3 Start-Up Announcements From the Education Innovation Summit

Today I am sharing information about three new Education start-ups from an article by Nick DeSantis from The Chronicle of Higher Education: The first is a transfer college called Altius Education (a very much needed idea for South Africa, with our problematic achievements in Grade 12). The second is OpenStudy which has focused on soft skills, again an area requiring attention in South Africa. The third is about Sophia a social learning platform purchased by Capella Education System.

By Nick DeSantis

“The theme of disrupting higher education was buzzing among hundreds of conference attendees this week at the Education Innovation Summit at Arizona State University. The event offered start-up companies a captive audience for pitching their products. Here’s a small sample of announcements they made:

Altius Education: This company has already gained prominence among educators for its creation of a “transfer college,” which gives students a bridge to a bachelor’s degree by helping them transfer to traditional four-year institutions. And now the chief executive of Altius, Paul Freedman, has bigger plans—he wants to put “the flying car of higher education” in the driveway of every student. The engine, he says, is called Helix, a new tool that seeks to reinvent what learning-management software can do…

OpenStudy: Traditional grades are one-dimensional. Transcripts don’t convey how good students are at working with others and

Image representing OpenStudy as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

solving problems. That’s the argument made by the leaders of OpenStudy, the social-learning network that calls itself a “global study group.” To fill in those gaps, the company has introduced SmartScore, a measurement of “soft skills” including teamwork, problem-solving, and engagement. In a blog post that previewed SmartScore’s introduction, OpenStudy’s co-founder, Preetha Ram, said the tool would ‘challenge the traditional notions of intelligence normally quantified by grades…’

Sophia: The social platform for teaching and learning was purchased this week by Capella Education Company, the parent of the for-profit Capella University. The partnership means Sophia will roll out low-cost college courses online, beginning with a college-algebra course in June…”

[Creative Commons licensed Flickr photo by tsutatsuta]

Reference: http://ht.ly/1iT2ic (Accessed 19/04/2012).

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