Tony Wan

Why ‘Personalized Learning’ Can Feel So Impersonal

Why does personalized learning, ironically, feel so impersonal?
Personalized learning, in its broadest application, suggests tailoring instruction to meet the needs, strengths and interests of each learner. Great teachers already do that everyday—with or without technology. It should be a goal both broad and laudable enough to unite teachers and technologists, parents and policymakers.

Lingokids Lands $4 Million—and a Partnership With Oxford University Press

If there’s one market that continues to attract entrepreneurial interest and venture capital, it’s the demand for language acquisition. The latest beneficiary is Lingokids, the developer of an app that aims to help young children pick up a new tongue.

Based in Madrid and San Francisco, the startup has raised $4 million in a seed round from Holtzbrinck Ventures and JME Capital, with Bessemer Venture Partners also participating. On top of an earlier $1.5 million fundraise, the company now boasts $5.5 million in institutional backing.

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With $150 Million to Spend, Hero K12 Goes Shopping for Education Technology Companies

Unless you’re Jeff Bezos, people with money typically do not solicit the public for ideas on how to spend their dollars. Yet that’s not the case for Hero K12, which is announcing, rather bluntly, that it is going on a shopping spree to buy education technology companies.

How to Help ‘New Normal’ Students Get Their Careers—and Education—Rolling

One of Chipotle’s recruiting flyers features a burrito above the words “Start Your Career Rolling.” It’s cheeky, comical—and perhaps even a little controversial. Yet the fast-food chain is not confining its employees to a lifetime of tortillas and guacamole. In May, the company announced a partnership with Guild Education, a Denver-based startup, through which employees can take college classes at a discount and earn accredited degrees.

With $7.5M Funding Boost, Top Hat Launches Marketplace to Challenge Textbook Publishers

As a medium, print is incompatible with the blistering pace of change and new discoveries. Textbooks are outdated as soon as they go to press. So why should students fork out hundreds of dollars for them?

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What Is ‘Quality’? Task Force Seeks Comment on Higher-Ed Outcomes Reporting Standards

What does a “quality” education mean? What should it enable learners to do? From getting a job to getting into graduate school, programs make a variety of claims about how they help students. But as cases like
Corinthian Colleges show, there can be a wide disconnect between marketing language and actual outcomes, making it hard for students to do apples-to-apples comparison between different options.

Kahoot Toots 50 Million Monthly Active Users—and a Timeline to Revenue

As he was strolling down the hallways of John F. Kennedy High School in Winston-Salem, N.C., principal Sean Gaillard heard thumping beats reverberating from a Spanish teacher’s classroom. It wasn’t Spanish music, but rather what he described as a “groovy” electronic jam. “I went in and thought there was going to be a party—and there was. It was a learning party.”

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BookNook Raises $1.2M Seed Round to Facilitate Small Group Literacy Instruction

Reading at an early age is best taught in small groups. That instructional approach is supported by research—and it’s how a new literacy app from BookNook is meant to be used. “We’re all about human-to-human learning,” Michael Lombardo, the company’s founder and CEO, tells EdSurge. “Working with kids one-on-one, or in small groups, is the most effective way to help students acquire literacy skills.”

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Salesforce Ventures Invests in Viridis to Connect Students, Community Colleges and Jobs

If students are truly “customers,” as some developers of higher-ed tools services have argued, then it’s no surprise that the biggest customer relationship management (CRM) provider is throwing its hat—and money—into the education industry.

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BrightBytes Tried to Buy Hapara. Then a Better Offer—and a Legal Complaint—Emerged

Financial details in transactions between private companies rarely see the public light. Yet a recently settled legal complaint between two education technology startups offers a glimpse at the numbers and terms involved in the negotiation process—and what happens when a deal goes awry.

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