Although I often cover startups from the U.S. here on EDUKWEST I would say that over the past three years or so I have had some regular exchange with startups from China (and have worked with some of them), most of which are located in the boom town of Shanghai.
It has certainly been an interesting time on my personal learning path to see, hear and experience about how education startups are built and grow over there, and what possibilities particularly the language learning space offers to founders.
That said, I didn’t really meet with a company that offered some innovative and compelling education technology solution. In the western world we often have the perception (often rightfully so) that the Chinese would still concentrate on imitation rather than creation of something really new (I avoid harsher words that might come to mind).
On this account, I’m happy to finally have the chance and interview a technology startup from Shanghai called VastCast.
VastCast started as a project of the e-learning lab at Jiao Tong University, Shanghai and is based on the experiences and potential the university has seen in e-learning over the past 10 years.
In our interview VastCast CEO Carsten Ullrich shares some insights on what differentiates their technology from some of the other (established) players in the field of video conferencing and webcasting. Together we explore further the role VastCast can potentially take in higher education on the one hand and educational conferences, seminars or even for lifelong learners on the other hand.
Due to the requirements in China in terms of how students and people in general consume media, it was interesting to hear that VastCast unlike everybody else created their mobile applications for Android and iOS first and only then headed for a web application.
VastCast’s technology focuses on being a lightweight and easy-to-use solution for people in education. The team has now spun out VastCast as a startup and have found first customers independent from Jiao Tong University. Close ties with the university remain as the software is being used by the Online College of Jiao Tong University, a distant university with more than 35,000 students.
If you are intrigued and think that VastCast might be an interesting option to add to extend your teaching and find a wider audience, you find all relevant information as well as the pricing on their website or contact Carsten Ullrich personally.
|Carsten Ullrich on Twitter:||@ullrich|
|Carsten Ullrich Blog:||http://carstenullrich.net