled the number of states in which it operates to 25, it’s also rolling out a new financial literacy feature called Bankability that McKeone called “a game changer.”

Bankability builds off of Digitability’s existing “social economy” that teachers can customize for students, where they earn virtual currency for exhibiting work-ready behaviors and can spend it to earn rewards.

McKeone said they realized they could take the experience a step further by creating an online banking system for the currency the students earn. In Bankability, students are assigned bills like rent, Wi-Fi and transportation; have purchase options like seeing a movie or buying snacks; and are given both checking and savings accounts to manage.

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