Education

  • Higher Education’s Toughest Test

    In the debate sparked by Peter Thiel’s “20 Under 20 Fellowship” (which pays bright students to drop out of college), one fact stands out: the cost of U.S. post-secondary education is spiraling upward, out of control. Thiel calls this a “bubble,” similar to the sub-prime mortgage crisis, where hopeful property owners over-leveraged themselves to lay claim to a… Read More

  • Living the Knowledge Life: A Thiel Fellowship Finalist's Response

    Living the Knowledge Life: A Thiel Fellowship Finalist's Response

    Editor’s note: This post is a response to an ongoing educational debate over the efficacy of Peter Thiel’s fellowship, which encourages young entrepreneurs to “stop out” of school. The post addresses Vivek Wadhwa’s post “Friends Don’t Let Friends Take Education Advice From Peter Thiel” and Sarah Lacy’s “Peter Thiel: We’re in… Read More

  • Friends Don’t Let Friends Take Education Advice From Peter Thiel


    My friends, my followers on Twitter, and people who’ve read my previous posts know that I have a very strong opinion about education: that it is absolutely necessary in order for you to build a foundation for success. Despite having appointments at five elite universities, I am not a proponent of elite education. Rather, my research led me to conclude that ivy-leaguers may be able to… Read More

  • 2tor Raises $32.5 Million Series C To Make Online Education Great

    2tor Raises $32.5 Million Series C To Make Online Education Great

    “One reason online education isn’t that good is I don’t think it is trying to be that good,” says John Katzman, the CEO of 2tor, an online education startup that is trying to break that mold. The company, headquartered in New York City’s Chelsea Piers, just raised a $32.5 million series C financing, led by Bessemer Venture Partners. All of its existing… Read More

  • Report: Kno Considering Selling Off Hardware Unit, To Focus Solely On Software

    Kno, the company behind the tablet that’s specifically designed for classroom use, is said to be considering passing off the project’s hardware component to a third-party. So says All Things Digital, at any rate. Two companies have held talks with taking over the hardware design and production, but tricky NDAs ensure we won’t know who these companies are for some time yet. Read More

  • McGraw Hill Gets In On the Mobile Education Market

    A couple of timely education items hit my inbox this morning. First, a report suggests that U.S. students suck at science. From the report,”less than one-half of students are demonstrating solid academic performance and competency over challenging subject matter.” Granted, ‘science’ is an extremely broad term and encompasses many different disciplines, but the gist of… Read More

  • 8D World Gets $5.25 Million More To Teach English As A Foreign Language Online

    A startup based in Shanghai, with United States headquarters in Woburn, Mass., 8D World, has attracted a series B investment of $5.25 million for their educational take on massively multiplayer online games, the company announced today. Their flagship product, Wiz World Online, uses sophisticated speech assessment features to teach mostly kids and teens English as a foreign language. The… Read More

  • Shortage of Engineers or a Glut: No Simple Answer

    Ask a child if there is a shortage of ice cream in the world, and no doubt, the response will be an emphatic yes—there certainly is. And ask a tech CEO if there is a shortage of engineers, and you will get the exact same answer. That’s the story I used to tell, based on my research on engineering graduation rates and outsourcing trends. In 2005, my team shattered the myths about… Read More

  • How China’s Entrepreneurs Are Helping It Win

    Bob Compton and I finally have something to agree about. The Washington, D.C.–based venture capitalist produced a provocative documentary, 2 Million Minutes, which tracked six students—two each in the U.S., India, and China—during their senior year of high school. It showed the Indian and Chinese students slogging to learn mathematics and science, and the Americans partying… Read More

  • Why We Need TechCrunch in the Classroom

    This guest post is by Naimish Gohil, an Assistant Headteacher at Henry Compton School in London, UK. Gohil is also the founder of Show My Homework, an assignment calendar service.
    Over the past two years, I have been teaching Information Communication Technology (ICT) at secondary school. During this time, I have made it a point to share with my students, stories reported by Michael… Read More

  • The Global Education Race


    This week, I participated in a fascinating series of discussions at The Economist magazine’s summit called “The Ideas Economy: Human Potential – When the world grows up”. I came away with the realization that we’re not tapping into even a tiny fraction of the potential that human beings have. Additionally, we have a unique opportunity, today, to leverage the… Read More

  • Go To College, Take A Zombie Class

    One or two weeks ago we learned about a World of Warcraft-themed university course. We all laughed, then went about our business, not particularly bothered by any of it. Today we learn about a zombie class being taught at the University of Baltimore. Mm. Read More

  • Scitable.com Goes Mobile

    We covered Scitable.com, the social network for science education from Nature Publishing Group, back in May. At that time, I was told that a mobile-friendly version of the site was in the works. Today that mobile site is ready, as seen in the screenshot above. Scitable’s Vikram Savkar has been studying broadband adoption, and has drawn some interesting conclusions. Obviously one of… Read More

  • Barnes & Noble's Blackboard partnership means college students will see nook everywhere they go

    Barnes & Noble continues to makes inroads into the education, um, space. It just announced that it has teamed up with Blackboard, the Web site/software suite that is used in colleges all over the U.S. (Lord knows I had to use it all the time.) The deal should ensure that college students, starting with the upcoming fall semester, have easy access to electronic textbooks. It’ll work… Read More

  • NOOKstudy: Barnes & Nobles' free digital foray into the education market lets students read e-textbooks, take fully searchable notes & highlights

    Barnes & Noble has developed NOOKstudy, a free (as in beer) software suite that could make the average college student’s life a little easier. The software, which will be available for the PC and Mac, gives students the ability to download and organize electronic textbooks, as well as keep all of their notes, syllabuses, and so on in one safe place. Handy. And no, you don’t need… Read More

  • Can Meena Build An Indian Google?

    Meena wants to become a computer engineer. She believes that if she works hard enough, she can build her own “big business”—maybe a Google. So she is determined to complete her schooling and earn an engineering degree. Young girls like Meena, just 16 years old but with the ambition and confidence to enter the tech world, are a rare commodity even in Silicon Valley; but… Read More

  • Shock: Students using mobile phones to cheat

    There was a report on the local news here yesterday about students using their mobile phones to cheat in school. My first reaction was, yeah, duh. Kids have been cheating in school since the beginning of time. The tools they use to cheat isn’t all that interesting. Whether it’s writing answers on the palm of their hand, filling a graphic calculator with programs to… Read More

  • Is an MBA a Plus or a Minus in the Startup World?

    A long time ago, I had to make a really tough choice: invest in an MBA from New York University, or make do with my bachelors. I was newly married, had a child on the way, and didn’t have much in savings. The degree would set me back tens of thousands of dollars and take years to complete—especially if I did it part time. And I couldn’t imagine doing anything but… Read More

  • Scitable: a social network for science research and education

    Social networks are a dime a dozen. Many of them focus on the social, or the networking, independent of other aspects that might bring people together. It’s no big surprise that many of these social networks fail, or only reach specific niche audiences. As such, it was with a bit of skepticism that I approached Scitable.com, a social network for science research and education from the… Read More

  • iPad banned from several American universities over 'security' concerns

    Three high-profile American universities, Cornell University, Princeton University, and George Washington University, have banned the iPad from their campuses. George Washington University and Princeton University call the device a “security risk,” while Cornell is concerned about students chewing through too much bandwidth. So much for the iPad being the darling of higher education. Read More