"It's a great time to be in education technology industry: venture capitalists have dropped a whopping $1.37 billion into the industry since 2011. That's a lot of cash & opportunitiy to seriously change the way we do education."
Here are excerpts of the five profiled:
1. 2U ~ The first startup of its kind to partner with top universities to offer full degree programs entirely on the Web.
Founded in 2008, they've raised an impressive $97 million in venture funding, positioning it as a key leader in the ed tech industry.
2. EdSurge The company recently nabbed $400,000 in seed funding from investors including the Washington Post, and it's backed by finances from the Bill and Melina Gates Foundation.
Launched in 2011, EdSurge was founded by veteran journalists and education technology professionals.
3. Echo360 Boasting $31 million in startup funding, Echo360 offers online and mobile tools for blended learning.
Echo360 snagged $450 million to fund an initiative to reach 50 percent of U.S. college students in the next five years. The company also recently acquired ed-tech startup LectureTools Inc., its first public acquisition.
4. Noodle Think big education searh: Noodle has developed the most comprehensive, age-ubiquitous online search engine dedicated solely to educational topics.
Founded in 2010 by the creator of the Princeton Review and 2U, the site features over 170,000 education providers and has received millions in funding.
5. Always Prepped In beta, Always Prepped provides online tools to help manage student and classroom data, providing a single stream of imported data for teachers to analyze their students or classes.
The single biggest piece of advice offered by most blended learning pioneers is to have a cohesive vision for how the technology will enhance specific learning goals, how it will ease the burden on teachers, and how it can make both teachers and students more creative learners.
iPads have certainly become a highly desired commodity in education. Apple is reporting that schools are purchasing iPads by a ratio of 2:1 over MacBooks. However, that rush to purchase the latest technologies often precedes the careful planning and preparation that’s crucial to their success as educational tools.
Stated simply, technology alone doesn’t have the capacity to improve education. It needs to be woven into a holistic approach to education that encompasses thorough planning and ongoing review of the skills and competencies required by the rapidly changing society that characterizes life in the 21st century.
Are you interested in using inquiry based learning in your classroom but are not sure of how to implement a new program? This post discusses the importance of planning and takes you through a step-by-step look at techniques you will use to effectively implement inquiry learning. Many additional resources are provided.