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onlineeducation

  1. Say what? Duolingo points to data's important role in online education

    When it comes to online education, much of the focus so far has been on online video lectures, peddled by the likes of Udacity, Coursera, and edx, and given the off-putting acronym “MOOC.” But one of the most important innovations from the movement could ultimately be the application of a data-driven approach in the lesson-planning process. And when it comes to that strategy, there’s no more interesting player to watch than Duolingo, a online language teacher that learns from you as you learn from it. Now up to 3 million users and growing at a rate of 15,000 people a day – 75 percent of which come from outside of the US – Pittsburgh-based Duolingo has just taken an important step in expanding its scope even further: launching on Android. Until yesterday, Duolingo was available only through a Web browser and as an iPhone app. Even on those platforms, Duolingo, which is totally free to use, has made significant inroads, finding its way into the top 10 education apps in many countries’ App Stores. But when the company looks back on its early years it may well find that the move to Android was the decisive one. Android, of course, is now the dominant mobile platform worldwide – at least in terms of number of users. But equally as important is that it is also comes on the most affordable devices, meaning Duolingo now has an opportunity to reach lower-income people who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford language lessons.

    By Hamish McKenzie , written on

    From the News desk

  2. Sebastian Thrun: "If I know how to solve something, I'm not that interested in it"

    All week we've brought you clips of our sit-down with Udacity's Sebastian Thrun. But his sometimes radical new take on reinventing education is one of the least sexy -- and least radical -- projects he's worked on. In his previous role at Google, Thrun was responsible for two of the coolest things the company has developed: The self-driving car and Google Glass.

    By Sarah Lacy , written on

    From the News desk

  3. Global opportunity? Sure. But Udacity is starting with education dysfunction close to home

    For all of the amazingly progressive and innovative things that come out of California -- most of which are fueled by highly-educated people -- it's shocking how dysfunctional the state's college and university system is. On average it takes six years to finish school, in part because many students are also working. But it's also because they simply can't get into the courses they need to graduate, thanks to the decline in state education funding.

    By Sarah Lacy , written on

    From the News desk

  4. One way to take a stand on carried interest: Give it away

    While the debate over carried interest continues to retrace old steps, one venture capital fund is taking a stand on the tax loophole it benefits from by simply giving its carried interest profits to charity.

    By Erin Griffith , written on

    From the News desk

  5. Do you have to be an educator to remake higher education?

    Silicon Valley is enamored with the narrative of the 20-something founder who doesn't know enough of the industry he is disrupting to do otherwise.

    By Sarah Lacy , written on

    From the News desk

  6. The real problem with the tech workforce? Computer science moves faster than educators

    We've got two more clips from our in-depth sit down with Udacity's founder Sebastian Thrun. In previous segments we talked about what has worked for Udacity as a business and Thurn's radical thoughts on teaching.

    By Sarah Lacy , written on

    From the News desk

  7. Let’s breathe interactive life into the common textbook

    Students learn in a variety of ways -- they listen, read, create, speak, share, engage, ask, get assessed, receive feedback, get mentored, and eventually maybe become a mentor themselves. Some need to read less and listen more, others need to “do” first then read. Some need to ask, others need to share, others need to drill. The permutations are endless.

    By Smita Bakshi , written on

    From the News desk

  8. Want your ed-tech product to survive? EverFi's Tom Davidson says to think about a distributed work force

    For every seemingly (key word) useless thing we learn in high school, whether it's the Pythagorean theorem, the difference between ionic and covalent bonds, or just what in the hell "onomatopoeia" means, there's something applicable to so-called (key phrase) "real life" that goes untaught, such as the importance of credit and the dangers of substance abuse.

    By Nathaniel Mott , written on

    From the News desk

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