D IS FOR DADA: Chinese online tutoring service DaDa has raised $255 million in a Series D round led by private equity firm Warburg Pincus, DealStreetAsia reports. Investors TAL Education Company and Yonghua Capital also participated. Previously known as DaDaABC, the Shanghai-based company connects Chinese children, ages 4 to 16—as well as children from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and other countries—with native English speakers to help them with their language and pronunciation skills. Tutors and students meet virtually, often from their own homes across the globe, through DaDa’s AI-powered online portal. To date, DaDa has raked in more than $860 million from investors, according to Crunchbase. Similar services have become hugely popular in China in recent years. VIPKID and MagicEars are among several other companies that have emerged—and raised hundreds of millions in venture capital—to meet the country’s demand for English-speaking tutors. … [Read more...] about Chinese Tutoring Platform DaDa Collects $255M in Series D Round
During my early days of teaching in graduate school, educational technology was sold more for its posh than performance. Every new version of Microsoft PowerPoint allowed instructors to embed more and more media and wow students with visually appealing graphics. Looking back, the whole enterprise seemed like a fruitless attempt to keep up with the expectations of the smartphone generation. But there has been progress, both with the tools themselves and the teaching practices we employ to incorporate technology into the classroom. And improved access to devices and high-speed Wi-Fi means that traditional classrooms lectures need not be limited to the physical classroom space. These advancements are worth celebrating, but it leaves me wondering: Why should students still show up to a physical classroom? And what is the role of a professor as technology continues to make its way into the classroom? My answer to that is humans are crucial to inclusive teaching, and that using tech … [Read more...] about Teaching With Technology in Higher Ed? Start With Relationship-Building.
In the seven years since colleges and companies first started experimenting with large-scale online courses known as MOOCs, more than 100 million people have given them a try—though how they are used keeps changing. Two big trends dominated the MOOC landscape this year. First, despite continued slowdown in the growth of new users, MOOC platforms are seeing an increase in paying customers (and revenues). Second, more and more degrees are being offered through MOOC platforms, pointing the way toward what may ultimately be a lasting revenue model. MOOC-based degrees have some distinctive features that distinguish them from earlier online degrees, including lower fees, a more flexible schedule and a more relaxed admissions process. In 2018, 20 million new learners signed up for at least one MOOC, down from 23 million the year before. Despite the slowdown, the number of paying users may have increased. MOOC providers’ constant tweaking of the model seems to be paying off, as … [Read more...] about Year of MOOC-based Degrees: A Review of MOOC Stats and Trends in 2018
This article is part of a collection of op-eds from thought leaders, educators and entrepreneurs who reflect on the state of education technology in 2018, and share where it’s headed next year. Nancy Carlsson-Paige was nominated to share her thoughts by Diane Ravitch, who wrote for the project in 2017 . The recent growth of online preschools, already in existence in at least eight states, gives states an inexpensive way to deliver pre-K education. But it is a sorry substitute for the whole child, play-based early childhood education that all young children deserve to have. Cyber schools have been increasing over the last twenty years, and most programs are marketed by for-profit companies. The more recent emergence of online preschool programs opens the door for cyber education businesses to cash in on the estimated $70 billion per year “pre-K market.” In an education reform climate that has redefined education as academic standards and success on tests, … [Read more...] about Online Preschool Is Not Education for All
Replacing VHS tapes with YouTube clips is probably not the ideal version of moving a classroom into the 21st century. While that type of digital substitution may tick the boxes of education technology frameworks like SAMR, it doesn’t always provide an opportunity for deep thinking and real-world learning. So how do teachers actually create meaningful work and allow students real agency in a 21st century classroom? EdSurge talked with Scott McLeod, associate professor of education leadership at the University of Colorado in Denver. He’s the author of “Harnessing Technology for Deeper Learning,” which explores how his “four shifts” protocol can help educators test whether their practices and pedagogies support the goals of learning in the digital age. Listen to the discussion on this week’s EdSurge On Air podcast. You can follow the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you listen. The highlights below have been lightly edited and … [Read more...] about How to Move From Digital Substitution to ‘Deeper Learning’