Searching for "edmodo"
China’s NetDragon to Acquire Edmodo for $137.5 Million
NetDragon Websoft, a publicly-traded company based in Fuzhou, China, has agreed to pay $137.5 million for Edmodo.
The deal could mark the beginning of the end for the “free” model of education technology, at least for standalone education companies without other strong revenue streams to support them.
Edmodo was started in 2008 by a teacher and IT support person as a “Facebook-like” community aimed at connecting educators with students and with one another. Also like Facebook, Edmodo grew rapidly. Currently, the company, now based in San Mateo, Calif., claims more than 90 million registered users (both teachers and students) in 400,000 schools across 192 countries.
Edmodo struggled, however, to find a business model that would support its burgeoning community. It raised close to $100 million in funding, and began seeking another round last year. The company had shifted to an advertising-based model—although one in which the company was trying to move carefully and respect its audience of teachers and students.
According to a financial statement published by NetDragon, Edmodo lost $19.5 million in 2017, based on revenue of approximately $1 million.
That seems to be an increasingly popular path. A decade ago, the big education companies were traditional textbook providers such as Pearson. Now the most powerful players are technology companies that offer devices and software. At the top of the list: Google, which supports Chromebooks as well as Google Classroom, and Apple, which sells iPads, Macs and now the Schoolwork app.
By contrast, NetDragon began in 1999 and built its initial financial muscle with games. It has, however, long identified education as one of its top areas of interest. Recently the company has begun purchasing education technology assets at a rapid clip. In 2015, NetDragon paid approximately $130 million to acquire U.K.-based interactive whiteboard maker, Promethean, which gave it a hardware-based entry into classrooms.
The company, which refers to the hardware as “interactive panels,” is equipping 13,000 classrooms in Moscow with digital whiteboards.
Last year, NetDragon also acquired JumpStart, an educational game company behind iconic titles including Math Blaster. And earlier this year, it bought Sokikom, an online game-based math program.
more about Edmodo in this IMS blog
Edmodo Investigates Millions of User Accounts for Sale on Dark Web
By Sri Ravipati 05/12/17
A hacker going by the name “nclay” claims to have stolen more than 77 million user accounts from Edmodo
LeakBase yesterday Tweeted that the top domains for the data breach include:
- @gmail.com, accounting for 19 percent of the accounts at 13,286,240;
- @hotmail.com, making up 10 percent of the accounts at 7,065,761; and
- @yahoo.com, at 8 percent with 6,074,901 accounts.
more on Edmodo in this IMS blog
Twelve Years Later: What’s Really Changed in the K-12 Sector? (Part 1)
In fall 2007, Larry Berger, CEO of Wireless Generation (now Amplify) was invited to submit a paper to an “Entrepreneurship in Education”
As education entrepreneurs know, growth in K-12 comes hard. Sometimes very hard. We were living Marc Andreessen’s startup mantra: “You only ever experience two emotions: euphoria and terror.”
The edtech boom of the past two decades promised efficacy and new instructional models. Many teachers instead experience it as “clutter.” But poorly integrated standards, curriculum, assessment, and intervention materials have always been a problem.
When it comes to instruction, the work consists of four segments: core curriculum, supplemental (intervention, test prep, little books) curriculum, assessment, and technology (hardware, infrastructure and connectivity). Each of these workstreams are run by separate teams, using independent funding streams, only rarely coordinating. Schools rely—as they always have—on the hero in the classroom, who has to somehow synthesize everything for a roomful of children, every single day.
Twelve Years Later: How the K-12 Industry and Investment Landscape Has Shifted (Part 2)
Twelve years ago, Amplify CEO Larry Berger and I wrote about the “pareto distribution” of companies in the K-12 sector.
The “oligopoly” was the natural outcome of a highly decentralized system and fragmented demand. To serve 15,000-plus districts and more than 100,000 school buildings, a company needed huge sales and service teams; to afford them, the company needed a bookbag full of products across content areas, grade ranges, and use cases. The structure of demand created the “Big Three”—McGraw-Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Pearson.
Meanwhile, the number of small players—further right on the pareto distribution—has grown dramatically. Online distribution and freemium business models have enabled companies like Flocabulary, Newsela, Nearpod, and others
few alternative models to consider:
companies like Remind, ClassDojo, and Edmodo, who all adopted a “West Coast” approach: collect active users now, with plans to monetize later.
The second includes the “platform” players—Schoology, itslearning, Canvas, and other LMS-like platforms. They have set out to do something differently, only possible by means of technology—to be the search, storage and distribution platform for instructional content. Google Classroom has instead emerged as the de facto standard platform, fueled by the runaway adoption of Chromebooks.
The third includes “policy responsive” players—companies like Panorama, Ellevation or Wireless Generation. hese companies help school systems meet a new policy requirement—social-emotional learning, English Language Learning, and reading assessment, respectively.
But we’re not “decluttering” our classrooms or in our schools. What would it take for the private and public sectors to work shoulder-to-shoulder?
a catch-22: so long as buying is fragmented, it’s hard to justify the integrated product investment; so long as products are fragmented, it’s hard for a district to create an integrated instructional model.
What Happens to Student Data Privacy When Chinese Firms Acquire U.S. Edtech Companies?
Between the creation of a social rating system and street cameras with facial recognition capabilities, technology reports coming out of China have raised serious concerns for privacy advocates. These concerns are only heightened as Chinese investors turn their attention to the United States education technology space acquiring companies with millions of public school users.
A particularly notable deal this year centers on Edmodo, a cross between a social networking platform and a learning management system for schools that boasts having upwards of 90 million users. Net Dragon, a Chinese gaming company that is building a significant education division, bought Edmodo for a combination of cash and equity valued at $137.5 million earlier this month.
Edmodo began shifting to an advertising model last year, after years of struggling to generate revenue. This has left critics wondering why the Chinese firm chose to acquire Edmodo at such a price, some have gone as far as to call the move a data grab.
as data becomes a tool that governments such as Russia and China could use to influence voting systems or induce citizens into espionage, more legislators are turning their attention to the acquisitions of early-stage technology startups.
NetDragon officials, however, say they have no interest in these types of activities. Their main goal in acquiring United States edtech companies lies in building profitability, says Pep So, NetDragon’s Director of Corporate Development.
In 2015, the firm acquired the education technology platform, Promethean, a company that creates interactive displays for schools. NetDragon executives say that the Edmodo acquisition rounds out their education product portfolio—meaning the company will have tools for supporting multiple aspects of learning including; preparation, instructional delivery, homework, assignment grading, communication with parents students and teachers and a content marketplace.
NetDragon’s monetization plan for Edmodo focuses on building out content that gets sold via its platform. Similar to tools like TeachersPayTeachers, So hopes to see users putting up content on the platform’s marketplace, some free and others for a fee (including some virtual reality content), so that the community can buy, sell and review available educational tools.
As far as data privacy is concerned, So notes that NetDragon is still learning what it can and cannot do. He noted that the company will comply with Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), a federal regulation created in order to protect the privacy of children online, but says that the rules and regulations surrounding the law are confusing for all actors involved.
Historically, Chinese companies have faced trust and branding issues when moving into the United States market, and the reverse is also true for U.S. companies seeking to expand overseas. Companies have also struggled to learn the rules, regulations and operational procedures in place in other countries.
more on data privacy in this IMS blog:
FBI Warns Educators and Parents About Edtech’s Cybersecurity Risks
The FBI has released a public service announcement warning educators and parents that edtech can create cybersecurity risks for students.
In April 2017, security researchers found a flaw in Schoolzilla’s data configuration settings. And in May 2017, a hacker reportedly stole 77 million user accounts from Edmodo.
Amelia Vance, the director of the Education Privacy Project at the Future of Privacy Forum, writes in an email to EdSurge that the FBI likely wanted to make sure that as the new school year starts, parents and schools are aware of potential security risks. And while she thinks it’s “great” that the FBI is bringing more attention to this issue, she wishes the public service announcement had also addressed another crucial challenge.
“Schools across the country lack funding to provide and maintain adequate security,” she writes. “Now that the FBI has focused attention on these concerns, policymakers must step up and fund impactful security programs.”
According to Vance, a better approach might involve encouraging parents to have conversations with their children’s’ school about how it keeps student data safe.
more on cybersecurity in this IMS blog
Students, teachers, and organizations will join together online to celebrate and demonstrate global collaboration on September 15, 2016. On Global Collaboration Day, educators and professionals from around the world will host connective projects and events and invite public participation. This event is brought to you by VIF International Education, Google for Education, iEARN-USA and Edmodo.
The primary goals of this 24-hour, worldwide event are to:
- demonstrate the power of global connectivity in classrooms, schools, institutions of informal learning and universities around the world
- introduce others to the collaborative tools, resources and projects that are available to educators today
- to focus attention on the need for developing globally competent students and teachers throughout the world
Global Collaboration Day will take place on September 15 in participant time zones. Classrooms, schools, and organizations will design and host engaging online activities for others to join. Events will range from mystery location calls to professional development events to interviews with experts. All events will be collated in an online calendar viewable in participants’ individual time zones. Participants will be connected on Twitter via the hashtag #globaled16.
An optional new activity this year will be the Great Global Project Challenge. Between now and October 1, 2016, global educators will design collaborative projects using a variety of platforms in which other students and teachers may participate during the course of the 2016-2017 school year. The objective is to create and present as many globally connective projects for students and educators as possible. The final deadline for submissions into our project directory is October 1, but participants are also encouraged to do an introductory activity for their project on Global Collaboration Day as well.
Global Collaboration Day is a project of the Global Education Conference Network, a free online virtual conference that takes place every November during International Education Week. GCD, along with Global Education Day at ISTE and Global Leadership Week, are events designed to connect educators and keep global conversations going year round.
For more information about Global Collaboration Day, please visit our main web site. A digital flyer is also available for distribution.
Follow us on social media:
Help us spread the word. Here are some sample Tweets:
- Join us for Global Collaboration Day! Details here: http://bit.ly/2016GCD #globaled16
- YOUR ORG’S TWITTER HANDLE is pleased to partner with @GlobalEdCon and educators around the globe for Global Collaboration Day: http://bit.ly/2016GCD
- Are you an education leader? Inspire global collaboration on Global Collaboration Day 9/15. http://bit.ly/2016GCD #globaled16
- Learn more about participating in the Global Collaboration Day celebration: http://bit.ly/2016GCD #globaled16
- Project hosts are sought for Global Collaboration Day. Details here: http://bit.ly/2016GCD #globaled16
Logos and Badges for Participants, Hosts, Partners and Sponsors are located here: http://bit.ly/gcdimages
Interested in serving as an outreach partner?
Send an email to Lucy Gray (firstname.lastname@example.org) indicating your interest. Include information on how you can help us get the word out to networks with 5000 members or more.
Global Leadership Week Next Week
April 25 – 29, 2016
Global Leadership Week (GLW) is a week-long celebration of leadership through global action in K-20 education, taking place April 25 – 29, 2016, and organized by the Global Education Conference (GEC) Network. GLW is an opportunity for global education leaders (and those who want to be!) to learn from one another and share effective principles in leadership, particularly within the context of an interconnected, global age.
During Global Leadership Week, leaders in schools, universities, non-profit organizations, and corporations have designed and will be hosting over 25 virtual events to showcase thought leadership. The global education community at large can choose to participate in these online activities by browsing event listings on the GLW calendar. All events are free of charge to attend.
You can participate actively in these events by posting comments and ideas to Twitter using the hashtag #globaled16. Global Leadership Week discussions are also being hosted in a new Edmodo feature called Topics. You’ll need a free Edmodo account to participate and we encourage you to respond to the prompts on this page: https://www.edmodo.com/topics/609/2016-Global-Leadership-Week. Also, feel free to add yourself to the participant map.
AND it’s still not too late to design and host a virtual event focused on global education leadership next week. We will post your event on our website’s calendar. If your organization is a sponsor or a non-profit, we will promote your event through social media. Submit to host an event here. And while time is short, if your organization can reach several thousand educators, consider joining us as an outreach partner. Email Lucy Gray at email@example.com. Include a short description of how you can help get the word out to your network and a logo for your organization.
This event is brought to you by people and organizations who believe in the power of globally connected teaching and learning. GLW is organized by the Global Education Conference Network, Flat Connections, GlobalEdLeader, Global Oneness Project, iEARN-USA, the Learning Revolution Project, and VIF International Education.
Digital Badges in Education: Trends, Issues, and Cases.
In recent years, digital badging systems have become a credible means through which learners can establish portfolios and articulate knowledge and skills for both academic and professional settings. Digital Badges in Education provides the first comprehensive overview of this emerging tool. A digital badge is an online-based visual representation that uses detailed metadata to signify learners’ specific achievements and credentials in a variety of subjects across K-12 classrooms, higher education, and workplace learning. Focusing on learning design, assessment, and concrete cases in various contexts, this book explores the necessary components of badging systems, their functions and value, and the possible problems they face. These twenty-five chapters illustrate a range of successful applications of digital badges to address a broad spectrum of learning challenges and to help readers formulate solutions during the development of their digital badges learning projects.
Badges and Leaderboards: Professional Developments for Teachers in K12
Why should I bother earning badges?
issues to consider:
More on badges and gaming in education in this IMS blog:
Teachers guide to project based learning
more on project-based learning in this IMS blog:
Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy Cheat Sheet for Teachers
|Resources for Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy
Follow the discussion on the LinkedIn ISTE discussion group:
Similar visual representation in this IMS blog entry:
Bloom’s Wheel With Technology