EdTech Europe News

What We're Reading: Weekly Recap [4th Edition]

Posted by Admin on Jan 30, 2015

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Everyday, we read and share via social media a range of stories from a variety of international sources about education technology. As the week comes to a close, we compile a few of our favourite articles as a basis to summarize the themes, trends and notable EdTech events from the past five days.

Each Friday we publish a variation of this recurrent post to showcase what we're reading, things that inspire us and other findings we have recently discovered about the EdTech industry.


3 Interesting Editorials:

Huffington Post: Achieving Inclusive Growth in the Digital Age: A Global Imperative 

Fast Company: 8 Ways to Be More Creative at Work, from the Mind Behind Brain Games 

The Atlantic: Higher Education is Not a Mixtape


Valuable 21st Century Skills Programmes

There were a flurry of fundraising and venture announcements this week, but we were most interested in two stories that focused on coding programmes for kids. The CodeHS fundraising news and the acquisition of CodeSchool by Pluralsight underscored the fact that investors recognize the popularity of coding programmes, but also the fact that 21st century skills will only become more imperative for students to learn in and out of the classroom. 
 
CodeHS | San Francisco, CA USA | Raised $1.75M USD
Aiming to help more school teach coding classes for high school children, CodeHS raised $1.75M from a range of investors. Specifically, Learn Capital, NewSchools Ventures, Kapor Capital, Chmod, Stanford-StartX Fund, Seven Peaks Ventures, in addition to a few angel investors. 
 
With this new investment, the CodeHS team now aims to hire more tutors, encourage even more teachers to bring coding to their school and providing online teacher training. 
 
Pluralsight | Orlando, FL USA | Acquired Code School for $36M USD
Another coding effort, Code School, was acquired by online technology training service Pluralsight for $36M USD. This is the 6th acquisition for Pluralsight in only 18 months and indicates the company's prioritization of snapping up smaller startups to compete with larger corporate e-learning companies.  
  
TechCrunch stated that the acquisition will allow Pluralsight to 'better reach developers at all stages of their careers' achieve access to over 40 CodeSchool courses and 40,000 active users.

NewSchools (Ad)Ventures into Creating a For-Profit Fund

Aside from providing a portion of the funding for the aforementioned CodeHS deal, NewSchools Venture Fund (NSVF) was also in the news this week with the annoucement of their new for-profit venture fund. 
 
EdSurge published an interview with the CEO of NSVF, Stacey Childress, who was formerly with the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation for 4 years. Within this insightful piece, she detailed the mission, differentiated it from the current NSVF efforts, and outlined the 5 year plans for the fund. Childress was quick to distinguish between the two entities, but underscored that this new fund will 'open up a new source of capital and mobilize new dollars for edtech entrepreneurs from investors who are currently sitting on the sidelines.' From the EdSurge interview, its clear that its an exciting time for NSVF and their new CEO.

Innovation Showcase: Primo 

We published our first Innovation Showcases feature with the Co-Fouder and CEO of Primo this week-- these interviews will continue to be a regular focus of our EdTech Europe news site and we're looking forward to sharing additional insights into EdTech companies from across the industry.
 
In this week's Q&A post with Primo, we learned about what's next for the startup, the success of their Kickstarter campaign, how Primo is helping kids learn to code at a young age, and the importance of thinking globally as an emerging entrepreneur. 
 
Read the whole interview here and stay tuned for the next Innovation Showcase to be published soon. 

Know of a favourite story that you enjoyed and we missed? Share with us on Twitter or email us and we may include it in next week's What We're Reading post.

Topics: What We're Reading

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