As you might know, my career in education technology started on the consumer side as an online language tutor (I use the term coach) back in 2008. Skype was fairly new and had not hit the mainstream, Flash-based virtual classrooms were all the rage, and in hindsight, no one had a plan of how to make all this work.
Today Skype is already perceived as dated and new standards like WebRTC are poised to give live online education not only a new boost but finally push it to every desktop or mobile device. But there will be a huge difference between live online lessons in 2008 and those in the years to come.
The Ministry of Education of Ontario in Canada is offering free online math help for students grade 7-10 via a platform called Homework Help. All teachers are employed by the state and students connect via live chat and interactive whiteboards.
Following its strategy of becoming the one-stop-shop for students from college to university Chegg acquired Zinch, a platform that connects students to scholarships.
Also in the student recruiting space McGraw-Hill lead a $1.6 million funding round for Unigo, an information and resource platform for college application and financial aid.
The University of London became YouTube EDU’s 100th partner. Looking at the history of the university it is a natural fit as the University of London is the world’s oldest provider of distance degrees.
CommonCraft videos and the website are now available in 8 different languages, making a truly global resource for educators and trainers world wide.
As you know, this blog here has become my personal sandbox again and all the news in education 2.0 are now over at EDUKWEST. In case you did not know, now you know ;).
For all of you who check back regularly on KirstenWinkler.com for your dose of education 2.0 related updates, I thought I will post a weekly “Monday Roundup” with links of what has been going on over at EDUKWEST.
Interesting news from Kara Swisher over at All Things Digital. Apparently, the Kno is in talks to sell its hardware manufacturing part of the company and then focus on software and digital textbook delivery only.
According to sources the “quicker than expected uptake” in tablet production of other manufacturers basically made the need for a dedicated educational hardware device “less critical”.
Flat World Knowledge, the world’s leading publisher of open source text books raised $15 million USD in a series B round from Bertelsmann Digital Media, other investors and angels.
The really interesting thing about Flat World Knowledge is that it actually disrupts two business models of other startups in the $8 billion USD textbook market. They are disrupting disruption if you will.
You might remember the Kno, a dual screen tablet device for the educational market, which aims to be a replacement for textbooks. When it was revealed at the D8 conference earlier this year people who saw the Kno described it as “two iPads, glued together – but bigger”.
Yesterday, the company announced that it closed a $46m debt-and-equity round led by Andreessen Horowitz that also has investments in Zynga, Skype and Foursquare.
In the second part of review:ed #4 Dave and I talked about Chegg, the biggest textbook renting company in the US. In a recent TechCrunch article about Chegg it is said that the company owns already 80% of the market and will generate a revenue of about $130 million in 2010.