Category Archives: News & Commentary

Education technology news, reports and analysis on funding & deals, editorial and OP-ED.

Rosetta Stone launches TOTALe Mobile Companion for iPad

About one month after language learning community busuu launched its iPad app, Rosetta Stone entered the App Store with its version and slowly but surely people begin to notice that Rosetta Stone is not all about CDs anymore.

The launch of the Rosetta Stone TOTALe Mobile Companion HD (nice product title) even gave the company some nice coverage on various tech blogs including Gizmodo, CrunchGear, ZDNet and PC Magazine.

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All in all, the reviews for the app are rather positive although the pricing from $179 to $479, depending on the language you want to learn and the levels you want to cover, is still somewhat an issue, especially compared to competitors like Livemocha, busuu and Babbel which offer premium content starting at a few Dollars per month.

Here are some resumes from the different articles about the app.

In my opinion, the content of the app is its biggest selling point. In the few minutes I played with the app, I truly enjoyed learning a little bit of French. And this is coming from an eight-year Spanish student, who hated just about every minute of it. The app itself is nothing extra special. – Jordan Crook, CrunchGear

All in all, if you’re looking to learn a language, Rosetta Stone’s got a pretty good track record. And the developers of this app believe the tablet is the perfect device for their software because touch is what makes the experience more personal and easier to remember. – Max Behrman, Gizmodo

Nevertheless, the facility with which this software functions on a tablet device — especially with voice recognition, quickly becoming a major input method for mobile devices — makes me forget about the laptop version entirely. It’s exciting to see software find a natural home like this. – Andrew Nusca, ZDNet

The iPad, with its multitouch input capability and gesture-controlled touchscreen, is an extremely attractive platform for Rosetta Stone, because its language programs cater to people who learn best in a blended, interactive, and self-paced environment. – Jill Duffy, PC Magazine

Apparently the iPad has the potential to stand up to the hopes that it could become a, if not the, perfect teaching and learning device.

MindSnacks raises $1.2 million

The team of MindSnacks raised a total of $1.2 million in funding from Felicis Ventures, 500 Startups, Mitch Kapor, Geoff Ralston, David Jesk, Oleg Tscheltzoff, Collaborative Fund, StartupAngel, ENIAC Ventures, Maneesh Arora, DreamIt Ventures, Startl, Theoria Capital and David Kim.

The money will be used for hiring new staff members like game designers and graphic artists.

Jeff Evans, co-founder of MindSnacks was already twice on EDUKWEST, in the last episode we talked in detail about the funding and what’s next for the mobile learning game startup.

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Languagelab raises $1 million

The team at Languagelab recently closed a $1 million seed funding round. The money will be used to rapidly develop the virtual learning campus called English City, based on the popular platform Second Life.

The three investors in Languagelab are

Avonmore Developments
Avonmore Developments is the UK private investment vehicle of brothers Simon and Michael Blakey. Its focus is early-stage, platform technology-focused businesses and was the initial funder behind the likes of Groupspaces, Tagman, Specle, Commerce Decisions and Bybox.

Huda Associates
Huda Associates Ltd (HA) is a private funded venture capital firm with a fresh approach to the business of investment. Using the substantial resources at their disposal, they focus on helping early and expansion stage businesses enter international markets. Target companies operate in high-growth sectors with growth being driven by unique concepts, advanced technology and global potential.

Stephen Bullock
Stephen Bullock is a successful entrepreneur and serial tech angel investor with a portfolio focused on digital media, Web 2.0, software and B2B service companies. He takes an active non-executive board role and consults to a wide range of portfolio companies and is president of the London Business School Enterprise 100 Investment Club.

Shiv Rajendran, Operations Director at Languagelab was a two time guest on EDUKWEST.

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