Edtech

26 stories
Speak Easy
Quest game 'Subverses' lets you learn a language while playing a spy
Subverses, a spy quest that you can play on your iPhone, forces you to pick up new language skills as you navigate the levels of the game. (Screenshot: Subverses)
Blaine Stillerman tried to hack Spanish the usual way — with book exercises and college classes through his sophomore year. But it wasn't until he landed an internship with a shipping company in Buenos Aires, working with colleagues who spoke only a few words of English, that he saw his sputtering Spanish skills finally kick into high gear. Read More
Mad acquisition skillz
Pluralsight picks up Smarterer, focused on skill tests, for $75 million
Smarterer CEO Dave Balter and Aaron Skonnard, CEO of Pluralsight.
You never know which meeting is going to lead to something worthwhile... Dave Balter, founder and CEO of the online skills testing site Smarterer, was at an edtech conference in Phoenix in April. Balter had about three dozen meetings scheduled over the course of the event, but other people at the conference kept telling him he should meet the CEO of Utah-based Pluralsight, which serves up online training in the tech and creative industries. Balter sent him a quick e-mail "and we squeezed in ten minutes before everyone went to the airport," he says. A few months later, Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard flew to Boston "and we began active merger discussions," Balter says. Read More
'Airbnb of education'
Flashnotes looking to help, not disrupt, the education establishment
Screenshot from flashnotes.com video

A few years ago, Boston startup Boundless found itself in the midst of a bitter legal battle after debuting e-textbooks that resembled those of established publishers. Now another Boston startup, Flashnotes, is revealing a wholly different edtech strategy by working hand-in-hand with one of those very same publishers, Cengage Learning.

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Permission Slips? We don't need no stinking Permission Slips
Techstars' EdTrips is more than your average back-to-school startup
Image via iStock
EdTrips is a startup that has found a way to make signing up and paying for field trips much easier for teachers, students, and especially parents. Since paper field trip permission slips and payments have a habit of getting lost in your kid's backpack, EdTrips is a great concept to start with. Read More
What do the kids think?
Panorama Education connects with Harvard for open source surveys: Why it's important
(Shutterstock)
On Tuesday, Panorama Education, the Y-Combinator graduate ed tech startup that has been backed by Mark Zuckerberg, announced that it is taking its survey product for K-12 schools and making it free through an open source initiative. What's more, Panorama has teamed up with the Harvard Graduate School of Education to do so. Read More
Tech for Language
Talkitt hopes to bridge the chasm of language disability
Voiceitt, a company founded in Israel currently taking part in MassChallenge, has developed a voice recognition platform that could give a voice to the millions of people living with speech disabilities. On Monday, the company is launching an IndieGogo crowdfunding campaign to raise money for TalkItt, the company's technology that translates unintelligible language into understandable speech. Read More
What's Next for Online Education
What’s wrong with MOOCs and why aren’t they working?
(Image via Shutterstock)
Not too surprisingly, Boston has become one of the epicenters of the next would-be education revolution: Online learning. Spearheaded by EdX, which gained backing from Harvard and MIT, the city that hosts some hundred institutions of higher education is also trying to reform it. Harman Singh, the founder and chief executive of WizIQ, shares where he sees the field stumbling. Read More
Teach the Children Well
Panorama Education - recent moves and new hires don't follow the traditional ed tech playbook
Panorama co-founder and CEO Aaron Feuer.
Since moving from California to Boston last fall, Panorama Education, which uses and analyzes surveys to make schools, teachers, and education as a whole better, has strived to break the common ed tech startup mold by being a bit more like a traditional software startup or consumer tech company. That trend continues with some recent developments. Read More