Categories Education

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The human-focused startups of the hellfire

Disasters may not always be man-made, but they are always responded to by humans. There’s a whole panoply of skills and professions required today to respond to even the tiniest emergency, and that doesn’t even include the needs during pre-disaster planning and post-disaster recovery. It’s not a very remunerative industry […]

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Extra Crunch roundup: How Duolingo became an edtech leader

The pandemic has just pushed edtech mainstream, but language-learning startup Duolingo had already spent the past decade figuring out how to build a successful edtech app. In our latest installment of the EC-1 series, Natasha Mascarenhas goes deep with the company to understand how it found product-market fit, then figured […]

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Tiger Global is betting that more schools are going to share future student earnings

Income-share agreements, or ISAs, are a way to bring flexibility to the often steep financial costs of higher education. The financial model allows a student to learn at zero upfront cost, and then pay any costs through a percentage of future income over time. While the model has caught fire […]

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Valence unveils training program to help build pipeline of Black execs

Diversity has been linked with equity and inclusion because diversity is just one part of the equation when it comes to hiring Black employees. How do the companies they work for make people feel welcome and included, rather than isolated? How do Black employees find their way into management, up […]

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How a bot-fighting test turned into edtech’s most iconic brand, Duolingo

Luis von Ahn, an entrepreneur who has dedicated his career to scaling free education, has probably annoyed you more than once. In fact, you’ve likely been annoyed by his work dozens and maybe hundreds of times over the years. A decade before he co-founded the whimsical and language-learning app Duolingo, […]

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What the MasterClass effect means for edtech

MasterClass, which sells a subscription to celebrity-taught classes, sits on the cusp of entertainment and education. It offers virtual, yet aspirational learning: an online tennis class with Serena Williams, a cooking session with Gordon Ramsay. While there’s the off chance that an instructor might actually talk to you — it […]

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Proctorio sued for using DMCA to take down a student’s critical tweets

A university student is suing exam proctoring software maker Proctorio to “quash a campaign of harassment” against critics of the company, including an accusation that the company misused copyright laws to remove his tweets that were critical of the software. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed the lawsuit this week […]

Nonobvious acquisitions are on my 2021 bingo board

At the end of 2020, I argued that edtech needs to think bigger in order to stay relevant after the pandemic. I urged founders to think less about how to bundle and unbundle lecture experience, and more about how to replace outdated systems and methods with new, tech-powered solutions. In […]

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How is edtech spending its extra capital?

Edtech unicorns have boatloads of cash to spend following the capital boost to the sector in 2020. As a result, edtech M&A activity has continued to swell. The idea of a well-capitalized startup buying competitors to complement its core business is nothing new, but exits in this sector are notable […]