One of our theses is that software is going to transform nearly all aspects of education, from the teaching process to grading and communicating with students.It’s not the most glamorous field for entrepreneurs — selling into the existing education industry is a nightmare — but it’s potentially lucrative, and doing good work here means potentially changing the world in a meaningful way.
So there’s no shortage of education and learning startups. Here are some of our favourites.
'Netflix for textbooks' boasts 'at least one customer from well over 7,000 of the 8,000 higher education campuses in the U.S.' according to a recent AdAge article.
'Adaptive learning' company -- where each student gets a personalised curriculum based on their skills and level.
As the company explains... 'Knewton analyses learning materials based on thousands of data points--concepts, structure, difficulty level, media format--and uses sophisticated algorithms to piece together the perfect bundle of content for each student, every day.'
Kno started as a tablet company but is now focusing on e-textbooks, boasting 100,000 in its store at 30% to 50% off list price. Its opportunity is to capitalise on the growth of iPads and Kindles that are being brought into the classroom.
This NYC-based facility is more than just office space and community for hot startups. General Assembly also offers courses -- taught by local experts -- on topics ranging from business ('Nailing The Pitch' and 'Starting Up in China') to design ('Best/Worst Brand Bootcamp') to programming. Next up: A London bureau.
Learning is as much about resources as it is about the educational process, and Quora has become one of the web's leading question-and-answer sites for smart, intellectual topics. See also: Stack Exchange.
A tool for teachers to record students' behaviour in class and reward them for good work. Plus, game mechanics. Parents and school administration can access the data.
School isn't just for kids: Encore Career Institute is designed to help people transition into new careers, including certificate programs, in partnership with UCLA Extension.
It's not just one startup -- it's an entire incubator for education-related companies. The pitch: 'Over a three month period, we will draw on our extensive entrepreneurial experience, understanding of the Silicon Valley ecosystem, and knowledge of the education industry to help bring your idea to life, get your company funded, and to get your company on the road to success.'
One of the most important roles that technology can play -- especially as budgets keep getting cut -- is to extend arts education. The iPad in particular -- an easy-to-use, touch-driven computer -- is perfect for that. So we'd love to see room for apps like Mixel -- a collage and art-remixing app -- somehow find a role in education.
'Games for your brain!' Language learning iPhone apps, including French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and English.
Adaptive maths learning platform helps kids learn at different speeds. Just raised $11 million from legendary tech investor John Doerr and Netflix founder Reed Hastings.
Interactive textbooks for the iPad, including the equivalent of 'singles' -- buy a chapter at a time, if you want.
Tool for instructors to manage courses, including discussions, grading, calendar, etc. The big question is: Can it chip away at the huge lead that Blackboard has in this area?
A marketplace for learning. Learn anything from self-proclaimed experts, from 'intro to loose leaf tea' to 'startup metrics for founders.' Or get paid to teach what you're good at. Similar to Dabble.
10.5 years ago, MIT started posting some of its classes and materials on the web. Today, it includes 2,000 courses, including lecture notes, videos, and exams.
Thousands of free courses from dozens of universities and organisations. (Including the popular Stanford iPhone app development course!) Also: YouTube EDU and Khan Academy.
EdSurge is an entire publication about how technology is changing education. If you enjoyed this story, you might enjoy their content.
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