Silicon Valley Wants to Teach Your Kids

CEO Tom Vanderark on the future of online education.


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If you are someone who grew up sitting in a classroom every day, facing the chalkboard and watching the seconds tick by on a clock until the bell rang, then online education may feel a bit strange at first. But people like Tom Vander Ark, the CEO of Getting Smart, say that learning online is not only the future of education but one of the ways to make it more effective. 

"These innovations in tools and schools make the opportunity for people to learn better every single month," says Vander Ark to Reason managing editor Katherine Mangu-Ward. He admits that most students will still learn in the classroom, but online tools will be blended into their education, making the educational experience specific to their needs.

"Learning is becoming blended, it's becoming personalized, and increasingly competency based, which means [students] show what they know and they progress based on mastery," says Vander Ark, who had a hand in creating ed tech startups CourseaClass Dojo, and Edmodo (which has already raised $30 million).

The New York Times reported Jan. 11 that venture and equity financing for education technology companies was up 55 percent over the previous year at almost $1.87 billion.

8:03 minutes.

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