EdTech is about to boom, starting off with virtual classrooms
Author: Korinna Lucero
E-learning started to become interactive in the 1970s, where distant tutors and students exchanged emails. The world of e- learning expands over the years. Web developers and entrepreneurs are now stepping up the game by continuously upgrading learning tools and providing learning hubs online– and startups are joining the e- learning or EdTech trend.
WHAT IS A VIRTUAL CLASSROOM?EdTech startups offer an increasingly wide range of services and are thus difficult to define. In a nutshell, a virtual classroom is a regular class taught online. It allows live interaction between students and teachers online. They are also cheaper than attending a regular school, which has contributed to their rising popularity.
In an analysis by SRI, an independent research center, it was found out that “students in online learning conditions performed modestly better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.” SRI then concluded that online learning provides room for additional learning time, easier access to resources and encourages interaction. There are resources that turn online learning easier and efficient like HuddleBoard.
HuddleBoard makes working remotely convenient and more productive with an online whiteboard that lets you write and draw freely, along with multiple collaborative features to stay connected with your team, anywhere, on the go. Catering to corporate and e-learning communities, HuddleBoard offers an intuitive experience that works for everyone and anyone on board.
Nevertheless, EdTech startups continue to grow rapidly. By 2013, USA has *27 state virtual and full- time online schools in31 states.
Edtech review recently compiled a list of the top virtual classroom platforms:
The company claims their service is, “The easiest way to learn, teach and collaborate online.”
BrainCert lives up to its tagline as it takes virtual learning to the next level by basing its system on 3 core functions. This includes a course development platform, an online testing platform and a content management system.
Nikolay Sapunov, CEO For a Soft LLC, a custom software development company which has e-learning as one of its focuses, believes that BrainCert “… has all functions a real classroom has and even more.”
BrainCert won the first ever DCTechDay Techie competition for best EdTech company in 2014.
WizIQ is one of the world’s largest cloud based education platforms. Also, its in-built e-commerce capability allows them to expand their reach to newer markets. It offers access to 400, 000 educators and service to more than four million students across 200 countries.
Electa offers two main platforms: Electa Live Tutor for individual tutors, and Electa Live Professional for universities and schools
Electa also has a special feature called “Electa Live Breakout rooms” which allows you to split your class into smaller groups so students can collaborate. It currently operates in more than 27 000 virtual classrooms every day for its customers
On March 8, 2015 it recently offered its Mac OS version.
Below is a table showing their 4Fs:
|Founded||Founder/s||Fields Covered (Course Type)||Special Feature/s|
|BrainCert||October 2013||Fazil Rahim, Yasin Rahim||– Open and custom-made courses||– Interactive multiple whiteboard sessions can be recorded in high definition and are securely protected using signed URLs
files can be shared to all participants in a live session
– Wofram Alpha gives access to the world’s facts and data and calculates answers across a range of topics, including science, engineering, mathematics
|WizIQ||April 2007||Harman Singh||– Open courses covering technology and programming||– Fully-featured whiteboard which includes standard drawing tools for diagrams
– Blackboard Learning platform which encourages interactivity through screen sharing PDFs, whiteboards, etc.
– Reuse secured and recorded lectures
– Mobile app available on Google Play and iTunes
– Unlimited number of students
|Electa Live||2004||– Available courses dependent on tutor/ educator||– Interactive whiteboard- launch files and broadcast images- set up classes and sessions in advance
– Electa Live Breakout rooms split class into smaller groups
– Recordable live sessions
What’s in store for EdTech? No one completely knows and EdTech startups must continue to improve effectiveness and usability. Nevertheless, the edtech industry has tremendous growth potential. According to an analysis by EdSurge, an information resource for edtech companies, the industry raised $240.2 million in June 2015. So why not start and build your own EdTech startup?