Blended Learning, Continuing Education, Domestic, Education Quality, Flipped Classrooms, High school / Secondary 2, Open Source Education, Private education, Public education, Required, Startups, Students, Technology, University & College, Venture Capital - Written by on Monday, February 20, 2012 6:00 - 0 Comments

Fast Company Ranks The 10 Most Innovative Education Companies

by alles-schlumpf via Flickr under Creative Commons published a list of 50 most innovative companies, including a list of their top 10 Most Innovative education companies. Here it is:

1. Southern New Hampshire University

A private, not-for-profit and nonselective university that is a hotbed of ideas for reimagining higher learning. It’s a favorite of innovation guru Clay Christensen. “President Paul LeBlanc is constantly looking to pilot models that provide the benefits of an SNHU education in different combinations to different people. SNHU Advantage, for example, is a streamlined satellite program conducted at an offsite office park where 45 “less confident” students complete their first two years of general ed requirements in four hours a day.”

2. Knewton

Knewton helps students study at their own pace and it personalizes learning for them. “Knewton launched with a college readiness program in math at Arizona State University last summer, helping incoming first-year students improve their proficiency so they could handle college-level courses in the fall. It lined up UNLV, Washington State, Mount St. Mary’s, and Penn State to do the same. It raised another $33 million, reputedly making it the best-capitalized education startup in history, and to cap off its year, it signed a deal with Pearson Education, the world’s largest educational publisher, to power Pearson’s math, science, and humanities tutoring software used by nine million higher-education students.”

3. Skillshare

“A  community marketplace for offline classes launched last April.. Courses range from Settlers of Catan to modern dinner party etiquette. Most courses cost less than $50, of which Skillshare takes a 15% cut. More than 15,000 hours of classes have been taught thus far.”

4. Chegg

“For becoming a social hub for homework help, course selection, note taking, and finding scholarships. Chegg began as “Netflix for textbooks,” but it has expanded its mission to being more of a student-centric network of useful services. Chegg has added online course scheduling; a college-admissions service that includes scholarship matching for high-school students; a web tutoring platform; and a lecture notes service to build out what it calls the “student graph.” The company has also built an HTML 5 e-textbook reader to anticipate the reduced use of physical volumes, and it claims more than one-million pageviews in its first two weeks.”

5. Pearson

“For launching a free online learning platform to complement its textbook business. The largest publisher in the world has become “the largest learning company.” Nearly 50% of U.S. schools use at least one of its student curriculums, instructional management, or financial software packages. It’s also the largest provider of educational assessment services and solutions. Internationally, it’s ahead of the trend towards independent accreditation via EdExcel, the UK’s largest body offering academic and vocational qualifications and testing to schools, colleges, employers and other places of learning. And in India, it runs Tutorvista, a network of English Language coaching centers for Indian students that also provides remote tutoring to 10,000 students around the world–the call-center version of help with your homework.”

6. Datawind

“For making the world’s cheapest tablet computer ($35) for Indian students. This small British tech company makes Aaakash, an Android device with a 7-inch touchscreen, 3-hour battery life, and 32 GB of storage that will be available starting at $35 for students. The Indian government also plans to purchase and give away 100,000 to schoolchildren and hopes to have millions in use within a few years… The tablet has been extensively tested in 118 degree Fahrenheit conditions to replicate summers in northern India.”

7. Fidelis

“An online community and platform that coaches veterans through the process of preparing for college and the workforce, Fidelis provides technological solutions (gamification, badges) to the tough problem of student retention for a demographic that struggles in the transition back to school and work. Fidelis will serve as virtual counselors for vets, from GED tests through their first jobs.” In talks with Harvard, Stanford, MIT and others…

8. 2tor

“For bringing live online video teaching to non-profit schools. The full-service live video teaching platform, first announced in 2008, is expanding from its original offering, an online master’s degree for teachers, to social work, nursing (Georgetown) and MBAs. Its impact is profound: USC’s Rossier School of Education, for example, historically ranked in the 30′s in the U.S. News rankings. Since its partnership with 2tor began, its rank has risen to number 14 and its enrollment has risen from 100 students to more than 2,000.”

9. Root-1

“For finding the fun in building vocabulary. This games startup has created such educational titles as xWords, which includes a variety of crossword puzzles, and Word Joust, a vocabulary-building game that students can play solo or in competition.”

10. MacArthur Foundation

“For creating a $2 million competition to merge games and real-world learning. Its annual Digital Media and Learning Competition focused in 2011 on badges–transparent, game-like, modular rewards for real-world learning–one of the most exciting concepts going in the world of education technology. The first winners will be announced in March 2012.”


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