Labster scores $21M Series B to bring VR to STEM education

techcrunch | April 25, 2019

Labster, the Denmark-headquartered startup building virtual laboratory simulations for STEM students, has raised $21 million in Series B funding. Leading the round is Owl Ventures,  with participation from Balderton Capital, Northzone and Swisscom Ventures. Previous backers Nordic Makers, David Helgason, EduCapital and Entangled Group also followed on, bringing the total raised by the company to date to $35 million.Launched back in 2013, Labster  provides interactive laboratory simulations powered by VR for students that wish to explore lab experiments in biology, chemistry, physics, engineering and general sciences. It offers 70 virtual labs with the aim of increasing participation in STEM curricula, while also improving learning outcomes and retention rates.“STEM-related careers are increasingly becoming both more in demand and also more important than ever before,” says Labster co-founder Michael Bodekaer. “However, most students will never have access to expensive, high-tech labs, or have enough time in the lab to learn critical skills they’ll need.”

Spotlight

Selling online courses has emerged as one of the biggest opportunities for educators over the past couple of years. The online learning industry has been growing fast and is expected to reach $325 billion by 2025.This infographic from Sell Courses Online compares the different aspects of selling online courses through these two platforms.

Spotlight

Selling online courses has emerged as one of the biggest opportunities for educators over the past couple of years. The online learning industry has been growing fast and is expected to reach $325 billion by 2025.This infographic from Sell Courses Online compares the different aspects of selling online courses through these two platforms.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

New Zealand Based EdTech Company WuKong Education Announced the Upgrade for Its Technological Interactive Exercise Product

WuKong Education | August 12, 2022

WuKong Education, a New Zealand based EdTech company, announced a new round of upgrades for its technological teaching assistant product "WuKong Interactive Exercise". Fully embodying WuKong's "7-step Learning Method", namely the seven key steps of "Previewing - Learning - Reviewing - Consolidating - Reflecting - Examing - Applying", the upgraded product effectively combines the process of "learning" and "practising" to strengthen students' learning effects with diversified, interesting and scientific learning forms, so that learners can firmly grasp what has been learnt and really enjoy the learning process. WuKong has initiated the research and development of its interactive exercise product in July 2021. In September 2021, the product was put into use in the graded reading courses of WuKong Chinese, a famous Chinese curriculum product under WuKong Education. In October 2021, it was applied to WuKong Math as well. Since the launch of the product, its functions experienced several rounds of upgrades and have been continuously optimized according to various learning and teaching needs. This round of upgrades further enriched the contents in the question bank. Furthermore, based on AI interaction, voice recognition and other technologies, in-class knowledge can be integrated into the lively and interesting interactive homework display page, so as to effectively satisfy students' personalised learning needs and after-class reviewing needs. The product can also meet the demands of 1-on-1 class, small class, large class and other classroom types, as well as students at different learning levels. On the other hand, the upgrade of interactive exercise product also provides convenience for teachers. Teachers from WuKong can leave feedback on the homework submitted by students in real time through the product's voice interaction function, which improves the efficiency of online teaching, shortens the process of homework feedback, and enables teachers and students to communicate more effectively after class. "Since 2019, our IT team has invested millions of funds in the research and development of technological platforms and data platforms. We have built the industry's leading teaching quality management system and intelligent learning situation tracking and analysing system. Based on the continuous expansion of the market and the increasing needs of our learners, we have developed a set of relatively mature teaching content systems and technology platforms to meet users' personalised learning needs." - Cicy, Chief Education Officer of WuKong, said during the London EdTech Week We believe that for the majority of parents today, the most precious thing is to nurture their children's interest in learning. WuKong hopes to fully stimulate their children's interest and thinking in learning by means of technological empowerment. As one of the world's most popular education technology companies, our expectation is to help children grow happily and wisely, and to be a trusted companion in the learning process for families around the world said Cicy. Mrs. Zhang, a Tsinghua University graduate who is currently teaching in WuKong Education, expressed her reflections on the upgraded product: the WuKong Interactive Exercise can customize the exercise layout, automatically distribute homework in the system. Once the students submitted their exercises, I can also receive instant notifications and provide them with real time voice with feedback, which is really convenient and makes me feel like I'm getting closer to my students! Practical cases of the integration of technology and education are not rare in recent years, and technological innovations have brought more possibilities to the online education industry. Under this background, more and more EdTech enterprises are injecting investments in their scientific and technological research and development, hoping to bring more intelligent education products and services to learners. WuKong Education is among this marching army as well.

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ONLINE EDUCATION

EVERFI Launches Nation's First No-Cost, Digital Crypto Education for High School Students

EVERFI, Inc. | July 22, 2022

EVERFI, Inc., a leading Impact-as-a-Service™ education innovator, today announced that it will be bringing highly sought after crypto and web3 digital education to high school students across the United States at no-cost this fall. With the continued rise in popularity and adoption of digital assets and blockchain technology, EVERFI is committed to building the missing learning layer around these new topics for its community of learners. By leveraging its infrastructure and strategic partner network, EVERFI seeks to bridge the crypto knowledge gap at scale – providing students with the education needed to understand these new concepts and to support better decision-making. "The rapid advancement and adoption of crypto and blockchain technology have created an urgent need for an engaging and interactive education curriculum. "The stakes are high, the concepts are complex, and there is a demand for foundational crypto and web3 education nationwide. Given our vast network in K-12 education, we are the most trusted resource to deliver this critical education to students before they risk making a costly financial decision." Tom Davidson, founder and CEO, EVERFI EVERFI's digital education products are used by more than 25,000 schools nationwide, putting the company in a unique position to bring this critical education to millions of students each year. The company is set to launch an Intro to Crypto course for students this fall and will unveil it to more than 6,500 teachers during today's LearnOn educator conference. The interactive course will provide students with a foundational understanding of digital assets, blockchain technology, and the evolving applications of these new technologies in everyday life. "Our mission has always been to democratize education and ensure everyone has access to critical information that will equip them to make informed decisions as they prepare for their future," said Davidson. "We are continuing to build the missing learning layer and deliver next-generation learning topics to K-12 students nationwide, regardless of their zip code." About EVERFI, Inc. EVERFI from Blackbaud is an international technology company driving social impact through education to address the most challenging issues affecting society ranging from financial wellness to mental health to workplace conduct and other critical topics. Founded in 2008, EVERFI's Impact-as-a-ServiceTM solution and digital educational content have reached more than 45 million learners globally. In 2020, the company was recognized as one of the World's Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company and was featured on Fortune Magazine's Impact 20 List. The company was also named to the 2021 GSV EdTech 150, a list of the most transformative growth companies in digital learning. Blackbaud, the world's leading cloud software company powering social good, acquired EVERFI in December of 2021.

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ONLINE EDUCATION

Skilldora partners with D-ID, launches first e-Learning platform & app to use A.I. Instructors in the U.S.

D-ID | September 09, 2022

Skilldora, an Ed-Tech startup based in Fort Mill, S.C., known for its modernized app-based eLearning community, today announced a partnership with D-ID, using its Creative Reality™ technology to deliver courses exclusively by A.I. Instructors, also referred to as digitally created humans. With the global eLearning market on track to reach 1.72 trillion by 2026 according to Yahoo Finance, evolving Ed-Tech enhancements give the academic sector a boost in growth, and online-learning is now the largest and fastest growing method for modern learners. Skilldora’s mission is to use the power of A.I. to deliver a new world of eLearning and is pleased to be the first online-learning platform in the U.S. to be a front-runner in pioneering the use of all A.I. Instructors on its platform, as a nod to the future of eLearning. The recent growth in the eLearning market also comes with its usual growing pains of high course drop-out rates, and astronomical refund costs creating significant challenges for e-Learners, course creators and platform owners. Research shows much of this is due to antiquated outdated online-course platforms and an influx of new course creators producing courses at varying levels of skill, leading to inconsistent and unpredictable user experiences. Skilldora's new e-Learning platform & app, seeks to solve this problem using its A.I. Instructed Courses™ to deliver consistently structured, high quality courses, perfectly presented in under an hour. Set up as a free-to-download membership site, with an in-app, pay-per-course, a la carte model, Skilldora is designed to appeal to the modern learner, offering advanced engagement functionality, collaborative learning features such as its ‘learn with friends capabilities,’ allowing for real time sharing and invites, social learning groups, community news feeds, etc. “We believe the world of eLearning is rapidly changing and learners want more interactive learning experiences, consistency in content quality and compact courses they can take over a lunch break. And Skilldora is answering the call by offering A.I. Instructed Courses™ across a bevy of professional development categories, interactive Personal Discovery Assessments with instant A.I. Coach feedback, and a ‘done-for-you’ B2B solution, which produces eLearning products on demand. DeMario and Dawn Nicole McIlwain, Skilldora's Co-Founders. Skilldora's vision is to be the A.I. eLearning solution leader for modern learners, and future-forward companies, and now through its partnership with D-ID, is one step closer. Behind the vision of Skilldora, are Husband and Wife Co-founders, DeMario and Dawn Nicole McIlwain. DeMario McIlwain, the brainchild behind Skilldora’s innovative platform and sleek functionality, brings deep technical expertise in UI/UX design with proven experience running tech ventures, while Dawn Nicole, the heartbeat of Skilldora’s course products, brings design-thinking as a certified Agile coach and globally accredited training program creator. With this perfect marriage of skills and background, the powerful duo merges their expertise to make something magical in Skilldora. About Skilldora Skilldora is a modernized e-Learning company specializing in A.I. Instructed Courses™ by using digitally created humans to deliver course content. Skilldora’s products and services span from its A.I. Instructed Courses™, to Personal Discovery Assessments with interactive A.I. Coach feedback, and a ‘done-for-you’ Corporate Training solution which produces eLearning products on demand, and to spec. Through collaborative strategic partnerships, and its competitive advantage of being first to the U.S. market, Skilldora is on track to virtually disrupt the eLearning industry, improve the user experience, and offer corporations more diversification options in eLearning, with advanced features that drastically increase the speed to market. To find out more, visit myskilldora.com. About D-ID D-ID is a Creative Reality™ company specializing in patented video reenactment technology using AI and deep learning. D-ID's products range from animating still photos, to facilitating high-quality video productions, and creating viral user experiences. With funding from tier 1 VCs, D-ID aims to radically disrupt the time, hassle and costs involved in video production, allowing for the creation of highly personalized media using AI, specifically in e-learning, corporate training, marcoms, AI assistants, history and the Metaverse. With international customers, D-ID's core competencies in the human face and deep learning technology enable its partners to create exciting and engaging content that was until now unimaginable. To find out more, visit D-ID.com

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