Today we recorded episode nine of On the Ed with our friend Shiv Rajendran of Affectively. Once again, it has been a week full of stories of startups getting funded or raising more money, but we also saw a bigger number of mergers and acquisitions in education that will make an impact on the market in the years to come.
This Friday Kirsten and Chris welcomed Katrina Stevens on the show. Katrina is an educator with of 20 years of experience as a teacher and administrator. She has worked in the district offices of Baltimore County Public Schools and is also a consultant and EdSurge’s summit coordinator.
As always we start the show with our newsflash and give you an overview of this week’s funding stories and other news we think are of interest to have a closer look at. You find all the links to the stories at the end of this post.
We start in the episode with our block of K-12 stories. Alicia and Chris discuss whether teaching with the help of audio books actually makes sense from an educational point of view and what group of students might benefit most from such a teaching concept.
We start this episode with startup Spritz that claims to have reinvented reading through their patent-pending speed reading technology, and I didn’t want to miss out on Alicia’s opinion and comment on it as a scientist.
Yesterday we live-streamed our fourth episode of On the Ed, and although we are still in Alpha this work in progress slowly takes shape. It definitely shows that it adds new and interesting layers to the discussion when I do an episode with at least two guests. So regularly having three or more people in the Hangout is one of the objectives for the weeks to come.
This week my guests are Alicia Chang, content lead at San Francisco robotics company Play-i, Matthew Burr, co-founder of NYC startup Nomadic Learning, Shiv Rajendran of London-based Affectively who came on for his third time in a row, and Bhavin Parikh of test prep startup Magoosh who joins us exclusively to share his thoughts on the Khan Academy and College Board partnership.
This week again brought us many interesting funding stories for education companies, some of which my guest Shiv of Affectively and I discussed in this new episode of On the Ed.
We started this episode with the big non commercial story of the week, SocialEDU bringing free mobile education to students in Rwanda. Although some of the companies involved will undoubtedly have an interest to be present in that market and in the minds of people with their products, all of this shouldn’t take away from the ambition, effort and cost involved to make this project a reality.
Another week, another On the Ed. Though we are still in alpha I think we are slowly but surely getting the hang of it. Google+ Hangouts are still a bit confusing when you invite guests as a page owner but we almost started on time.
Talking about guests, this week Chris and I were joined by my old friend Shiv Rajendran who is currently working on his new startup Affectively. We even got the scoop that he had raised funding which he announces on the show. Also, Affectively are hiring!
Talking about startups, as mentioned in last week’s episode Chris also joined a new edtech startup called TDS Social as Chief Technologist.
Congratulations again to both, and I am sure that we are going to hear more of Shiv and Chris and their respective companies in the coming months.
Naturally, we had to briefly discuss the big tech news of the week: Facebook acquiring WhatsApp for $19 billion USD, but we quickly jumped on the edtech news of the week which you can find below.
This week’s episode of On the Ed started twice as we had some trouble (as so often) with the Google Hangout on Air. But hey, that’s why we are still in alpha. So this time you don’t get one hour of edtech punditry but a more condensed version with the two Kirsten’s of edtech in Europe, as Kirsten Campbell-Howes put it.
— KirstenCampbellHowes (@campbellhowes) February 14, 2014
Chris could not join us this week as he is busy with the launch of a new startup. I am sure he will share some updates on that next week. Below you find the stories Kirsten and I talked about in the show plus some extra news items we did not have the time to cover.
When I think which company to talk with next for EDUKWEST, there is always a couple of criteria I apply. My criteria, as you might you after more than four years of interviewing, include to get a startup early on in their life cycle, the impact this startup might make in 6 to 12 months from now, and portraying entrepreneurs to me is definitely about sharing a good story.
The story of OpenClassrooms is definitely one of the most interesting ones I have heard in a long time, and it shows how far a dedicated team can make it with passion and hard work.