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

Storyteller in Chief: Natural Prophets

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY SAM BLACKMAN

Storyteller-in-chief with the CEO and co-founder of Elemental Technologies.


Read more...

Preserving the Legacy

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A New York floral and gift business takes on the iconic Harry & David brand.


Read more...

Reader Input: Road Work

March 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Oregon's roads are crumbling, and revenues from state and local gas taxes are not sufficient to pay for improvements. We asked readers if the private sector should help fund transportation maintenance and repairs. Research partner CFM Strategic Communications conducted the poll of 366 readers in February.

0315 input01 620px

 

Reader comments:

"I feel private enterprises are capable of operating at a higher efficiency than state government."

"This has been used in Oregon since the mid-1800s. It is not a new financing method. This form of financing may help Oregon close its infrastructure deficit by leveraging funds."


Read more...

Reader Input: Fair Play

May 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Former Governor John Kitzhaber's resignation in February prompted some soul searching in this state about ethical behavior in industry and government.


Read more...

6 key things to know about summer baseball in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, June 05, 2015
basedthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

As temperatures in Oregon creep into the 90s this weekend, Oregonians' thoughts are turning to — summer baseball.


Read more...

Photo Log: Shooting 10 innovators in rural health care

The Latest
Monday, August 03, 2015
007blogBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

You may have noticed the photos of our rural health innovators departed from the typical Oregon Business aesthetic.


Read more...

Fueling Up for the Climb

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY GREGG MORRIS

Rita Hansen aims to scale natural gas vehicle innovation.


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