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EdTech Takes Manhattan

Jessica Gourdon, Translated by Nina Fink
Publié le
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"Silicon Island", image de synthèse du projet de campus qui sera construit à la pointe de Roosevelt Island à New York
"Silicon Island", image de synthèse du projet de campus qui sera construit à la pointe de Roosevelt Island à New York

From cheating-detection software to mobile-based classes that use video game technology and a geotagging application for English language learners, EdTech is flourishing in the Big Apple. In preparation for EducPros' East Coast Learning Expedition at the end of April, we spoke with local startups to find out more about this trend.

New York City began investing in high tech during the crisis. For Mayors de Blasio and Bloomberg, this meant reducing dependence on the volatile finance sector. The success of startups like Gilt, Kickstarter, Etsy, Tumblr, Buzzfeed and Warby Parker has led venture capital investments in New York to double over the last decade. The city has given them something that Silicon Valley cannot provide: a diverse ecosystem that is home to major players in the media, the arts, fashion and finance.

In a city with 110 colleges and universities, certain startups have set their sights on education. Companies such as Grockit, Noodle, Codecademy, 2U, Knewton, Grovo and Neverware have sprouted up alongside incubators like Kaplan EdTech Accelerator and Socratic Labs. Meanwhile, the Flatiron School, General Assembly and Cornell Tech are breaking new ground with their digitally focused programs.

Mobile first

For Cognotion, a startup that sells mobile-ready professional development courses to companies like Starbucks, mobile technology is the future of education. Course content caters to young, unskilled employees. Since its founding, Cognotion has raised $2.1 million and attracted 60,000 students. Now the company is developing content for the Oculus Rift.

Another startup has tackled the age-old problem of cheating. Verificient Technologies' Proctortrack uses visual recognition technology to ensure that students in online classes don't cheat on exams. If they do, the software sends the school video footage as proof. So far, 27,000 students have used Proctortrack and the company has raised $1,8 million.

Voxy, another local startup, targets English language education. The application quizzes students on authentic content ranging from songs to articles, videos and podcasts. Thanks to geotagging technology, the content adapts to the user's location, whether they are at the bank or the market. Digitally savvy schools have already taken notice.

Read the article (in French)

The Learning Expedition
2015 marks the fourth EducPros' Learning Expedition to New York and Boston (April 26- May 1).

Jessica Gourdon, Translated by Nina Fink | Publié le

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