The instant we domesticated the electron we gave to educators the power to transform 18th Century paper based teacher centered education into 21st Century learning tools. EdTech is what we call this electronic Education Technology. And the world over smart people are beginning to provide websites to help solve the 21st Century problems.
Here are 7 Education Websites that demonstrate the power of 21st Century Learning Communities.
There are still some gaps that @lantis Learning Communities want to fill. But, clearly these websites, coupled with the @lantis Learning Community can elevate education to heights unimaginable just a few short years ago
Udemy, is online marketplace for learning. Udemy makes learning a commodity, linking individual learners with individual teachers. It helps anyone with knowledge and skills to become the teacher. It’s website is a free market where the most qualified instructors (or at least the ones who are best at marketing their services) can charge the highest rates.
What began as a series of instructional YouTube videos on Algebra for Salman Khan’s niece, are now an encyclopaedic catalogue of lessons on topics from classical music to cryptology. It’s all free, thanks to funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others, which gives it the opportunity to embark on social missions. For example, it currently offers SAT tutoring of the kind that only wealthy teenagers could access in the past. Google has lent support to help Khan Academy translate many of its lessons into the world’s major languages. Ultimately, Khan Academy could become to universities what Wikipedia is to encyclopaedias.
Kaltura, the only open-source online video platform, enables universities and other educational institutions to bring video into every aspect of the campus and classroom. From enabling professors and students to incorporate video in learning, to providing an admissions office or alumni association with video as a marketing tool, Kaltura’s technology is used by hundreds of universities – including Harvard, Yale and Stanford. To complement its flagship CampusTube product – which allows a school to create a private YouTube-like video portal – the company has recently rolled out a series of EdTech products. And quite interestingly, Kaltura just announced an initiative to develop and share best practices regarding video accessibility within the education industry — in hopes of making education more accessible to all.
ForClass is a student engagement platform that increases participation and accountability in the classroom while reducing prep time for professors. The platform and distribution network apply to any instance in which readings are assigned and concepts are taught within a context. The company has started by targeting the business school market, and plans to expand to other disciplines in the coming year, including law, medicine and international relations. Over 100 professors and 6,000 students from 35 universities, including Harvard, Dartmouth and Penn State are using the platform.
Founded by Max Ventilla, a former Google exec and serial entrepreneur, AltSchool has the lofty ambition of fundamentally reshaping the primary education experience. Ventilla has said, “If a time traveler came back from the early 1900s, and looked at schools, they would look relatively the same.” AltSchool’s first school in San Francisco looks quite different. It’s an open space divided into two sections, one for 5-7 year-olds and the other for 8-10 year-olds. The educational experience is technology-based with teachers creating personalized weekly curricula for each student using a proprietary platform. Video and advanced audio recording (that can cut through classroom noise) is used to track progress and record breakthroughs. There is no grading system. Tech investors are excited about the idea of disrupting the antiquated grade school model and have provided more than $30 million of funding.
Schoology and Edmodo
Competitors Schoology and Edmodo were founded by students (in Schoology’s case) and public school employees (in Edmodo’s) who were fed up with the clunky learning management systems (LMSs) that their institutions used to store and share teaching materials. Today the two companies offer slick, modern LMSs that have won clients quickly, from public school systems to universities. They both have deep pockets, too. Edmodo, founded in 2008, has raised $88 million of venture funding. Schoology, which began operations a year later, has attracted $25 million of investment.
In college, there are always the students who go panhandling for notes and always the other students who begrudgingly hand them out. Flashnotes gives the diligent notetakers an alternative by creating a marketplace for notes organized by class and university. The founders argue that there’s nothing amiss here. Students have always shared notes and the buyers tend to learn, as reflected by improved GPAs. There’s also real money to be made by the sellers. According to the site’s leaderboard, “Tony2050” from Florida State has earned almost $12,000 on the site. The founders, for their part, have raised $11 million.