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Tag Archives: education

Students and mentors: Apply for the all-new TC Include program at Disrupt SF with #BUILTBYGIRLS

We’re going all out for this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt SF (September 5-7),  which means more fantastic content, more of the most influential startup and tech leaders and tons of networking. As such, we are expanding our TC Include program at Disrupt SF and partnering with #BUILTBYGIRLS to host an engaging day full of interactive programming for even more students who are interested in tech and entrepreneurship. In the past we’ve worked with organizations like  BUILD.org ,  Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) ,  the Academy for Software Engineering ,  NYC Foundation for Computer Science Education ,  The Young Women’s Leadership Schools of the Bronx & Astoria ,  Red Hook Initiative ,  Mission Bit ,  The Urban Assembly Maker Academy  and  The Girls’ Network to bring small groups of students to Disrupt. This year we are inviting up to 200 young women ages 15-22 to participate in our day-long TC Include program at Disrupt SF on Friday, September 7. Just like in past programs, students will get to have a Q&A session with a Disrupt SF speaker, go on a tour of Startup Alley with a TechCrunch staffer and have some free time to check out all of the great talks, workshops and other content that will be happening throughout Moscone West. On top of that, #BUILTBYGIRLS is giving students an exclusive opportunity to meet and interact with several established leaders in tech through a small-scale version of WAVE, 1:1 matching platform. #BUILTBYGIRLS WAVE connects high school and college girls interested in pursuing tech careers with expert professionals working for top tech companies across the country. Advisors meet these girls monthly, sharing their career journey and expertise to give young women the exposure, skills and network they need to land their dream job. At Disrupt, students will get a mini version of WAVE, meeting 1:1 with Silicon Valley’s top tech talent, receiving direct access to professionals who will help build upon their knowledge of the limitless opportunities for a career in tech. To be eligible to participate as a student, you must be between ages 15-22. Anyone aged 15-17 will also be required to provide a signed permission form from your legal guardian prior to participating in the event. You do not need to be a young woman to participate in the TC Include program at Disrupt SF, but please note that the #BUILTBYGIRLS WAVE portion will only be available for young women and gender non-binary students to participate. Apply to participate as a student today . If you are interested in possibly participating as a WAVE Advisor, you can apply here

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Students and mentors: Apply for the all-new TC Include program at Disrupt SF with #BUILTBYGIRLS

We’re going all out for this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt SF (September 5-7),  which means more fantastic content, more of the most influential startup and tech leaders and tons of networking. As such, we are expanding our TC Include program at Disrupt SF and partnering with #BUILTBYGIRLS to host an engaging day full of interactive programming for even more students who are interested in tech and entrepreneurship. In the past we’ve worked with organizations like  BUILD.org ,  Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) ,  the Academy for Software Engineering ,  NYC Foundation for Computer Science Education ,  The Young Women’s Leadership Schools of the Bronx & Astoria ,  Red Hook Initiative ,  Mission Bit ,  The Urban Assembly Maker Academy  and  The Girls’ Network to bring small groups of students to Disrupt. This year we are inviting up to 200 young women ages 15-22 to participate in our day-long TC Include program at Disrupt SF on Friday, September 7. Just like in past programs, students will get to have a Q&A session with a Disrupt SF speaker, go on a tour of Startup Alley with a TechCrunch staffer and have some free time to check out all of the great talks, workshops and other content that will be happening throughout Moscone West. On top of that, #BUILTBYGIRLS is giving students an exclusive opportunity to meet and interact with several established leaders in tech through a small-scale version of WAVE, 1:1 matching platform. #BUILTBYGIRLS WAVE connects high school and college girls interested in pursuing tech careers with expert professionals working for top tech companies across the country. Advisors meet these girls monthly, sharing their career journey and expertise to give young women the exposure, skills and network they need to land their dream job. At Disrupt, students will get a mini version of WAVE, meeting 1:1 with Silicon Valley’s top tech talent, receiving direct access to professionals who will help build upon their knowledge of the limitless opportunities for a career in tech. To be eligible to participate as a student, you must be between ages 15-22. Anyone aged 15-17 will also be required to provide a signed permission form from your legal guardian prior to participating in the event

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Wonderschool raises $20M to help people start in-home preschools

Educators already don’t get paid enough, and those that work in preschools or daycares often make 48% less. Meanwhile, parents struggle to find great early education programs where kids receive enough attention and there’s space, but they don’t need special connections or to pass grueling admissions interviews to get in. Any time there’s a lousy experience people have an emotional connection to and spend a lot of money on, there’s an opportunity for a startup. Enter ‘ Wonderschool ‘, a company that lets licensed educators and caretakers launch in-home preschools or daycares. Wonderschool helps candidates get credentialed, set up their programs, launch their websites, boost enrollment, and take payments in exchange for a 10 percent cut of tuition. The startup is now helping run 140 schools in the SF Bay, LA, and NYC where parents are happy to pay to give their kids an advantage. That chance to fill a lucrative gap in the education market has attracted a new $20 million Series A for Wonderschool led by Andreessen Horowitz. The round brings the startup to $24.1 million in total funding just two years after launch. With the cash and Andreessen partner Jeff Jordan joining its board, Wonderschool is looking to build powerful lead generation and management software to turn teachers into savvy entrepreneurs. “ Finding good childcare has become one of the most difficult experiences for families. I’ve seen parents who are making a livable wage in urban cities like San Francisco and New York still struggle to find and afford quality childcare” says co-founder and CEO Chris Bennett. “We wanted to deliver a solution for parents that also had the potential to create jobs and empower the caregiver — that’s Wonderschool.” By spawning and uniting programs across the country, Wonderschool could scale as the way software eats preschool. But without vigorous oversight of each educator, Wonderschool is also at risk of a safety mishap at one of its franchises ruining the brand for them all. Airbnb For Schooling Wonderschool started when co-founder Arrel Gray was having trouble finding childcare for his daughter close to home. “My little sister went to an in-home preschool, so I suggested he check them out” says Bennett

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Google Classroom gets a redesign

It’s been a few years since Google first launched Classroom , its learning management system for teachers and students. Today, ahead of the start of the new year in many school districts, Google is launching a major redesign of Classroom that introduces a refreshed look and a number of new features for the teachers who use the service. Classroom now, for example, features a new grading tool that works not just with Google Docs files but also Office files, PDFs, videos and other file types. And because students often make the same mistakes, teachers can now create a “comment bank” so they can reuse commonly used feedback. Google says this is meant to “encourage thoughtful engagement.” Teachers now also get access to a new site with training materials to bring them up to speed with how to best use its services. The new Classroom now also features a new “Classwork” page where teachers can organize their assignments and group them into modules and units. It’s now also easier for teachers to re-use previous classes and collaborate with others to design their classes. And because things can get noisy, Google is adding to Classroom some digital well-being features for co-teachers that allows them to turn off notifications for specific classes. A Google spokesperson also told us that Classroom is getting extended support for Google Form quizzes (and the ability to put a quiz in locked mode to avoid distractions), as well as some new Chrome OS admin features to help manage devices. And here is some good news for everybody, too: Google is making some changes to how Docs handles margins and indentations “to improve the overall writing experience, especially when making MLA style citations” (and here I thought I never had to think about MLA style again…). Soon, you’ll be able to use hanging indents and set specific indentations. This feature will launch in the fall.

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Google Glass Can Help Kids With Autism – Ubergizmo

Ubergizmo Google Glass Can Help Kids With Autism Ubergizmo In recent times we've started to realize how wearables have the potential to help with certain medical conditions. For example recently it was discovered that over in China, the use of virtual reality could potentially help gauge how well drug addicts ... and more »

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Google Glass Can Help Kids With Autism | Ubergizmo – Ubergizmo

Ubergizmo Google Glass Can Help Kids With Autism | Ubergizmo Ubergizmo In recent times we've started to realize how wearables have the potential to help with certain medical conditions. For example recently it was... Exploratory study examining the at-home feasibility of a wearable tool for social-affective learning in children ... Nature Google Glass offers hope to kids with autism NBCNews.com all 111 news articles »

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Amazon Rapids, the chat fiction for kids, is now free

Amazon Rapids , the chat fiction that encourages kids to read by presenting stories in the form of text message conversations, is now going free. Previously, Amazon had been charging $2.99 per month for a subscription that allows unlimited access to its story collection, which now numbers in the hundreds. First launched in November 2016 , Amazon Rapids was meant to capitalize on kids’ interest in chat fiction apps like Hooked, Yarn, Tap and others, which tend to cater to a slightly older teenage crowd. Amazon Rapids, meanwhile, was the schoolager-appropriate version, without the swearing , alcohol, sex and yeah, even incest references you’ll find in the Hooked app, for example. (Yuck. Delete.) Instead, Amazon Rapids’ stories are aimed at kids ages 5 to 12 and generally just silly and fun. They’re not meant to addict kids through the use of cliffhangers and timeouts, nor are they scary. Some of the app’s stories also serve as crossovers that  helped promote Amazon’s kids’ TV shows , like “Danger & Eggs,” and “Niko and the Sword of Light.” These were authored by the shows’ writers, allowing them to extend the show’s universe in a natural way. In addition, the app included educational features like a built-in glossary and a read-along mode to help younger readers. However, the app wasn’t heavily marketed by Amazon, and many parents don’t even know it exists, it seems. According to data from Sensor Tower, Amazon Rapids has been installed only around 120,000+ times to date, three-quarters of which are on iOS.

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Campuswire launches to redesign classroom communications

Tade Oyerinde is obsessed with communications inside educational institutions. A few years ago, while studying at Leeds University in England, he founded Gleepost, a Craigslist-like service targeting college campuses. The startup flopped, so Oyerinde moved on to build with his college roommate and twin brother Uniroulette, a Chatroulette clone but limited to people with .edu email addresses. It was here that he got a searing introduction to product design and also learned how to become a social hacker, using design choices to drive conversations and engagement. “With Uniroulette… we needed to have about 20 kids concurrently on just to make it work,” he explained to me. To get those numbers, the startup officially opened at 8pm each evening, and anyone who tried to login earlier was given a countdown timer. To further drive engagement, Oyerinde created dozens if not hundreds of Facebook pages around the concept of love and missed connections targeting different campuses, such as Leeds Crushes or Bodleian Library Secrets. Students were hooked — and also getting carefully calibrated advertising messages to spend more time on Uniroulette. He raised $250k from angels in London, but ultimately, the startup lost traffic and eventually twinkled out. Oyerinde hopes that the third time is a charm with his new project, Campuswire . The platform, launching publicly today, is designed to maximize the efficiency of classroom conversations, even among different disciplines from math to English.

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Facebook launches a digital literacy library aimed at educators

Facebook this morning announced the launch of a new set of educational resources focused on helping young people think critically and behave thoughtfully online. The Digital Literacy Library , as the new site is being called, is aimed at educators of children aged 11 to 18, and address topics like privacy, reputation, identity exploration, security, safety, wellbeing and more. There are 830 million young people online , the company notes, which is why digital literacy is necessary. We’ve seen the results what can happen when people are lacking in digital literacy – they’re susceptible to believing hoaxes, propaganda and fake news is true; they risk their personal data by using insecure apps; they become addicted to social media and its feedback loop of likes; they bully and/or are bullied; and they don’t take steps to protect their online reputation which can have real-world consequences, to name a few things. However, many teachers today lack the educational resources that would allow them to teach a digital literacy program in their classroom, or in other less formal environments. Facebook says the lesson plans in the new library were drawn from the Youth and Media team at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, where they were released under a  Creative Commons license . In other words, the company itself did not design the lessons, it’s only making them more broadly available by placing them on Facebook where they can be more easily discovered and used. The lessons themselves are based on over 10 years of academic research from the Youth and Media team, who also took care to reflect the voices of young people from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnicities, geographies, and educational levels, Facebook says. Initially, the 18 lessons are launching in English, but they’ll be soon available in 45 additional languages. For educators, the lessons are ready-to-use as free downloads, and state how long each lesson will take. Outside the classroom, parents could use them to teach children at home, or they could be used in after-school programs. Teachers can also modify the lessons’ content to meet their own needs, if they choose

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Duolingo hires its first chief marketing officer as active user numbers stagnate but revenue grows

Duolingo , the popular language learning service, today announced that it has now hit more than 300 million users worldwide. A year ago , Duolingo reported 200 million total users. That’s great, but the number of monthly active users on the service remains stagnant. Duolingo reported 25 million active users a year ago  — and that’s still the same today, a company spokesperson confirmed. The company argues this is due to its focus on revenue growth instead of user growth in the last year, but it did grow by 100 million total users. Update : after this post went live, Duolingo called to provide us with revenue numbers to put its user numbers into context, something it hasn’t disclosed before. Its revenue in 2016 was $1 million. It grew that to $13 million in 2017 and a spokesperson tells us that it’s on track for $40 million in 2018. The company also says that its daily active user numbers are up. Maybe that’s why the company is putting a bit more effort behind its marketing efforts now. As the company also today announced, it has hired Cammie Dunaway as its first chief marketing officer (CMO) to help it reach those next 300 million users

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Duolingo hires its first chief marketing officer as active user numbers stagnate but revenue grows

Duolingo , the popular language learning service, today announced that it has now hit more than 300 million users worldwide. A year ago , Duolingo reported 200 million total users. That’s great, but the number of monthly active users on the service remains stagnant. Duolingo reported 25 million active users a year ago  — and that’s still the same today, a company spokesperson confirmed. The company argues this is due to its focus on revenue growth instead of user growth in the last year, but it did grow by 100 million total users. Update : after this post went live, Duolingo called to provide us with revenue numbers to put its user numbers into context, something it hasn’t disclosed before. Its revenue in 2016 was $1 million. It grew that to $13 million in 2017 and a spokesperson tells us that it’s on track for $40 million in 2018. The company also says that its daily active user numbers are up. Maybe that’s why the company is putting a bit more effort behind its marketing efforts now.

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Farfetch acquires CuriosityChina to expand its social media efforts on the Mainland

Farfetch  — the e-commerce startup that works with some 900 high end fashion boutiques and labels to present and sell clothes, shoes, accessories and jewellery online, and we and others have heard is gearing up for a $6 billion IPO — is making an acquisition to double down China, one of the fastest-growing markets for luxury goods. It’s acquiring Curiosity China , a marketing firm that specialises in leveraging social media — specifically, WeChat — to target users and sell goods. It already works with some 80 brands that are also customers of Farfetch to help them use WeChat channels and accounts to reach would-be customers. It also offers CRM and a few other services. The plan will be to incorporate Curiosity China into Farfetch’s “Black & White” white-label API, which essentially allows boutiques to integrate their stock into Farfetch’s purchasing and logistics platform, or use that engine to sell its goods on their own sites. This will now give them the option also to use the API to run campaigns in China. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed. This is Farfetch’s third acquisition, the other two being UK boutique Browns and Style.com. Farfetch also said it is buying all of the company’s tech and all of its employees and founders are coming on board. Judy Liu, a co-founder of CuriosityChina, will become Farfetch’s managing director for China; another co-founder, Alexis Bonhomme, is taking on the role of VP commercial, China; and the third co-founder, Arthur Shui, will become head of technology for the Chinese operation. Farfetch’s acquisition of CuriosityChina underscores a few interesting trends currently underway in the market: the rise of the Chinese consumer, the ongoing challenges to target those consumers if you are from outside China, and the rise of social media as a popular marketing and sales channel. The luxury market was worth €262 billion in 2017, according to analysis from Bain, with customers from China accounting for 32 percent of that amount (shopping both in China and abroad).

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