What Betsy DeVos means for Edtech

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 15:  Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks at the Magnet Schools Of America Conference on February 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. DeVos addressed a recent protest at a public school she visited in Washington, DC last week following her controversial nomination to the post by President Donald Trump.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) Betsy DeVos was barely confirmed last week as the new Secretary of Education –- or should I say bearly.
In her welcome address to the Department of Education on Wednesday, Secretary DeVos made light of her remark about schools needing guns to protect children from grizzly bears: “For me, personally, this confirmation process and the drama it engendered has been a … bit of a… Read More

Mark Zuckerberg’s humanitarian manifesto

Facebook founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg receives the Axel Springer Award in Berlin on February 25, 2016
Facebook announced it was donating computer servers to a number of research institutions across Europe, starting with Germany, to accelerate research efforts in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. / AFP / POOL / Kay Nietfeld        (Photo credit should read KAY NIETFELD/AFP/Getty Images) “Are we building the world we all want?” That’s a question often reserved for the lips of presidents and religious leaders, and too rarely asked by CEOs. But technology has risen as a force that unites us, alongside government and faith. So too must captains of industry rise to accept their opportunity of influence, for the betterment of humanity in one of its most… Read More

Hasbro’s cute new robo-dog teaches coding on the sly

Toy makers are coming up with more and more ways to encourage children to learn STEM skills, and Hasbro is trying to do that in a somewhat futuristic way. The company is releasing a $120 robotic dog toy called Proto Max as part of its Furreal Makers…

Brightwheel raises $10 million to keep parents in-the-know about their kids’ day at school

kids-playing-with-toys You may have seen the startup Brightwheel scoring an investment from Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca on Sharktank last year. Or you may know Brightwheel if you have kids in preschool, daycare, or other early education programs these days. Brightwheel’s mobile app helps pre-K teachers and care providers to manage their business, while sending parents updates about their kids throughout… Read More

Verbling adds native apps to expand access to its marketplace of language tutors

verbling YC-backed Verbling, a language learning business that’s been active for around five years, has finally launched native Android and iOS apps, along with a refreshed brand and look for its web platform. Read More

Ozobot raises $3 million for toys that teach kids coding basics off-screen

The Ozobot Evo in white. There are many toys on the market today that promise to teach kids programming skills, and a good percentage require the use of a connected tablet or smartphone. At a time when parents are already struggling to keep kids’ screen time to a minimum, father and entrepreneur Nader Hamda wanted to build something different. He also observed a lot of expensive educational toys on the market,… Read More

Ingram’s VitalSource wants to acquire Verba to give students affordable access to textbooks

Bookshelves in bookstore The college textbook industry has no shortage of startups, from ebook company RedShelf to big players like rental service Chegg all the way to Amazon itself. But a SF-based company called Verba, which has flown mostly under the radar since 2008, has weathered the slow change of the textbook industry.
VitalSource, the ed-tech arm of book distribution company Ingram is today announcing their… Read More

Pixar offers free online lessons in storytelling via Khan Academy

open-uri20150608-27674-1wlsqii_0f3c9d73 There are few organizations in the world that can claim more expertise when it comes to storytelling than Pixar. The Disney-owned animation studio is known for its ability to consistently create world-class movies with gripping narrative alongside stunning visuals. Now, Pixar is helping others learn the secrets of great storytelling – for free, in partnership with online education… Read More