Home The Latest Charting the online ed disruption

Charting the online ed disruption

| Print |  Email
The Latest
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

04.10.13 Blog EducationDon’t look now, but online education startups may soon give social media/mobile app developers a run for their money — in Oregon and around the country.

Portland startup Treehouse, which offers basic technology classes for high school students, announced today it was closing a  $7 million series B round of financing, with Kaplan Ventures taking the lead. CEO Ryan Carson relocated from England last year, and Treehouse will use the money to grow employees and services.

This past December,  EdCaliber, a maker of K-12 learning management tools profiled in our June 2012 issue, closed a $335,000 convertible debt financing round led by the Gorge Angel Investor Network.

On the national stage, Stanford announced last week it was joining a Harvard and MIT-backed enterprise, edX, to develop a system that allows colleges to develop free online courses, otherwise known as Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs. Stanford already operates its own MOOC, but the edX partnership is expected to boost enrollment worldwide.

"I really believe this will enable true, planet-scale application of online education," edX president Anant Agarwal told the Huffington Post on Monday.

The surge in online education startups is the most visible sign of the disruption underway in the K-12 and higher education marketplace. As budgets tighten, tuition costs skyrocket  — and as quality in secondary and post secondary schooling declines — a growing number of entrepreneurs aim to upend business as usual, making education more accessible and affordable via online options.

As the parent of a high school senior, I am watching such developments with a keen eye. Because sending your kids to college in 2013 is akin to buying a hugely expensive house at the height of the housing boom — but with advance knowledge of the impending collapse.

As for Oregon's startup hordes, the payoff for entering the rapidly growing online ed arena may turn out to be every entrepreneur's dream: lots and lots of money.

OB Editor Linda Baker keeps tabs on CEO and public policy issues, with frequent forays into innovation, entrepreneurship, and bikes.

 

More Articles

Portland rises

News
Monday, August 18, 2014

IMG 2551Portland is in the middle of another construction boom, with residential and office projects springing up downtown, in the Pearl and Old Town. OB Web Editor Jessica Ridgway documents the new wave.


Read more...

Blips and trends in the housing market

News
Thursday, June 26, 2014
062614 thumb realestateBY ERIC FRUTS | OB BLOGGER

Last year, the housing market in Oregon—and the U.S. as a whole—was blasting off. The Case-Shiller index of home prices ended the year 13% higher than at the beginning of the year. But, was last year a blip, or a trend?


Read more...

The Scott Kveton affair

News
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
ScottKvetonBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.


Read more...

Updated: Disrupting innovation

News
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
070814 thumb disputive-innovationBY LINDA BAKER  | OB EDITOR

The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation  — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment. 

Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.


Read more...

Who said we should sell in May?

Contributed Blogs
Friday, July 18, 2014
BullMarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Back in May, we shared a common Wall Street quote about investing, “Sell in May and go away.” Fast forward to July and the most common question we have been getting from clients is, “When is the market pullback going to occur?”


Read more...

Community colleges and sustainability

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 31, 2014
sustainabilityBY MARY SPILDE | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Faced with the aftermath of the “great recession,” increasing concern about the environment and dwindling family wage jobs, we have some very important choices to make about our future.


Read more...

Oversight? Or gaming the system?

News
Monday, July 14, 2014
AmazonBY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER

Some people think Amazon’s winking eye logo is starting to look like a hoodwink.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS