How Teachers took over the Internet in 2011
As we are rapidly getting closer to the end of 2011 which has been quite an exciting year for the education startup scene, I want to take a quick look at the current state of affairs in the vertical that caters to teachers.
Not long ago there was no real vertical for this group in education though it is clear that teachers are probably the most important people to target besides students. Why no one was interested in creating products for this group might have had a variety of reasons. Probably, the vertical was seen as too difficult to cater to and there was a notion that teachers in general were not open enough to new technologies in their classrooms.
Maybe, the market wasn’t there two years ago when a small group of teachers started their weekly Twitter chat under the hashtag #edchat. Starting with only a handful of teachers it quickly became a phenomenon, drawing in more and more teachers who wanted to connect with like-minded colleagues and were eager (if not even desperate) to talk about the things that really mattered to them. And though I still think that Twitter isn’t the right tool for this kind of use as it is in many aspects too limited to handle all this information, those teachers found creative ways to make it work for them by adding other free tools like TwtPoll and such.
The other big story was probably Ning, a platform that enabled anyone to create a social network. Classroom 2.0 and EduPLN are amongst the biggest ones with tens of thousands of teachers and principals as members. When Ning decided to axe the free plan that most teacher and school networks were built on, there was quite an uproar resulting to Pearson stepping in and sponsoring educational Nings in the US.
So the main problem was that teachers needed to use services that were not created to meet their needs which often resulted in situations were both sides, teachers and startup entrepreneurs, clashed as their philosophy did not match. That’s mostly based in changes in the business model like turning into a paid service or adding advertisement.
But that situation has changed dramatically over the last one and a half years and today the Internet and dedicated sites and services for teachers are popping up like mushrooms which means that the web is becoming more and more a crucial part in the daily life of teachers.
One of the earliest ones, Edmodo, just raised a new $15 million funding round from from Greylock Partners and Benchmark Capital. This round also added two Silicon Valley stars to the board: Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn and Matt Cohler of Facebook which could become crucial for the growth of the network.
Collaboration is one of the major driving forces behind the rise of websites like BetterLesson where teachers can share their lesson plans with others. It even created a new revenue model for them as teachers can decide to sell their lessons to their colleagues.
Another startup that got funded recently and is about collaboration is MasteryConnect. It raised $1.1 million from NewSchools, LearnCapital and imagine K12 for its platform that enables teachers across the US to work together on the Common Core standard on the one hand and it also provides them with detailed analysis on the performance of their students on the other hand.
The Teaching Channel is a portal were teachers can watch and share best practices from classrooms across the US. There is for instance a series of one-minute-videos that show how to get the attention of a class or engaging classroom activities. Teachers can take personal notes and hence create their own library of how to videos they want to implement in their classroom.
Talking about videos, YouTube for Schools is a new, stripped down version of the world’s biggest video hosting site that takes the needs of teachers and schools into consideration. Everyone who uses YouTube knows how messy it can get in the comments. That’s why many districts simply banned YouTube from schools leaving the teachers who wanted to use the huge amount of great educational videos in the dark. YouTube for Schools now offers a clean, curated version, enabling teachers to get access to this source of educational content.
And to answer the question how to motivate and support people who want to become a teacher these days, MAT@USC and 2tor partnered to launch a portal that answers all questions involved in the process in one single place called Teach.com. But the portal is not only for career starters, it also aims to provide seasoned teachers with information about requirements when planning to move into another state, salaries and such.
If you then add smaller projects like mobile and tablet applications to the mix it is clear that 2012 is going to be another exciting year for teachers and principals. This infrastructure tailored to the needs of teachers also has a big potential in driving innovation in schools faster than it is today. Tim Brady, founding partner at imagine K12 explained this grass roots movement as following:
And even the superintendents we talked to are being very excited about that because they usually say:” I sit and I listen to these sales pitches and try to imagine what the teachers want and then I have to go and convince the teachers to use it and push it down.” Superintendents are very excited when a bunch of teachers say:” Hey, we are all using this product. Can you buy this additional feature?” It actually makes it easier for the superintendent as well.
Picture: Back to School! from Shutterstock
Researchers have just discovered the remains of a hybrid human.
90,000 years ago, a young girl lived in a cave in the Altai mountains in southern Siberia. Her life was short; she died in her early teens, but she stands at a unique point in human evolution. She is the first known hybrid of two different kinds of ancient humans: the Neanderthals and the Denisovans.
These thought leaders, founders, and entrepreneurs are propelling the kind of future we want to be a part of.
- The tech industry may be dominated by men in terms of numbers, but there are lots of brilliant women in leadership positions that are changing the landscape.
- The women on this list are founders of companies dedicated to teaching girls to code, innovators in the fields of AI, VR, and machine learning, leading tech writers and podcasters, and CEOs of companies like YouTube and Project Include.
- This list is by no means all-encompassing. There are many more influential women in tech that you should seek out and follow.
Most said they want to act on their desire someday. But do open relationships actually work?
- The study involved 822 Americans who were in monogamous relationships at the time.
- Participants answered questions about their personalities, sexual fantasies, and intentions to act on those fantasies.
- Research suggests practicing consent, comfort, and communication makes open relationships more likely to succeed.
Consensual non-monogamy fantasies<p>For the new study, published in <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-020-01788-7" target="_blank">Archives of Sexual Behavior</a>, researchers asked 822 people in monogamous relationships to:</p><ul><li>Describe their favorite sexual fantasy, defined as "mental images you have while you are awake that you find to be sexually arousing or erotic."</li><li>Select which themes apply to that fantasy, such as having sex with multiple people at the same time, experimenting with taboos, or engaging in a sexually open relationship.</li><li>Answer whether they intended to carry out these fantasies, and discuss them with their partner.</li><li>Complete assessments on relationship satisfaction, erotophilia and personality, as measured by the Big Five Personality inventory.</li></ul><p>The results showed that 32.6 percent of participants said being part of a sexually open relationship was "part of their favorite sexual fantasy of all time." More surprising is that, of that one-third, 80 percent said they want to act on this fantasy in the future.</p>
Pretzelpaws via Wikipedia Commons<p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The present research confirms the important distinction between sexual fantasy and sexual desire in that not everyone wanted to act on their favorite sexual fantasy of all time," study author Justin J. Lehmiller told <a href="https://www.psypost.org/2020/09/one-third-of-people-in-monogamous-relationships-fantasize-about-being-in-some-type-of-open-relationship-study-suggests-58102" target="_blank">PsyPost</a>. "This suggests that fantasies may serve different functions for different people."</p><p>Even though most participants said they want to act out their fantasy in the future, far fewer reported acting out sexual fantasies in the past. Other findings included:</p><ul><li>Men were more likely to fantasize about CNMRs.</li><li>So were people who scored high in <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erotophilia#:~:text=Erotophilia%20is%20a%20personality%20trait,ranging%20from%20erotophobia%20to%20erotophilia." target="_blank">erotophilia</a> and sociosexual orientation.</li><li>The psychological predictors of fantasizing about CNMRs differed from predictors about infidelity fantasies.</li></ul>
Do open relationships work?<p>A <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00224499.2019.1669133" target="_blank">2019 study</a> from psychologists at the University of Rochester suggests it <em>is </em>possible<em>, </em>but especially when both partners practice a trio of behaviors: consent, communication, and comfort — or, the Triple-C Model.<br></p>But the study also suggests not all forms of open relationships are equally viable. For example, people in one-sided CNMRs — where one partner stays monogamous, the other seeks outside sexual relationships — were nearly three times more dissatisfied in their relationships than the monogamous group <em>and </em>the consensual non-monogamous group.
The results of this study showed depressive symptoms being highest in adolescence, declining in early adulthood and then climbing back up again into one's early 30s.