THE NEW SCHOOL
For some, in-person schooling might be out, but learning is always in
Remote education, a true pain point for parents and students alike, may be “the greatest untold tragedy of the pandemic,” per The New York Times. Beyond the potential lack of accessibility and support, along with having to navigate cyberbullying, carving out a space to learn while at home, and the overall stress young adults are feeling in 2020, remote learning is simply leaving kids behind. Luckily, innovations in education and homeschooling are here to help: read on to learn about some rising educational resources that can benefit students, teachers, and parents, mitigating some of the general setbacks of remote learning.
Sophia Joffe, a Gen Z student from Toronto, tapped into a major whitespace created in the wake of a shift to remote schooling. Knowing that learning loss could last a lifetime, she curated a free digital database called eLearn.fyi that features more than 300 online educational tools across various subjects. The database is available for students in kindergarten through grade 12, and spans a variety of topics from reading to robotics. While Ms. Joffe hopes her platform will help fill the “learning quality gap between online learning and in-class instruction,” she also called out the general lack of support from brands and institutions, saying: “Our governments need to be working in partnership with tech companies to put ‘the Netflix of online learning’ into action,” she said. “I don’t understand why that isn’t happening — now.”
Outschool, a leader in live, small-group online learning, is turning profitable amid the pandemic. The homeschooling platform has been available for a few years, but bookings for its service have surged nearly 2,000% YOY from 2019 to 2020, and the company netted nearly $54 million in sales this year. Investors are certainly betting Outschool’s success will outlast the pandemic, as the company just raised $45 million in a Series B funding round. Founder Amir Nathoo hopes to collaborate with school districts to further increase learning opportunities going forward.
Boasting over 1 billion young users, Kahoot clearly knows how to make learning fun. The e-learning platform gamifies school subjects and prompts user-generated content to create an engaging educational environment. Kahoot also provides a platform for corporations to build and share training materials. What’s more, the Norwegian company just scored a $215 million investment from SoftBank, demonstrating how valuable its services are amid the surge in remote education.