Tag Archives: education technology

European Education Technology

The Failure of European Investors to fund European Education Technology

EdTech EuropePlanning to attend EdTech Europe 2014 on June 12th in London? Use the promo code EDUKWEST to get 20% off the ticket price!


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.

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EDUKWEST 100 Audrey Watters Hack Education

EDUKWEST #100 with Audrey Watters of Hack Education

EDUKWEST 100 Audrey Watters Hack EducationAfter more than three years of edublogging, vlogging and interviewing I’m happy to share that EDUKWEST made it to its 100th episode!

It’s without a doubt an achievement for the site itself as you, the audience, see the value in our work. I will admit that I am also a little proud of myself that I have had the endurance to continue doing the interview series when it’s definitely a challenge to figure out how to make it viable for the team but to keep it ad free and free of charge for our users.

You will have noticed by now that EDUKWEST gets some (philanthropic) support from Macmillan Digital Education and if you know someone who would like to do the same, please put them in touch with me. If someone would like to buy one of us an occasional cup of coffee whilst editing video and audio we are happy to receive your donations as well.

Long story short, for my special episode I invited my esteemed colleague Audrey Watters who has been writing for Hack Education almost as long as I have been doing EDUKWEST.

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review:ed Audio Podcast

review:ed #27 with Vineet Madan of McGraw-Hill Education (Audio)

review:ed Audio Podcast

review:ed Episode #27

Vineet Madan of McGraw-Hill Education

  • recorded: May 4th 2012
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Mingoville Fun Clock

ENT is brought to you by Mingoville Fun Clock. – Mingoville Fun Clock is an educational game that will teach you kid to tell time. Fun Clock is created by the award winning educational company Mingoville and available for Android and iOS devices. Visit mingovillefunclock.com and follow them on Twitter @Mingoville.

In this episode we speak with Vineet Madan, Senior Vice President of New Ventures at McGraw Hill.

Based on a paper recently published by the company we start the interview by trying to define what adaptive learning means and how to integrate this concept with technology to make it work in the classroom.

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review:ed #27 Vineet Madan McGraw-Hill Education

review:ed #27 with Vineet Madan of McGraw-Hill Education

review:ed #27 Vineet Madan McGraw-Hill EducationIn this episode we speak with Vineet Madan, Senior Vice President of New Ventures at McGraw Hill.
Based on a paper recently published by the company we start the interview by trying to define what adaptive learning means and how to integrate this concept with technology to make it work in the classroom.

Key features here are assessing what people know at what point in time and how well they know it.
We then take a deeper look into the needs of teachers to make it attractive and easy for them to deploy these tools. McGraw Hill sees professional development tailored to the specific school as key element here along with strong tech support.

Next we talk a bit about the tablet space unfolding quickly and what might be the opportunities of integrating this technology in the classroom.

Lastly, we encapsulate some of the points we touched on during the interview to try make a prediction of what education might look like in the future: supporting teachers in this transition period, not one single company can solve this problem as Madan puts it, there needs to be a coalition of the willing to offer an industry solution for an industry problem along with federal and state government as well as some of the associations.

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Mingoville Fun Clock

ENT is brought to you by Mingoville Fun Clock. – Mingoville Fun Clock is an educational game that will teach you kid to tell time. Fun Clock is created by the award winning educational company Mingoville and available for Android and iOS devices. Visit mingovillefunclock.com and follow them on Twitter @Mingoville.

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robot teacher

Education Technology: Cutting Edge Meets The Classroom

robot teacher

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Ahmed Siddiqui, founder & CEO of Go Go Mongo! Go Go Mongo! rose into the Top 25 for educational games and many parents mistook the app for a healthy eating game, Ahmed pivoted the business. After winning Startup Weekend and staying involved, Ahmed successfully ran Mega Startup Weekend, the largest event ever for Startup Weekend in October 2011, and managed the Global Entrepreneurship Week campaign in November 2011 where he coordinated 60 concurrent Startup Weekend events, culminating in a Global Startup Battle. You can follow Ahmed on Twitter @siddiquiahmed.

Education used to be as simple as a book, a chalkboard, and a pencil but the current notion of education is evolving alongside technology. Is a person’s education defined by the piece of paper hanging on the wall or is it more about the hands-on experience of problem solving and lesson feedback?

The issue at hand sees the education industry pulled in two directions. On one hand, the teacher-to-student ratio is growing across the board while classroom budgets shrink. Outside of K-12, college tuition is simply not feasible for some families. On the other hand, technology has made education more accessible than ever before. The internet revolution changed many things — entertainment, news, communication — but it took a good decade to trickle down to education. However, today’s students can get qualified degrees online from major universities and technical academies; in addition to that, everything from textbooks to course notes and lecture videos can be found on the web.

So while the logistics of traditional education are becoming increasingly difficult for the would-be student, access to the actual material is greater than ever before. Technology has pushed this further and faster, aiding the learning process from top to bottom. With textbooks now on student iPads and college-level calculus taught online, has education reached a new plateau or is this just the beginning?

For those in the Education Technology industry, recent achievements demonstrate the power of innovative thinking in a traditional field. But most observers see a much bigger — and more accessible — picture. In fact, many feel that education is on the cusp of a major paradigm shift. Cloud applications, e-books, video conferencing and other such tools represent the dawn of a new era, all powered by the emerging Education Technology industry. “College is not affordable without crushing debt; K-12 is not serving us well,” says technology investor Mitchell Kapor. Kapor knows a thing or two about the bleeding edge of technology, having been involved in the successful launch of ventures ranging from Lotus 1-2-3 software in the 1980s to Second Life in the 2000s. “By having computers do what they are good at – individualized fashion; teachers can actually uplevel, be coaches, help do the kind of things that only people can do using technology. I’m a big ‘blended learning’ fan.”

Classroom technology has evolved greatly in the past two decades. In the 1990s, computers were used for highly specified purposes and basic communication. In the 2000s, online distribution of course materials and supplementary training materials emerged. Today, Education Technology leaders project a movement away from the old textbook/lecture model and a greater focus on dynamic learning. “What we are beginning to see is a huge shift in attitudes to education technology, which includes the openness of teachers and school administrators to embrace technology as well as the investment world seeing the value and profitability of EdTech,” says Liam Don, co-founder of ClassDojo.

That openness breaks down many of the previous hurdles experienced by innovative start-ups. Just a few years ago, the education industry was mired in the slow traditions held by a few major companies. Today, new methods for teaching and learning are being created by the hungry entrepreneurial minds behind Education Technology start-ups. As teachers and administrators open up to the idea of new teaching methods and lessons through technology, bureaucratic roadblocks are being streamlined — sometimes because budget cuts demand creative solutions, sometimes because technology allows new ideas into the traditional teaching model, and sometimes because parents want better ways to supplement a child’s education. “With the current model, if you want to sell a product to a school it can take at least a year to go through the cycle, because of how school budgets…the good news is that new models are being developed to address and work around these issues.,” says Don. “Additionally, as organizations like Khan Academy have made clear, there is a demand for independent learning outside the traditional classroom setting. Technology is the driver behind this, and this ‘individualized’ approach to education will only continue to expand and grow in the coming years.”

Education Technology companies are working to satisfy all three key targets: administrators (who set budgets), teachers (who create curriculum), and students (who ultimately use the product). Some innovations target one group more than the other. In the case of digital textbooks, all three benefit. “The advent of the Ebook can revolutionize textbook accessibility,” says Osman Rashid, CEO/Co-Founder of Kno, Inc. “Digital textbooks minimize cost and streamline distribution. A tablet can carry hundreds of textbooks while bringing in smart features — and it won’t weigh down a student’s backpack.”

Digital textbooks provide the foundation, but what does the future hold for Education Technology? For starters, imagine WiFi in every classroom to power those tablets. “At a minimum, tablets will be adopted as a digital book,” says Zack Schuler, Founder & CEO of Cal Net Technology Group. “In some schools, higher-end tablets will take an all-inclusive role as a PC, digital book, communication device, and collaboration tool. In the middle, tablets like the iPad will play a key role in digital books, videos, and learning apps.”

Tablets and WiFi can come together in the classroom through cloud-based applications, supplementary materials, even virtual field trips. All of this can crunch sage statistics for teachers, creating student-by-student metadata to provide an overview of what’s working, what isn’t, and how to create more effective lessons.

The focus on curriculum and lessons presents the core of Education Technology. However, a bigger picture exists, one that helps to answer the age-old parent question of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” One of Education Technology’s biggest trends stems from this very idea, as start-ups are investing in platforms to help students explore career aspirations and achieve critical milestones on the path there. In addition, the journey to that goal is easier than ever before — as online courses offer more robust opportunities, a greater selection of degree choices exists for students of all ages, backgrounds, and budgets while digital course materials enable access outside of the traditional classroom.

Greater access, more-focused materials, and innovative lessons; it’s all part of the emerging Education Technology industry — an industry that Mitchell Kapor predicts will be in the “billions and billions” of revenue dollars. Of course, tablets, WiFi, and apps are a means to an end, but there’s one thing that Education Technology can’t do: sorry parents, you’ll still have to figure out a way to motivate your kids to do their homework.

review:ed Audio Podcast

review:ed #25 Money in the Ed Game (Audio)

review:ed Audio Podcast

review:ed Episode #25

“Money in the Ed Game”

  • recorded: April 20th 2012
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Links

  • Ed News Ticker #2 April 14th 2012
    Source: EDUKWEST
  • There Are A Million Education Startups And No One To Acquire Them
    Source: Business Insider
  • We need a Dividends instead of Exits Mindset in Education
    Source: Disrupt Education
  • Teaching 2030: What We Must Do for Our Students and Our Public Schools–Now and in the Future
    Source: Amazon
  • Are Teacherpreneurs the future of education?
    Source: Good
  • EdTech Link
    Source: TeachPaperless | Prezi
  • Top Tier vs Low Cost in Education
    Source: Disrupt Education

Fundings in April 2012 so far

  • $25 million Minerva
  • $26 million + $10 million 2tor
  • $16 million Coursera
  • $10 million StraighterLine
  • $8 million Boundless Learning
  • $6 million Schoology
  • $4.75 million Treehouse
  • $2.4 million LearnZillion
  • $2.3 million Voxy
  • + several smaller fundings
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review:ed #25 Money in the Ed Game

review:ed #25 Money in the Ed Game

review:ed #25 Money in the Ed Game

In this week’s edition of review:ed Kirsten and Chris focus on one big topic: funding startups in education. They discuss the big funding month as more than $110 million went into education startups in April alone.

But what does this mean for education in general. Do those startups all need an exit like the Business Insider suggests and if so, who is going to buy them? What role do crowdfunding and entrepreneurial teachers play in this, what are the differences between them and startup founders that come from outside of education?

Subscribe to review:ed Subscribe to review:ed Video via RSS Subscribe to review:ed Audio via RSS
Subscribe to review:ed Audio via iTunes
Download Episode Download Episode Video Download Episode Audio

Links

  • Ed News Ticker #2 April 14th 2012
    Source: EDUKWEST
  • There Are A Million Education Startups And No One To Acquire Them
    Source: Business Insider
  • We need a Dividends instead of Exits Mindset in Education
    Source: Disrupt Education
  • Teaching 2030: What We Must Do for Our Students and Our Public Schools–Now and in the Future
    Source: Amazon
  • Are Teacherpreneurs the future of education?
    Source: Good
  • EdTech Link
    Source: TeachPaperless | Prezi
  • Top Tier vs Low Cost in Education
    Source: Disrupt Education

Fundings in April 2012 so far

  • $25 million Minerva
  • $26 million + $10 million 2tor
  • $16 million Coursera
  • $10 million StraighterLine
  • $8 million Boundless Learning
  • $6 million Schoology
  • $4.75 million Treehouse
  • $2.4 million LearnZillion
  • $2.3 million Voxy
  • + several smaller fundings
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new iPad

$399 iPad 2 is great, but think of the possibilities for the new iPad in K12 and higher ed

new iPad
Kirsten Winkler made a very good point yesterday when she noted that $400 second-gen iPads are a greater threat to other players (read Android tablet OEMs) in the 1:1 tablet game than the new iPad. At $500, it will see adoption, but remains too expensive for many schools and students, as do its $500-ish Android competitors (particularly the offerings from Motorola and Samsung). That being said, while Kirsten was unimpressed with the new iPad, I have to say that there are some potentially very significant educational applications of the updated technology that will be delivered to my door (and that of many, many other early adopters) on March 16th.

I’m not an Apple fanboi. I like Apple products generally and tend to split my time between my PCs and my Macs (although the latest Ubuntu beta has certainly gotten my attention). Given the choice, I’d probably be rolling out Edubuntu or Userful labs for general computing in schools and Windows workstations for content creation among older students; Chromebooks would be on my short list of potential 1:1 solutions. I’m even one of the few folks out there who prefers Android 4.0 to iOS and my primary tablet is a Motorola Xoom. So I don’t come at this from the perspective of the Mac faithful. Oh yeah, and I think that Apple’s iBooks is one of the  greediest, most egregious examples of vendor lock-in ever.

Now that I have that disclaimer out of the way, I have to admit that I’m really excited about the prospect of the new iPad, at least for specific educational applications, primarily because of its extraordinary resolution and its processing horsepower. I also think this will have significant implications for the growing body of educational content and app developers, who will have to seriously consider developing for iPad 2 and the new iPad separately to not only cater to the popularity of the iPad 2 (which, as Kirsten points out, will most likely grow given it’s new pricepoint, although I’m not seeing any evidence that Apple will offer their $50 educational discount on the hardware) as well as to the bleeding edge capabilities of the new iPad.

First, some imagination around what 2048 x 1536 resolution means. First of all, it’s double the resolution of the second-gen iPad. That’s hardly an evolutionary bump. That’s game-changing resolution that can support immersive 3D simulations (think virtual dissections that put every virtual biology activity that came before them to shame), geometric visualizations, lifelike virtual worlds, physics simulations, engineering and design applications, and art activities in ways that only desktops have been able to manage to date (can you imagine ArtRage at that resolution with 4 cores driving the experience?). And even those desktop use cases had lower resolution monitors, usually by a wide margin.

As the folks over at Mashery put it, it’s time to go “beyond HD.” To Kirsten’s point, though, do we really need to be going beyond HD? Isn’t HD good enough? The answer, of course, is yes – HD is “good enough”. But what happens when we don’t need multimedia labs to supplement 1:1 devices because the devices are capable of producing such compelling content on their own? What happens when medical students can study detailed anatomical structures at CT-scan resolutions before they ever hit gross anatomy (let alone an actual patient)? Or a school can dispense with the expense and ethical concerns around dissections with virtual labs that allow even better visualization of frog anatomy or pig brains than could be achieved in a middle school science lab? What about the college engineering student who can leave her workstation in her dorm room and create meaningful, 3D CAD models right in class?

Mashery also pointed out that this is a harbinger of entirely new user experiences centered around voice and gesture, making educational content that much more accessible to students with special needs. 4 cores and no loss of fidelity at high magnification? That sounds like IEP compliance in countless ways that even the very capable iPad 2 can’t reach. Even the ability to stream in HD to the new Apple TV makes me wonder when interactive whiteboards will be fully replaced with student iPads (or tablets that adopt equivalent functionality), Apple TVs, and high-resolution projectors through which students and teachers can share awesome content, again in ways that the average smartboard just can’t make happen.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not suggesting that every school deploy fleets of new iPads. However, I am suggesting that the technology we’re seeing in Apple’s latest product has sufficiently significant potential that we all (educators, educational content producers, and ed tech developers) need to sit up and take notice. Maybe this is the device that finally forces publishers to stop dumping PDFs on schools and calling them e-textbooks.

EDUKWEST Audio Podcast

EDUKWEST #89 with Shmuel Meitar of Time To Know (Audio)

EDUKWEST Audio Podcast

EDUKWEST Episode #89

  • published: February 2nd 2012
  • Guest: Shmuel Meitar, Founder Time To Know
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Einztein - The Social Learning Network This Interview is sponsored by Einztein – The Social Learning Network

Einztein is the social learning network for higher education and lifelong learners. Einztein brings the power of social networking to learning and enables anyone to create an online learning community for resource sharing, collaboration and discussion.

Time To Know was founded in 2004 by Shmuel Meitar as a philanthropic endeavor, investing $60 million of his own wealth into the startup according to TechCrunch. Today Time To Know offers a complete curriculum in math as well as language arts along with a digital platform for schools in K-12.

The holistic Time To Know way to teach has already been implemented in public schools in 150 classrooms in Israel and 120 classrooms in Texas and New York by the end of the 2010-2011 school year.

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Shmuel Meitar Time To Know

EDUKWEST #89 with Shmuel Meitar of Time To Know

Shmuel Meitar Time To Know
Shmuel Meitar

For EDUKWEST episode 89 I had the privilege to learn more about Time To Know from its founder and education advocate Shmuel Meitar.

Time To Know was founded in 2004 by Shmuel Meitar as a philanthropic endeavor, investing $60 million of his own wealth into the startup according to TechCrunch. Today Time To Know offers a complete curriculum in math as well as language arts along with a digital platform for schools in K-12.

The holistic Time To Know way to teach has already been implemented in public schools in 150 classrooms in Israel and 120 classrooms in Texas and New York by the end of the 2010-2011 school year.

The objectives are to find a meaningful way to engage all three parties included in the teaching / learning process: teachers get deep knowledge about the individual performances of their students. Students get challenged according to their level and performance, so that they get positive feedback and are able to score better in assessments, but also develop a deeper understanding of concepts. Parents stay in regular contact with the class teacher and have an overview of their children’s learning curve at any time.

In our interview we also set the focus on the importance of leadership. Time To Know requests quite some commitment from the school district but also the individual schools in order to implement the curriculum and the technology platform as they are convinced that half-baked solutions of implementing technology into teaching eventually won’t result in student’s better performance.

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Subscribe to EDUKWEST Audio via iTunes
Download Episode Download Episode Video Download Episode Audio
Einztein - The Social Learning Network This Interview is sponsored by Einztein – The Social Learning Network

Einztein is the social learning network for higher education and lifelong learners. Einztein brings the power of social networking to learning and enables anyone to create an online learning community for resource sharing, collaboration and discussion.

Additional Links:

Homepage: http://timetoknow.com
Time To Know on Twitter: @TimeToKnow
Time To Know on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TimeToKnow
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