Sponsored by Oregon Business

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

The 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

March 2015
Thursday, February 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Employment in Oregon is almost back up to prerecession levels — and employers are having to work harder to entice talented staff to join their ranks. This year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon project showcases the kind of quality workplaces that foster happy employees. 


Read more...

Beyond Bodegas

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Five years in the making, the Portland Mercado — the city’s first Latino public market — will celebrate its grand opening April 11. A $3.5 million public-private partnership spearheaded by Hacienda CDC, the market will house 15 to 20 businesses in the food, retail and service sectors. It has some big-name funders, including the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. The project goals are equally ambitious: to improve cross-cultural understanding, alleviate poverty and spur community economic development. 


Read more...

Green Rush: Cashing in on legal marijuana

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Marijuana is big business in Oregon, and it’s about to get bigger.


Read more...

Car Talk

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Everyone knows cell phones and driving are a lethal combination. The risk is especially high for teenage drivers, whose delusions of immortality pose such a threat to us all. Enforcement alas, remains feeble; more promising are pedagogical approaches aimed at getting people to focus on the road, not their devices.


Read more...

Bike Chic: 7 stylish options for cyclists

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cycling to work is all the rage. But not everyone wants to arrive at the office messy, sweaty — and unfashionable.


Read more...

The week journalism died

Linda Baker
Sunday, February 15, 2015
deadjournalismthumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

As the investigation against the governor moves forward, those of us in the news business should reflect on our own potential for subverting the democratic process.


Read more...

Nuclear fingerprints

March 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

At Oregon State University, a 21st century version of the bad dream — nuclear terrorism — is alive and well. This winter, the Department of Nuclear Physics and Radiation Health Physics created a new interdisciplinary graduate emphasis in nuclear forensics, a Sherlock Holmes-sounding program that aims to identify how and where confiscated nuclear and radiological materials were created.


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