Hello-Hello couples social networking with language learning allowing users to interact with native speakers around the world directly from their mobile devices. Courses in 11 different languages available for the iPad, iPhone and Android deviceshave been developed in collaboration with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).
I think the other thing that I realized is that his sort of making an educational platform on the Internet, it doesn’t have to be something that replaces education. I think that is absolutely the wrong way to go with that because I mean in addition to being helpful in learning itself I think, you know, as a social tool and all this kind of stuff I think the classroom will always, will hopefully always play an important role in society.
But I think it’s much more the idea that this kind of system can really complement that. And can take it sort of, I mean, it’s obvious if you have a group of students and a few of them get special help on the side those students are probably going faster and want to learn more. I think it’s taking the idea that this thing that was before very exclusive and only the sort of wealthy students can have it and kind of giving that to everybody instead.
The whole class can move fast now because anyone who needs help can have this kind of special help on the side. And I think that’s the dream. I mean even beyond test prep and all that is that this kind of idea of personalized education that can complement a classroom and you can use that everywhere, it can be something really productive and really helpful.
That’s one of the opportunities. That’s one of the things that’s changed. So teachers for the most part are … there is a lot of inefficiencies in their day, so saving them time is something they want, right. You hear these horror stories of teachers staying up all night to do a lesson plan and some soemthing like BetterLesson comes along and helps them save time. Of course they gonna want to adopt something like that. That’s just one example, I think there are hundreds of examples out there.
So by offering that and offering that for free, because again teachers really don’t have purchasing power. But they want to save time and everyone moving into the profession are almost by definition tech-savvy, so are fine at going online, downloading something and using that to their benefit. And once there are enough teachers in the school or in the district, the up-sell becomes easier.
And even the superintendents we talked to are being very excited about that because they usually say:” I sit and I listen to these sales pitches and try to imagine what the teachers want and then I have to go and convince the teachers to use it and push it down.” Superintendants are very excited when a bunch of teachers say:” Hey, we are all using this product. Can you buy this additional feature?” It actually makes it easier for the superintendent as well.
It’s an opportunity, it is certainly not the only business model out there but it’s something that has changed with the ubiquity of connectivity.
Osman Rashid, Co-Founder & CEO of Kno: “Our long term plan was to be a software company but we were building a tablet because we said in order to prepare education forward somebody has to do something dramatic. And we said we are the kind of company who would go and take that risk.
But we really built our hardware and software platform independently from each other that we were able to strip out the software really fast and to port it to an iPad. And for us internally it was really never a “Oh my god, the sky is falling. What’s gonna happen” because we always said by end of 2012 the dominant player in our financial model would be other tablets, not our own. And we were excited to exclude everything to 2011 what’s competing with the hardware because we didn’t need to.”