Enrollment in online courses is rising. But the shift to online instruction can be challenging for some instructors who have spent most of their academic careers teaching (and learning) face-to-face. At the 2018 OLC Accelerate conference in Orlando on Wednesday, Julin Sharp, director of digital education at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, discussed reasons why that transition can be daunting. One reason comes down to a lack of tech training for higher-ed faculty, Sharp said. A faculty member could be technologically savvy on Microsoft Excel or a mobile device, she explained, but still face a steep learning curve when it comes to teaching or designing a course online. In fact, Sharp noted, some of the instructors at Marist who face the steepest learning curves teach computer science. But there are also barriers to training faculty in online teaching, such as time constraints, a lack of ongoing support and different rules and processes across departments when it comes to … [Read more...] about Moving from Face-to-Face to Online Teaching Can Be Hard. Here’s One Expert’s Advice.
Most investors want to exit their investments and get a financial return within seven years. It’s taken ClassDojo that long to announce its first paid offering. The San Francisco-based company may be one of the last venture-backed education technology startups founded at the start of this decade that’s still alive—and growing—without making any revenue. But it’s amassed quite a footprint. ClassDojo boasts extraordinary numbers, claiming that there is at least one teacher using the tool in 95 percent of U.S. elementary and middle schools. Even more, it says one in six U.S. families with a child under 14 use the app on a daily basis. Since its launch in August 2011, ClassDojo has held firm to its commitment to never charge teachers and schools. Today, the company finally offered a concrete plan around how it plans to sustain that model: selling a monthly subscription service for parents to use with their children at home. Dubbed “ClassDojo Beyond … [Read more...] about ClassDojo Goes ‘Beyond School’ to Launch First Monetization Feature for Parents
In its latest move in the education space, Facebook has launched career development courses geared toward adult learners looking to get a foothold in the digital economy. The 13 free, digital courses each run around nine minutes long. They’re designed for people looking to re-enter the workforce or simply refresh their skills, such as how to build a resume and how to maximize marketing with analytics. Facebook designed these courses based on its own research on what skills are most helpful to both job seekers and employers seeking to hire people with digital skills (many of whom are on Facebook’s site), says Fatima Saliu, the company’s head of policy and Americas marketing, in an interview Learners can “pick up introductory ideas and then move on from there.” The broader goal of this initiative is to give people access to economic opportunity, she adds. This latest update builds on previous efforts by the company to support digital-skills training to … [Read more...] about Facebook Launches Courses to Help Adult Learners Skill Up
An experiment to create an inexpensive pathway for students to attend prestigious, four-year universities ended up costing one company a lot of money. As a result, it has pivoted from its original mission and has been sold—at a fraction of the venture capital it raised. Quad Learning, a company based in Washington, D.C. best known for its “American Honors” program, has been acquired by Wellspring International Education, a student recruitment firm for universities around the world. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed, although a source close to the deal described it as a distress sale, worth a “small fraction” of what Quad Learning had raised. Since its founding in 2012, the company had received more than $40 million in funding; about $35 million of it was raised as equity capital, and the rest in the form of convertible debt. Major investors in Quad include Comcast Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, SWaN & Legend Venture Partners and New … [Read more...] about Struggling College-Pathway Provider Quad Learning Pivots and Sells
Beijing—China is a different world when it comes to education and tech. Teachers are revered, most families spend about a third of their income on their children’s education, and most students spend at least an hour a day on some kind of online learning. To try to better understand this dynamic and fast-changing environment, thousands of entrepreneurs and education leaders from 34 countries gathered here this week for the Global Education Technology Summit. China had a reputation for copying technology from Silicon Valley, but these days the country has developed its own unique technology environment—what a new book by Kai-Fu Lee, former head of Google China, calls an “alternate internet universe.” Whereas earlier tech companies sought to directly mimic—Baidu is the ‘Google of China,” and RenRen is ‘the Facebook of China,’ for instance—these days China has been swept away with a homegrown creation called WeChat, which … [Read more...] about Education Looks Eastward: Snapshots from Beijing’s Global Education Technology Summit