The Learn Capital partners are encouraged by the progress of internet business models in the US and EU education and enthusiasm for learning innovations in emerging economies.  Both produce beneficial network effects as markets and networks expand.

The Learn Capital portfolio includes:

Edmodo: social learning platform with 2 million users

SchoolTube: leading education video platform

MangaHigh: adaptive middle grade math games

OpenEd: blended learning services & solutions

AdvancePath: dropout prevention academies

Bridge: low cost schools in Kenya

Lafafa: English language for Chinese preschoolers

Like Facebook, YouTube, and Zynga, the early growth rates of Edmodo, SchoolTube, and MangaHigh quickly achieved 2% of the addressable market.

The Learn Capital partners combine extensive startup experience.  In addition to a dozen tech start ups, the Learn partners were instrumental in forming Edmodo, OpenEd, and AdvancePath.  They were also involved in forming Edusoft and America’s Choice.

“Our companies are engaged in the transformation of educational engagement, access, and effectiveness in formalized schooling and consumer settings throughout the world.”

The Learn partners have investment expertise including venture, private equity and corporate business development.   Learn Capital is the only dedicated learning venture fund.

Stay tuned for an announcement tomorrow of the next portfolio company!

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Don’t know if there’s already an acronym for this, but I think mostly upon SaSS–School as Software Service. For the difference, see especially items 6-7 above.

    SaSS means an architecture online that especially facilitates item 3. “small and flexible chunks (e.g., merit badges). It has:
    – lessons (multi-media)
    – assessments ( multi-modal)
    – a-sequential delivery and completion (when appropriate)
    – badge management.
    and, hopefully, internal rewards for the student to nudge her down the path to completion.

    One big legal difference is that SaaS must in the end be a contractual relationship with the state and the people it represents. You can’t grant credit or meet special needs regs without that contract.

    SaSS, on the other hand, can be offered without the legal relationship. In some sense, it’s the same as running off copies at Kinko’s.

    In a few states (e.g. Ohio’s credit flexibility law), one teacher can approve creditworthy experiences. This gives the legal power to separate SaSS from the contractual chain.

    The trick will be to give those teachers help in assessing the assessments. Review panels (ad hoc or otherwise) will help teachers know (and prove to their boards) that a given SaSS experience has solid value.

    • Thanks Ed. You’re right, SaaS should be an earned right to serve students renewed based on demonstrated outcomes

  2. But if we don’t define what entities (individuals or institutions) are managing content, then we will by default create a “medium is the message” type of education – where the media-driven outcomes like short attention span are left unchecked. In this learning environment the deep, core lessons/ insights of history and literature (for example) will be lost. Arguably they are pretty much lost now. Thanks.

    • customized playlists are likely to speed time to mastery of core knowledge and skill and should make more time for projects that integrate and apply knowledge often in team and community-connected activities (at least that’s my picture of a good blend)

  3. There is another piece that is necessary. Learning supervised by a certificated teacher will be an option, not a necessity. Competency will be assessed as competency not credit hours. This will be a big shift for some students. Some students go off on tangents and learn electronics or programming. Or become experts in other ways. Some students attend Hebrew, Korean or Polish school in their community, Or dance and martial arts. There should be a way to credit and acknowledge that kind of learning. In SaaS learning will be possible 24/7, 365 days a year. Maybe like at the Khan Academy, student records will include merit badges for skills that are worth noting but not quite up to a credit or competency rating.

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