Today's Campus 8 Ulrik Juul Christensen area9

Today’s Campus Innovation Interview #8 – Ulrik Juul Christensen of area9

Today's Campus 8 Ulrik Juul Christensen area9I have blogged about adaptive learning and interviewed startups on that matter since 2010. Most of these companies offer solutions for math and test preparation such as US startups TenMarks (K-12), Perfect800 (test prep) or European math startup PrepMyFuture.

I also had the chance for two interviews with McGraw-Hill executives. I always find it insightful how big companies position themselves for the future and in which areas those companies see big potential. McGraw-Hill undoubtedly sees their LearnSmart product as one of their key-products to be well positioned for the future of education. McGraw-Hill Education
Edukwest’s Senior Editor Christopher Dawson and I talked with Vineet Madan, Senior VP of New Ventures and I also interviewed Jay Chakrapani, McGraw-Hill’s VP and General Manager of the higher education digital education group.

Therefore, when I got offered the possibility to talk to area9 co-founder Dr. Ulrik Juul Christensen, it was particularly interesting for me to seize my chance and interview the creators behind the LearnSmart and SmartBook products.

McGraw-Hill also recently made a strategic investment in area9 and bought 20% of the company. With its products area9 wants to achieve three key points: create personalized solutions, on a global scale that are affordable.

In this interview, we talk about the state of adaptive or personalized learning in 2013 and whether we have already achieved true adaptiveness. As pointed out at the beginning of this article, I have mostly heard about adaptive solutions in the math and test prep space. I was interested in hearing whether there might be a particular explanation for this, for instance if it is simply easier to realize such a product in the math space than in language arts.

We also talk about the challenges, particularly for colleges and universities, to integrate Interactive Learning Online (ILO) and how long it might take until adoption at large scale (3 years+).

Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at and the future of learning at Disrupt Education. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Google+