SmartTech Roundup: Tablets, Tech for Prep, Startups & Blends

EdTech / by

Tabs & Texts

Next from One Laptop Per Child–not a laptop, it is an 8 inch plastic tablet with 3 charging options, a battery, a solar panel, or a crank.

Classteacher Learning System launched Classpad, another incredibly cheap tablet out of India. Equipped with “artificial intelligence” (yeah, right) to test students’ skills, it’s said to be the first device to integrate adaptive learning. Bet it will be crude, but it’s cool to see tabs and adaptive engines heading in the right direction.

Rumors buzzing around Apple’s upcoming announcement this month. Sounds like a digital textbook play with night reading and highlighting. While Apple fights to break into the Amazon market, Barnes & Noble is selling its publishing and may spin off Nook.

Toshiba unveiled a super thin Excite X10 tab at CES.  Given premium features, it will likely debut with a price tag closer to an iPad than a Fire

Tech for Prep

MTV, Get Schooled and College Board launch My College Dollars, an app aimed at helping students make educated financial decisions around college, this month.

Coursekit announced this week that it raised $5 million to deliver an online, social site where students can meet, share study tips and collaborate on assignments. It’s a knock off of Edmodo that shows the expansion of social learning. Still, Edmodo is growing strong with over five million students and teachers.

Mytonomy, launched by a former Googler and high school counselor, provides online counseling to students. The crowdsourcing site leverages the Internet to provide advice to developing students. The site invites alumni from high schools to submit videos with advice and mentoring. Mytonomy hopes to change communities for the better, providing democratized support for students and families.

Keep your eye on Acceptly,a facebook app geared toward increasing students odds of getting into their dream college, and Strive for College, an organization that helps students navigate the college application process.

Startups

Fred Wilson, Union Square and venture blogger, launched FredSquare, a game for startups and an outgrowth of his MBA Monday posts.

Mark Suster pointed us to Roger McNamee and Mike Maples new Hypernet blog.  Of their 10 tech hypotheses, we think half apply directly to edtech.

Geekwire reported that Founder’s Co-op, the angel investment fund led by Andy Sack and Chris DeVore, has raised a new $8 million fund from some of the top names in the Seattle technology community.

Startup Weekend held 260 events last year including a couple edu-focused weekends sponsored by the Gates Foundation.

Angel investors have taken a keen interest in India’s elearning potential with more and larger deals.

 Get Your Blend On

Despite daily hit pieces from that big bad NY tabloid, we agree with The Alliance for Excellent Education which launched an updated policy brief  pointing to digital learning as the solution for education’s growth and development during these trying times.

Like Michael Staton and Susan Patrick, we think the rapid adoption of online and blended learning was the education story of 2011 and will accelerate in 2012.

Young adults seem to be jazzed.  Post secondary students responded  to a recent study by McGraw-Hill says adaptive technology boosts their achievement.

The Getting Smart team is also excited about the upcoming BETT Show 2012 in London. Keep your eye out for the latest innovations around iPads, social media and engaging content.

 

Disclosures: Acceptly is a Learn Capital portfolio company. Tom is a director at Strive for College.

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