Empowering Students in Underserved Communities through Innovative Writing Technology

Pressto is an Edtech startup that offers innovative writing technology that addresses instruction for all students at all levels and specifically can help students in underserved communities. Writing is a critical skill that is essential for success in school, higher education, and the workforce. However, writing instruction has often been limited to a one-size-fits-all approach, which does not meet the needs of all students. 

The non-profit group, 826 National summarizes, “While writing and the freedom it provides is an incredible and essential tool for self-expression and learning, access to quality writing instruction in the United States is not equal. Three out of four twelfth grade students and nine out of ten Black and Hispanic twelfth grade students are not writing at grade level proficiency.”

Pressto.ai uses AI-assisted assignments and personalized, real-time feedback to help students develop their writing skills according to their individual needs. By partnering with teachers, Pressto.ai makes writing instruction engaging and impactful.

Pressto believes that its technology helps level the playing field.  Its inherent individualized instruction capabilities promote equity and inclusivity in writing instruction. 

For example, Pressto.ai provides simplified writing prompts for students who read and write below grade level so that all students in a classroom are writing about the same topic, regardless of varying individual skill levels. 

Pressto.ai uses Generative AI to address another issue cited in the 826 report, “Curricula, teaching methodologies, and assessment practices are outdated and don’t put students and their diverse backgrounds at the center.” Pressto’s CEO, Daniel Stedman relates the story of a disengaged immigrant student from Haiti,  “She cannot relate to colonial hero Thomas Jefferson (who grew up on a plantation and owned slaves) but instead can write her biography on Toussaint L’Overture, a Haitian revolutionary figure.”

Students who can write become citizens who can write and “writers learn new ideas, persuade others, record information, create imaginary worlds, express feelings, entertain others, heal psychological wounds, chronicle experiences, and explore the meaning of events and situations.” By promoting equity and inclusivity in writing instruction and by recognizing that each student is unique in skills and cultural identity, Pressto.ai helps create more just and equitable education.

¹ “Writing and Research: The Truth About Writing Education in America.” 826 National, 22 January 2021, https://826national.org/the-truth-about-writing-education-in-america/. Accessed 2 May 2023.

² 826 National as 1 above