After a For-Profit Company Bought EdX — What Happens Next?

jyosim summarizes an article at EdSurge: edX, founded by Harvard University and MIT a decade ago as a nonprofit alternative to for-profit online education providers, has agreed [in June] to sell its operations to a for-profit company, 2U. Exactly what that means is only now becoming clear, but many observers have noted that in the end, 2U bought a giant source of leads for students that it can upsell graduate degrees to from its partner colleges. But turning edX into a marketing vehicle is a far cry from the high-minded language used when the nonprofit was founded to bring education to underserved students around the world.

In the article edX CEO and co-founder Anant Agarwal acknowledges there were tough questions after the initial announcement:

But he says that the vast majority of college presidents, provosts and professors he’s spoken with have been reassured by the details of the arrangement. He listed


Original URL: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/3svDAfuzg5A/after-a-for-profit-company-bought-edx----what-happens-next

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Microsoft acquires TakeLessons, an online and in-person tutoring platform, to ramp up its edtech play

Microsoft said in January this year that Teams, its online collaboration platform, was being used by over 100 million students — boosted in no small part by the COVID-19 pandemic and many schools going partly or fully remote. Now, it’s made another acquisition to continue expanding its position in the education market.
The company has acquired TakeLessons, a platform for students to connect with individual tutors in areas like music lessons, language learning, academic subjects and professional training or hobbies, and for tutors to book and organize the lessons they give, both online and in person.
Terms of the deal have not been disclosed but we are trying to find out. San Diego-based TakeLessons had raised at least $20 million from a range of VCs and individuals that included LightBank, Uncork Capital, Crosslink Capital and others. TakeLessons posted a short note in the form of a Q&A confirming the deal on its


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Quizlet plans for IPO over a year after hitting unicorn status

Quizlet, a flashcard tool turned artificial intelligence-powered tutoring platform, is planning an initial public offering nearly a year after it was valued at $1 billion. According to people familiar with the matter, Quizlet is considerably far along in the process to go public. A recent job filing shows that it is hiring for senior roles to “help build the financial systems and processes as we move towards an IPO.”
In an email to TechCrunch, the San Francisco-based edtech startup declined to comment. Quizlet hasn’t said much about its revenue specifics or if it’s profitable. Last year, the still-private startup claimed it was growing revenue 100% annually. On its website, Quizlet says that it has 60 million monthly learners, up 10 million learners compared to its 2018 totals.
Quizlet has built a large-scale business around simple to share and simple to use products. Its free flashcard maker helps students spin up study guides on


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Law School Applicants Surge 13%, Biggest Increase Since Dot-Com Bubble

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: The number of people applying for admission to law school this fall surged nearly 13%, making it the largest year-over-year percentage increase since 2002, according to the latest data from the Law School Admission Council. And they were an impressive bunch. The number of people applying with LSAT scores in the highest band of 175 to 180 more than doubled from 732 last year to 1,487 this year. In total, 71,048 people applied to American Bar Association-accredited law schools this cycle, up from 62,964 at this point in 2020. That’s still significantly lower than the historic high of 100,601 applicants in 2004, but it’s by far the largest national applicant pool of the past decade.

Experts attribute the crush of applications to a number of factors, particularly the slowdown in the entry-level job market caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Law school and


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Engageli nabs $33M more for its collaborative video-based teaching platform

As schools move more widely into reopening their doors for in-person learning, many educational institutions have also learned a critical lesson in the last year. Having better tools to teach remotely are critical for situations when the physical experience has to be shut down, but even when things are “back to normal”, better tech can still enhance what educators and students can do, and to whom teaching can be delivered. Now, a startup betting on virtual learning in higher education — and investing in the innovation to deliver that — is announcing a round of funding as it continues to expand its business.
Engageli, which has built an online teaching platform from the ground up — providing not just its own built-in-house video technology to deliver lectures and enable conversations, but tools to enable students to “sit” in study groups to work together; and features to share and annotate lecture notes,


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Kahoot acquires Clever, the US-based edtech portal, for up to $500M

Kahoot, the popular Oslo-based edtech company that has built a big business out of gamifiying education and creating a platform for users to build their own learning games, is making an acquisition to double down on K-12 education and its opportunities to grow in the U.S. It is acquiring Clever, a startup that has built a single sign-on portal for educators, students and their families to build and engage in digital learning classrooms, currently used by about 65% of all U.S. K-12 schools. Kahoot said that the deal — coming in a combination of cash and shares — gives Clever an enterprise value of between $435 million and $500 million, dependent on meeting certain performance milestones.
The plan will be to continue growing Clever’s business in the U.S. — which currently employs 175 people — as well as give it a lever for expanding globally alongside Kahoot’s wider stable of edtech


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American Schools’ Phone Apps Send Children’s Info To Ad Networks, Analytics Firms

LeeLynx shares a report from The Register: The majority of Android and iOS apps created for US public and private schools send student data to assorted third parties, researchers have found, calling into question privacy commitments from Apple and Google as app store stewards. The Me2B Alliance, a non-profit technology policy group, examined a random sample of 73 mobile applications used in 38 different schools across 14 US states and found 60 percent were transmitting student data. The apps in question send data using software development kits or SDKs, which consist of modular code libraries that can be used to implement utility functions, analytics, or advertising without the hassle of creating these capabilities from scratch. Examples include: Google’s AdMob, Firebase, and Sign-in SDKs, Square’s OK HTTP and Okio SDKs, and Facebook’s Bolts SDK, among others.

The data that concerns Me2B includes: identifiers (IDFA, MAID, etc), Calendar, Contacts, Photos/Media Files, Location,


Original URL: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/SvMZzb8w_dM/american-schools-phone-apps-send-childrens-info-to-ad-networks-analytics-firms

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Learning Apps Have Boomed in the Pandemic. Now Comes the Real Test.

Startups hope there’s no turning back for online learning, even as more students return to the classroom. From a report: After a tough year of toggling between remote and in-person schooling, many students, teachers and their families feel burned out from pandemic learning. But companies that market digital learning tools to schools are enjoying a coronavirus windfall. Venture and equity financing for education technology start-ups has more than doubled, surging to $12.58 billion worldwide last year from $4.81 billion in 2019, according to a report from CB Insights, a firm that tracks start-ups and venture capital. During the same period, the number of laptops and tablets shipped to primary and secondary schools in the United States nearly doubled to 26.7 million, from 14 million, according to data from Futuresource Consulting, a market research company in Britain. “We’ve seen a real explosion in demand,” said Michael Boreham, a senior market analyst


Original URL: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/roY5K0SS0KI/learning-apps-have-boomed-in-the-pandemic-now-comes-the-real-test

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Welcome, 2021! – and a Round-Up of Pedagogy Sessions at this week’s AALS Annual Meeting

Dear readers, authors, commenters, and friends far and wide: Happy New Year! We look forward to another year of exciting and thought-provoking discussion with you through the Best Practices for Legal Education blog.  We begin 2021 with the AALS annual meeting, being held virtually, that you can access here.  The conference will include some fantastic […]


Original URL: https://bestpracticeslegaled.com/2021/01/04/welcome-2021-and-a-round-up-of-pedagogy-sessions-at-this-weeks-aals-annual-meeting/

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