While education is becoming increasingly attractive to investors, there’s still a lot of uncertainty in the space and companies with viable business models, revenue growth and substantial user bases remain in the minority. Investors are still testing the waters with smaller commitments. But today, education technology added another big fundraiser to its short-list: Parchment.
When it graduated from Imagine K12′s edtech accelerator last year, Goalbook was tapping into the excitement over technology’s ability to personalize learning by embarking on a mission to give every student a single, shared lesson plan. The idea was to have students become part of a connected network of educators, administrators and parents through creating a database of goals, strategies and… → Read More
The scholarship received so much that it had to turn students away. This, combined with the fact the program was for U.S. students only, has led Treehouse to decide to do it all again, but this time go international… → Read More
Online video education is a hot space right now, thanks to the likes of Khan Academy, Coursera, Udacity, StraighterLine, Lynda.com, CreativeLIVE (and many more), which are collectively on a mission to democratize education and bring affordable, online learning tools and courses to a global audience.
While the rising tide of video-based learning has lifted all boats, it’s also led to some… → Read More
Amazon today unveiled its new Whispercast for Kindle service, which provides businesses and other organizations like schools a way to easily deploy Kindle content to members, students and employees across not only Amazon hardware, but also Kindle apps for iOS and Android devices. Right now, it allows administrators to buy Kindle books and documents and spread them around, and in the future, Amazon… → Read More
The iPad is the first computer a generation of children will have access to – a shift in computing which has birthed an industry of kid-focused startups. While some companies build apps purely for entertainment, others are attempting to leverage the technology for educational purposes. And some believe they can do both. A new entrant in this “edu-tainment” space is Kidaptive, a media and… → Read More
I don’t always play social games, but when I do, I like them to help me pay for my education. If “The Most Interesting Man In The World” were to endorse Grantoo, this might be his conclusion. Grantoo is a social gaming platform that allows college students to compete against each other to win tuition grants and donate to charity in brand-sponsored gaming tournaments. → Read More
Launched in 2010, Austin-based MyEdu set out to help students reduce the cost of earning a college diploma and remove the friction from every aspect of the higher education process, from deciding on the right school to finding post-graduate employment. Since then, the startup has been methodically collecting data from students as well as official academic data from universities to identify… → Read More
With the rise of massive online open course platforms (a.k.a. “MOOCs”) like Khan Academy and Coursera, a new model of online learning has emerged, promising quality, affordable education at scale. This new generation of educational platforms offer alternatives to expensive degrees programs and physical classrooms in the hopes of ushering in Education 2.0 by emphasizing interactive, personalized… → Read More
John Wiley & Sons, the 200-year-old publishing giant best known for its scientific, technical and medical texts and journals geared towards academic and scholarly audiences, appears to be on a mission to beef up its higher education business with a dose of technology. Following on the heels of its partnership with Knewton, the academic publisher has announced that it will acquire Chicago-based… → Read More
After becoming a 2011 MassChallenge finalist and graduating from TechStars Boston, Libboo shifted gears earlier this year, moving away from crowdsourced, team publishing to discovery. The idea being that books still lack their Pandora — a killer discovery mechanism that helps everyday readers find new, unknown authors and in turn helps wordsmiths expose their work to new audiences.
Thanks to the rise of in-classroom technology, the focus in education tends to be on student engagement and how to improve learning. It becomes easy to forget the importance of great teachers. Startups, entrepreneurs, businesses (and the rest) need to remember that technology doesn’t have to put teachers in jeopardy; it can help them lead the education evolution, even if their traditional role in… → Read More
If you happened to pass through AOL’s offices in Palo Alto last November or December, you might have had your first run-in with the elusive creature “founder squatter.” Say what? Following in the grand boot-strapping, couch-surfing tradition, last winter, Eric Simons spent two months squatting at AOL’s office, sleeping on couches and pilfering Ramen noodles and other snacks left out for employees. → Read More
When Desmos launched at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC last year, the startup was on a mission to create platform-agnostic software that would allow users to build and share their own educational content. In essence, they set out to create a browser-based, interactive whiteboard. The early product attracted the attention of Mitch Kapor, Learn Capital, and Kindler Capital, who invested $800K in Desmos… → Read More
Duck Duck Moose, the startup behind a series of educational apps for children, is today announcing having closed on $7 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from Stanford University. The company, whose paid applications have now seen over 2.4 million downloads, has remarkably grown its brand through word-of-mouth alone, earning… → Read More
For decades, the door to America’s top-tier universities has been closing, and today your chances of being admitted to these prestigious institutions is slimmer than ever. This year, the acceptance rate at four of the eight Ivy League schools hit record lows. Stanford professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng launched Coursera earlier this year to fling that door wide open. → Read More
The growing prevalence of massively-open learning platforms and open education resources is bringing a sea change to the educational landscape. High-profile institutions have begun to adopt and launch open courseware initiatives (like EdX and Coursera) and, in so doing, are changing the ways we think about — and even define — the learning process. As a result, we’re seeing less and less value… → Read More
The cost of higher education in the U.S. today is ridiculous. Student debt shot north of $1 trillion earlier this year, for example. It’s not surprising, then, that we’re seeing growing adoption of online learning platforms and tools. MOOCs, or massive online open courses, have been the stars of a new educational model, thanks to their potential to offer quality, affordable education at a scale… → Read More
When it comes to conducting research for papers, homework assignments, etc., students primarily turn to the Web for information despite its inherent academic dangers. Naturally, with the diversity of content out there, keeping track of pertinent links and bibliographical data is difficult when jumping from source to source. Citelighter launched in the fall of 2011 to address this problem by… → Read More
Treehouse launched last November with an admirable (or terrifying) goal: To teach the world how to design and develop for the Web, iOS, and now Android. Essentially the lovechild of Lynda.com and Codecademy, Treehouse is building an educational platform that employs video, quizzes, and a little gamification to help aspiring programmers and app developers learn the trade — whether or not they have… → Read More
Student debt is a very serious problem that can no longer be ignored. Recently, student debt in the U.S. topped $1 trillion, eclipsing both national credit card and car loan debt. Naturally, a debt crisis of this proportion didn’t grow over night; it’s been coming for years. So, in 2011, a group of Stanford business school grads decided to start Social Finance, with the goal of transforming the… → Read More
Studyhall, which launches at TechCrunch Disrupt SF today, is a peer-to-peer platform and network that is built specifically for students. Sorry, teachers, it’s not for you. Yet.
A number of startups have emerged in the last year looking to dethrone the old guards of higher education technology, like Blackboard. Yet, while many educational platforms are limited in what they offer students… → Read More
The web makes it easy to find instructional videos on practically any topic. There are 18,600,000 search results for “how to” on the site at the moment. Obviously not all of them are relevant, but that’s a staggering number. But if you’re trying to learn a physical skill — like dancing, yoga or martial arts — how can you tell if you’re doing the moves correctly? → Read More
Today at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco, TC’s own Greg Ferenstein was joined on stage by Khan Academy founder Sal Khan, former Chancellor of New York Public Schools and an EVP at News Corp., as well as Udacity co-founder Sebastian Thrun. The panel talked about the future of education and how the intersection of technology and learning will change the space. For edtech entrepreneurs, one point… → Read More
At our TechCrunch Disrupt conference today, Joel Klein, the former Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education who now runs News Corp.’s education division, talked about some of the difficulties of disrupting education. Our own Gregory Ferenstein asked Klein about why he thought that the education space isn’t being disrupted by the Internet as quickly as other markets. In Klein’s view… → Read More
SimpleTuition, a company that offers online tools, tips and advice to college students to help them save money on education-related expenses, is announcing this morning that is has acquired ValoreBooks, an online textbook marketplace that offers discounts on rentals as well as new and used textbooks.
Launched in 2006, SimpleTuition has been on a mission to help students reduce the seemingly… → Read More
Over the last two years, there’s been a significant increase in the amount of educational media available to the world’s learners, but teachers and parents are hard pressed today to navigate the education content jungle. As a result, curators, algorithms and content analyzers like Learning Registry have popped up to help educators find the best and most effective learning media from the 100K apps… → Read More
Chicago-based startup eSpark Learning, which founder and CEO David Vinca describes as “Pandora for education apps,” has secured $5.7 million in series A financing from MK Capital, Learn Capital, NewSchools Venture Fund and 500 Startups to help fuel national expansion. The new capital brings the startup’s total funding to just under $7 million.
In addition to its raise, eSpark is also announcing… → Read More
With social networking having permeated the way we look for jobs, share photos and music, and discover news, a startup named Lore is on a mission to do the same for higher education, and potentially re-shape the way teachers and students communicate. Formerly known as CourseKit, the Thiel and Founder’s Fund-backed startup is doing that with a platform that is part Facebook and part Blackboard … → Read More