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.
The third quarter of 2010 started with the sale of eduFire to Camelback Education which led to various posts on the business model of live lessons itself and the question if those platforms and services ever take off.
Other big topics were the PR battle between Livemocha and Rosetta Stone around the launch of their new flagship products Active Courses and TOTALe, the rise of Udemy, the pivot of YongoPal and the growing necessity of tracking and recording learning in the new decade.
Life is a roller coaster. Only a couple of weeks ago Darien Brown, co-founder and CEO of YongoPal wrote a brutally honest blog post on what the startup did wrong, what they need to change and that he and his co-founder Jon Hickey already were working on a complete reboot of the service.
Today, I learned over Facebook that YongoPal got funding by Dave McClure’s 500 Startups fund and that team YongoPal will move to Mountain View, California.
Okay, that’s probably not true, but I needed to get your attention somehow. Apologies.
A few weeks ago, though, Vikrama Dhiman posted an article entitled “Seven Reasons Online Learning Platforms May Never Take Off.” That article sparked a terrific dialog about the shortcomings and potential for learning marketplaces online (marketplaces being what ‘platforms’ actually referred to).
Vikrama touched on some important points, but I think that he ultimately missed the mark. The problem, as I see it, doesn’t address “why online platforms may never take off”, but why they haven’t yet. Ready for it?
Two days ago, Kirsten wrote about a blog post that we posted to our company blog in which we apologized to our Korean and American users for a poor product experience and announced the launch date for a new version — one that will be able to live up to their expectations.
That’s the conclusion of Darien Brown after being in business for just about six months and his four week trip to the source of their clients and hence revenue of their product, South Korea.
In a blog post published today Darien gives not only a detailed reflection on what he and his co-founder Jon Hickey singled out as their mistakes but they also announces the relaunch of their service on November 1st.
Last week, I returned from a nearly four week stay in Seoul, South Korea. As some of you know, YongoPal (the company that I run) is a service that is designed to provide live virtual conversation practice to university students in Korea by pairing them with their peers at top-tier universities in the US. We are an English education company – or at least, that’s how we viewed ourselves prior to my trip.
Over the course of three and a half weeks, I met constantly with university students and club organizations. I engaged them very directly about how they perceived our service, and what they wanted our service to be.
In this EDUKWEST interview I talked to the Co-Founders of YongoPal Darien Brown (CEO) and Jon Hickey (CTO) about their new service.
YongoPal is a platform that is targeting the South Korean ESL market with conversation training. The service connects South Korean university students with American students and aims to train English conversation skills. Continue reading →
With an unfair move towards its competitors YongoPal won the big price of $25k in the Business Plan competition. Their plan for YongoPal is making money from the beginning by charging its customers. Can you believe that? Charging your customers for a service?
All joking aside, YongoPal the start up from Seattle that connects Korean students with native speakers in the US won the UW Business plan competition although they were the black horse in the race according to Christopher Griffin, one of the judges.
Sounds great, right? But what exactly is YongoPal? Apparently the site offers a service that connects Korean university students with native English speakers who will get paid for having a chat in English with the students.