Makers Empire

Startup Profile: Makers Empire

Jobs in the creative industry play an increasingly important role for the economy of many countries. The OECD just recently published an interesting report on the growing connection of tourism and the creative industry in countries like South Korea, China, Italy, Japan, the United States and New Zealand.

Besides classic creative jobs in photography and design, so called maker shops are getting more attention in tech hubs across the globe. Besides working on projects that are powered by Arduino chipsets, 3D printing is a massive driver for the growing popularity of the maker movement. It is already successfully used in medicine, fashion, construction or even space travel. Makers Empire from Australia wants to prepare today’s students for their future jobs that might very well involve 3D printing through its 3D design and printing app.

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Multilingualism in Britain

Multilingualism in Britain: A Snapshot From the Trenches

Great Britain is unusual. Geographically isolated, densely populated, and equally blessed and burdened with a history of “ruling the waves”. The majority of foreign nationals in Britain have always been nationals of the Commonwealth, invited guest workers from earlier in the 20th century.

The history of British power has always stood in contrast to Britain’s political need for close ties with the European Union. And over the last decade, there are two things that have really put a strain on the identity of this country: the economic crisis and the expansion of the European Union. EDUKWEST’s kick-off post on Multilingualism in Europe showed that the second language spoken on this island is now not Punjabi or Welsh, but Polish. As Britain is becoming a more multilingual place, why is education policy not following suit?

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EDUKWEST Top 10 August 2014

EDUKWEST Top 10: Most Popular Articles in August 2014

Although August is one of the quieter months of the year when it comes to news items for our coverage, this August brought us some interesting stories nevertheless.

From Edmodo’s $30 million Series D over Desire2Learn’s $85 million Series B in the funding section to new hires at Teachers pay Teachers and new launches like Junction Education we had a lot to cover. Here are the top ten stories that got the most attention from our readers.

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Global EdTech Startup Awards 2014

Overview: The Finalists of the Global EdTech Startup Awards

Over the past couple of months edtech founders across the globe were invited to submit their startup to the Global EdTech Startup Awards. The awards are organized by a group of edtech incubators and accelerators including MindCet, p.a.u. education, Edtech Incubator and Socratic Labs. You might remember them from the Open Education Challenge earlier this year.

The GESAwards don’t offer a monetary reward or investment but the winners will be invited to visit the different incubators over a period of four months, getting free workspace and mentoring.

The four winners will be announced on September 15th, three by a panel of judges and one by the audience through social media.

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Ardusat

Ardusat enables K-12 students to remotely control small Satellites carrying Science Experiments

Ardusat, a Utah-based education company focused on enhancing student engagement through hands-on experimentation, launches a platform that will enable K-12 students to remotely control small satellites called “cubesats” carrying science experiments.

The company aims to get more kids interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields by letting them track storms or study solar flares from space.

It also claims that this new platform will democratize access to space for a new generation of students who won’t see NASA’s shuttle program in action.

The platform is itself available to K-12 schools during the 2014-2015 school year, with initial participants from classes in the U.S., Brazil, China, Guatemala, India, Indonesia and Israel.

Truth be told, Ardusat wants to make business with schools. Schools have to purchase the Ardusat classroom package to be able to access data from the satellites. That said, Ardusat will also produce curriculum based on its cubesat experiments that will be free for any teacher to use in the classroom.

More details in the press release

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Pluralsight

HEDLINE: Pluralsight raises $135 million Series B

Pluralsight, a Salt Lake City-based online training platform for technology professionals, has raised a $135 million Series B led by Insight Venture Partners with participation of ICONIQ Capital and Sorenson Capital.

The round brings Pluralsight’s valuation close to $1 billion reports TechCrunch. Pluralsight previously raised a $27.5 million Series A in January 2013 from Insight Venture Partners.

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StudyPact

Startup Profile: StudyPact

Motivation is a crucial ingredient when it comes to successful learning. Therefore, we are going to take a closer look at motivational factors in language learning at our upcoming event “Multilingualism in Europe” and discuss how citizens of the EU can be motivated to learn at least two foreign languages.

In this Startup Profile we learn about StudyPact, an edtech startup that adds a crowdfunded motivational layer on top of learning apps and products. The concept is easy: as a learner you get paid when you reach your study goals. If you miss your goal, you have to pay a fine which is then used to reward other successful learners.

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lynda.com

lynda.com hires former Ancestry.com and EF Englishtown executive Andrew Wait as CRO

The same day Udemy announced its three new management hires, lynda.com shared that itself made an important new hire. Andrew Wait becomes Chief Revenue Officer, overseeing the company’s strategic direction including, global expansion, marketing, customer experience and enterprise sales. Wait will report directly to CEO Eric Robison.

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Udemy new hires

Udemy hires Seasoned Execs – Focus on Scale and Growth

Udemy added three seasoned executives to its management team which further underlines that the startup days for the course marketplace are over.

The new hires will take over roles as vice president and general manager Udemy for Organizations, vice president of business development and vice president of finance and operations.

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Second Languages in Europe

Infographic: Second Languages in Europe

To start off the coverage for our September event on multilingualism in Europe, we chose an Infographic from movehub.com which illustrates the respective second language for every European country.

A few of the findings come as little of a surprise. Of course, English is a strong second language in many countries in Europe including France, the Scandinavian countries with the exception of Finland and Italy. Russian has also maintained its strong position in several of the Eastern European countries including the Baltic states and the Ukraine.

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on the search for better education