Pew Research Center asked more than 36,000 people across 32 emerging and developing countries worldwide on the positive effects as well as the drawbacks the Internet has had on different aspects of life, including education, personal relationships, politics and the economy.
According to data released by the CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center) the number of mobile Internet users in China rose by over 11% to 557 million in 2014 compared to 2013.
This means that over 86% of Internet users in Mainland China are accessing the web via their mobile phone, an increase by 5%.
It is quite fascinating to follow Myanmar’s rise as a tech, edtech and thus startup destination in general these days given that the reign of the military junta only ended in 2011. As Myanmar is now slowly opening itself to new influences, the first telecommunications companies entered the country just about two and a half years ago.
Sure, all in all we should be careful in making assumptions too quickly as the country is still in the very early stages of its modern development. Nevertheless, there are a number of indicators that confirm how the country might leapfrog some of the stages developing countries usually go through when it comes to technology.
Chipmaker Qualcomm announced the acquisition of mobile learning platform EmpoweredU for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 2011, EmpoweredU pivoted and changed names several times before settling on its current model, a mobile centered learning platform based upon the Canvas LMS. The EmpoweredU team will be integrated in Qualcomm’s other mobile focused education initiatives.
The company also announced that it has invested in Wowo, a mobile edtech startup through its new $150 million strategic fund for China which focuses on Internet, e-commerce, semiconductor, education and health. Wowo is targeting the pre-school English market.
At first glance these announcements seem to be a bit out of focus. Why does a hardware company want to be in the edtech space?
For developing nations like the Philippines, remittances from oversea workers play an important economic role. According to data from the country’ central bank, remittances made through bank transfers surged 6.1 percent to $10.404 billion in the first five months of 2014 from $9.809 billion in the same period in 2013.
And while this is already an astonishing amount in itself, we must not forget that still a large part of the population is unbanked or underbanked and therefore uses other ways of sending and receiving cash.
Earlier this month Pearson launched its new Global Scale of English or short GSE. According to Pearson English
“there has never been a globally recognised standard in English – no single way of recognising and quantifying the level of an individual’s English”
which is, of course, something the company aims to change with its new product.
Former textbook rental giant turned student hub Chegg reported its Quarter 1 2014 results, and according to CEO Dan Rosensweig
“The first quarter was a strong start to 2014 with Chegg digital revenue growing 66% year-over-year.”
The combined revenue is up 22% from Q1 2013 and now at $74.4 milllion. Although the company still has around 180,000 titles in its print library available for rent, Chegg has clearly moved on from textbook rentals to being a service provider that aims to cater to student needs in various different areas.
Editor’s Note: This post has first been published on edcetera – straight talk on edtech.
Class notes or study notes marketplaces really are a fascinating vertical within the education technology startup space. Of course, most of these ventures are too small to be called a startup. They are more of what is called a buddy business where two or three friends come together with the right skills and create a small business that pays enough for beer and parties. Most of these ventures die as soon as the buddies find a real job or are simply too busy to keep the service up and running.
Today LinkedIn adds another piece of the puzzle to its user profiles in order to make them the definite online resume with the Direct-to-Profile Certifications pilot program. As you might remember, back in August the professional network opened itself to students and universities, adding the prelude to your professional resume so to speak.
The partnerships that LinkedIn announced today on its company blog will fill in the blanks that currently exist on the lifelong learning and vocational levels. If you now complete a course on Coursera, edX, Udacity, Lynda.com, Pearson, Skillsoft and Udemy you are going to receive an email that lets you add this accomplishment under your certifications category on LinkedIn.
On Tuesday Google officially announced the launch of their latest product Google Helpouts. I wrote about it back in August already, but now we can browse the categories and get a feeling of what people and companies are going to charge for their service.
Speaking of companies. Interestingly, language learning companies like Rosetta Stone, Alliance Française and Lingo Live are among the first adopters. So is MOOC behemoth Coursera offering a mix of free and paid tutoring sessions for its Machine Learning course.