SmartTech Roundup: Cheaper & Better Edu

Better & Cheaper Post Secondary

Textbook rental service Chegg scored $25 million to make the transition to digital.
Texas A&M responded to Governor Perry’s call for a $10,000 degree with a $9,700 IT degree.
We’ll soon see Don Kilburn’s group at Pearson powering more lost higher education.
SkillShare launched branded training portals called schools this week; check out GE’s.
Replacing Universities is idea #3 on Paul Graham’s list of Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas. As a Y Combinator, he looks at a lot of ambitious plans.
Watch for Tom’s blog on Wednesday featuring General Assembly’s new online tech, design, and business training. Check out and a recent Education Week article for startup stories.
Also, check out a recent Q&A with Shai Reshef of University of the People.

SXSWedu & Interactive

We saw lots of great trends at SXSWedu and Interactive that will shape the future of tech in and out of the classroom. Informal learning and teacher support were at the forefront of keynote speeches by Marjorie Scardino, Pearson’s CEO, and Secretary Arne Duncan.
Edmodo announced that it was encouraging content and tool developers to build apps for the platform. Read more about the announcement on TechCrunch, Hack Education, and Fast Company,
ShowMe launched this week a new version to bring the Khan Academy style of video teaching to the masses. Last week they launched v2 which makes searching and sharing easier.


During its twentieth anniversary, COSN, an edtech director association, is more relevant than ever.  Hot topics included BYOD programs, iPad and laptop implementations, infrastructure considerations, and online Common Core assessments.  Check out the ten conversations Tom had at COSN and lessons from Portugal’s 1:1 Initiative.
Pearson is also on the case as the winner of the SBAC & PARCC sponsored readiness assessment . With help from SETDA, Pearson will help state education agencies to evaluate and determine needed technology and infrastructure upgrades for the new online assessments to be launched by the two consortia in the 2014-15 school year.

Edtech Tidbits

Anthony Kim’s blended learning platform EdElements raised $6 million with congratulations from his backend partners at Brainhoney.
On the topic of Common Core Standards, Achieve released a self-assessment tool.
Edmodo and ShowMe are Learn Capital portfolio companies where Tom is a partner.

Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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