Thursday, May 30, 2013

Educational Start-ups that will Change the world

Udemy serves as an online platform that allows instructors to build online courses on topics of their choosing. Using Udemy’s content platform, they can upload video, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, audio, zip files and live classes to create courses. Instructors are also allowed to engage and interact with users via online discussion boards.Key features:
  • Founded in February 2010.
  • Launched in May 2010.
  • Launched paid course platform in December 2010.
  • Udemy’s top 10 earning instructors earned >$1.6 million in course sales (as of May 2012).

Coursera, Udacity and EdX
Coursera is an education company that partners with the top universities and organizations in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. It  offers courses in a wide range of topics, spanning the Humanities, Medicine, Biology, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Business, Computer Science, and many others. Company is offering massive open online courses (MOOCs) and is founded by computer science professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller from Stanford University. As of March 2012, Coursera was not yet generating revenue. However the company is working on ways to monetize its incredibly valuable and popular programs.It has two close competitiors in MOOC segment: Udacity and EdX.

Udacity: It is similar to Coursera on most aspects. However the most important point of differnce is that its courses are openly available.  There are no start and finish dates, the courses can be taken at any time and you can work at your own pace, completing each unit or module at you own leisure with no time constraints whatsoever. It was founded by Sebastian Thrun, David Stavens, and Mike Sokolsky. The first two courses ever launched on Udacity both started on 20 February 2012.

EdX: EdX is a non-profit created by founding partners Harvard and MIT. The main point of difference for EdX is Certificates of mastery are available for all courses. Proctored certificates also available if exam is taken under proctored conditions. However there is a fee for this.



The Khan Academy is a non-profit educational website created in 2006 by educator Salman Khan, a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School. The stated mission is "providing a high quality education for anyone, anywhere." All of the site's resources are available to anyone. The content available on the website is of top quality and they have made a very innovative website by putting in numerous features. I expect similar websites will burgeon in different countries. The project is funded by donations. Additionally, it earned $2,000 per month from ads on the website in 2010 until Khan Academy ceased to accept advertising.

Skill Share
Skillshare is a global community where you can learn real-world skills from incredible teachers. Teaching and learning topics are based on skills people can use in their everyday lives or jobs, like entrepreneurial skills, culinary specialties, and the arts. Skillshare classes also promotes interaction among students as well as between teachers and students.Since getting off the ground in mid-2011 with the help of almost $4 million in funding, this community marketplace for learning, where visitors can learn (or teach) just about anything for a nominal fee, got a solid start in the online learning market.

 Goal Book
Goalbook is a collaboration platform for teachers, parents, and students centered around the achievement of individual student learning goals. It aims to make tracking of special-needs of students with ILPs and IEPs easier, helping to streamline communication, engage parents, and ensure that students and all who work with them are aware of the educational goals being set. You can create goals and see a summary of progress directly on the student profile. Although the concept is very innovative but its not free.

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