The Digital Revolution has affected practically every aspect of our lives, from the way we communicate and shop, to the methods in which we work and learn. One particular market that is undergoing a remarkable digital transformation is education. Investments in education technology startups have tripled in the past decade, hitting $429 million in 2011.
These innovative startups are bringing forth technologies that have powerful effects on the way students learn and collaborate. Here are the top five startups transforming how students learn:
Kaltura offers a powerful suite of software services for universities and K-12 educators looking to engage students via multimedia content. The robust tools, which are used by dozens of top universities and hundreds of educational institutions, allow schools to incorporate videos into the learning process and improve collaboration amongst students and faculty.
Kaltura, founded in 2006, provides schools with the infrastructure they need to develop their own “Campus Tube,” where they can create online video courses, video assignments, synchronised video PowerPoint presentations, and more. The software also adds a social element for students, providing live broadcasts of special events and sports games. Users can view and publish content using tablets, smartphones, and their personal computers.
As today’s “YouTube generation” grows up, video will play an ever-increasing role in the way students interact with content and learn – and Kaltura is playing a central role in the education media revolution.
Blackboard offers learning and education software widely used by a variety of organisations throughout the world. Their services provide users in higher education, K-12, corporate, and government organisations with learning management systems.
Founded in 1997, the company provides a variety of platforms, including Learn, Transact, Connect, Mobile, Collaborate, and Analytics. Its customisable course managements systems are providing a more efficient and cost-effective way for students to learn, while their mobile applications and video conferencing software are helping companies to stay connected to each other.
Blackboard boasts a high number of users for each of its software platforms and claims their mission is “everyone educated,” fostering the belief that education should be immediate and personalised for all. With over 12,700 software licence applications in over 70 countries, that goal doesn’t seem so unreasonable.
Similar to Blackboard, Desire2Learn is offers learning management systems to K-12, higher education, corporate, and government organisations.
The company provides a variety of software services, including ePortfolios, mobile applications, analytics, web design services, and more. The company, founded in 1999, is dedicated to providing organisations with the infrastructure they need to build quality online learning programs and course management systems.
Desire2Learn’s software suite includes ePortfolio, Analytics, Campus Life, Learning Repository, and more. The software is used by hundreds of organisations in countries all over the world, and its sophisticated technology is providing universities with the opportunity to design online learning courses in an efficient and convenient way.
Developed in partnership with the University of Western Australia, Echo360 specialises in blended learning techniques. The company has built their brand on the premise that students are used to learning in digital environments in which time and place become irrelevant. Their software allows educational institutions to capture professors’ lectures and distribute them to students via their computers and mobile devices—truly eradicating time elements that typically constrain the learning process on campuses. Students can catch up on lectures they missed, use the videos to study, and more.
One million students at 500 institutions use its services today, and the company pulls in an impressive $15 million in annual revenue. The organisation recently received $31 million to fund an initiative to reach 50 per cent of U.S. college students within in the next five years.
Echo360’s mission of providing wide access to educational materials, coupled with its unique way of blending of in-person and online learning platforms means this service is one that’s set to stick around for years to come.
Mediacore provides organisations with the infrastructure to create their own video hosting sites. Their cloud-based service works on any desktop or mobile device, and allows organisations to control their own video libraries for training or educational purposes. Essentially, educational institutions can create and control their own YouTube-like video-hosting site. Mediacore pays close attention to design—in fact, it was the inspiration behind the startup—and its beta version attracted an impressive 1,100 companies from the get-go.
The company views online learning programs as a necessity in today’s modern environment, and is dedicated to providing educational institutions with the tools they need to deliver information quickly while engaging and inspiring “the YouTube generation.”
Each of these companies is providing a way for schools to keep up with the changing technological landscape and how it relates to the way students want to learn. As these companies continue to grow, it’s apparent our learning institutions will be changing the way they provide information to students for years to come.
What other education startups would you add to this list? Share you thoughts in a comment below.