The recent acquisition of French e-learning company CrossKnowledge by US publisher Wiley for $175 million is another example of something that we at Edxus have been charting as a trend for some time: the apparent failure of European institutional investors to recognise the strong case for investment in European education technology.
In the summer of 2012, I was heading to Ljubljana to teach a four-week course to a group of Slovenian university students. I gathered everything that I needed to teach the course: readings, case studies, links to blogs and web videos, and more. But there was one problem. I didn’t have a good way to share these materials with the students.
This got me thinking. We are all well aware of the many issues educators and students have with the usability of many learning management systems. But this was the first time I experienced the issue of not being able to take a course I had already set up in my St. Thomas LMS with me to teach somewhere else. And it occurred to me that there are probably many educators who face this issue on a regular basis (adjunct faculty who teach at more than one institution, for instance).
There are lots of opportunities in the global tutoring field. Tutoring is listed as one of the top 16 industries worldwide for starting a new business, with a with a growthrate of 7% in the last year.
Besides, GlobalAnalysts, Inc. (GIA) released a study stating that the Global Private Tutoring industry will surpass $102,8 Billion by 2018, so there’s no doubt that you will benefit from market trend.
On top of that, since there are more and more students, who are willing to enter in highly rated universities as competition increases. This is exciting news for anyone involved in the tutoring industry.
This week I sat on a panel at an event about private equity in edtech. It was an interesting day, and my panel looked at why European investors lag behind their US peers and how edtech startups could help them catch up (Q.E.D. investing more often).
I will post my thoughts about this later, however what struck me throughout the day was the lack of knowledge about the education sector, domestically, internationally and contextually/historically.
OK, so I’m not Howard Beale and this isn’t Network, but the tenor of the current discourse on MOOCs is starting to get absurd. Analysis in The New Republic of a recent survey of 35,000 MOOC students who took at least part of a MOOC offered by the University of Pennsylvania, leveled as a criticism the finding that most students do not view these courses either as a means to a college degree or a new job. Given that none of these courses are accredited, one wonders how a student could possibly use them as a means to a college degree? And while they may exist, I have yet to see a job listing requiring (or even recommending) completion of one of these MOOCs as a qualification.
After all of the language learning, then came the mentoring. Our company has some really great mentors who have all been incredibly helpful and insightful. We have actually been very fortunate. At first this was great. We were getting lots of helpful ideas and suggestions, but nothing too specific. However, the longer the mentoring went on, the more frustrated I became. Not because they were not doing their jobs, but because I just wanted someone to tell me exactly what to do to be successful at this, being an entrepreneur. How exactly do we pitch this in 5-7 words? Don’t give me potentialities, give me something I can pitch; exactly, word for word. You are the expert; tell me what to say!
So about 2 years ago I had this really brilliant idea. I knew the moment it popped into my head that it was a really good one; perhaps my best to date and I needed to act on it. I ruminated for a couple of months and solidified it a bit before contacting a former colleague of mine to dialogue (academic language) about it or pitch it (entrepreneur language) and see if he was interested in working on the idea together. He was, and so it began.
Editor’s Note: This article has first been published on Tiffany’s personal blog.
Social learning is just one learning tool that can be employed to promote learning in any classroom. We typically think of social learning as peer to peer (P2P) and it is dependent on several factors to be successful:
- The base level of knowledge or experience a learner brings to the discussion
- A positive, open learning environment
- Facilitation of discussion
Just like we use B.C. and A.C. today to divide history between two periods, so will B.I and A.I be added in the future to reference that point in time when Internet really changed everything. I do not know what that date will be, but it certainly hasn’t arrived yet, because despite all the hype the Internet is still in its infancy -especially when it comes to its Educational potential.
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on Today’s Campus.
What makes a website stand out as superior? There are some key qualities we all subconsciously look for when we scout a new site, but they are too often forgotten when it comes time to build or revise our own.
Visit your site. Yes, now. Take a few minutes to evaluate it with the following 3 questions and engage the actionable advice into your plans to make some measurable improvements.