Recently we learned that Apple wants to capitalize on the education market and who could blame them? The education industry has been one of the hardest to innovate over the past couple of decades. Some believe that rather than moving forward, the system is reverting to decades old practices that use very little technology in their day to day offerings.
This isn’t completely their fault. Education funding is on the decline in most not for profit institutions. From major universities to K-12 institutions, local communities are struggling to provide even the basics let alone extra funds for a large scale technology upgrade. Much of the new technology found in schools today are a result of grants that the school has won.
Regardless, Apple plans to partner with publishers of educational texts to offer IBooks versions of their text books. This would be much cheaper than the hundreds of dollars college students spend on texts at the change of classes each semester. Public schools could save a considerable amount once the initial investment is made in to the technology, IPads for now, that would display the digital content.
But Apple isn’t the only company trying to become a major player in educational technology. Voxy is a language learning platform that is based on real life experiences. By using an IPhone app, the system delivers short, 100 word news articles in the language they’re learning. Users can ask for translations in to their native language. By repeating this process, users eventually learn the language in a format that is enjoyable to them. Voxy has already gained more than $4 million in funding for their idea.
Unigo wants to help high school students make better choices about where they’ll attend college. Unigo’s founder Jordan Goldman believes that students are given inadequate information about the best way to capitalize the most on their college experience. Topics like the best schools for certain degree programs, financial aid, and others are all covered by Unigo. Unigo is now the largest college search site on the net with more than 1 million unique users each month.
Finally, 2tor created a mobile learning management center that allows all educational institutions to design online courses that are just as good or better than traditional classroom environments. This rapidly growing startup has partnered with leading universities and other institutions and currently has more than 300 employees.
The education market is only one place where entrepreneurs face a blank canvas. Plenty of opportunities in industries all over the world are waiting for entrepreneurial visionaries to create the next great idea.