Schoology Aims to Make the Honor Roll in Education Technology

4/18/12Follow @jpruth

Much like a promising class of new graduates, the fast-growing startups in education technology are landing big offers to get ahead. Money is flowing into these companies as they develop technology that puts new twists on the traditional classroom. Up and comer Schoology in New York raised $6 million on Monday in a funding round led by FirstMark Capital with participation from Meakem Becker Venture Capital. It is one of several deals to close this month in education technology. Investors seem eager to see what new chapters in education Schoology and its peers will open.

Schoology offers an online and app-based platform used primarily in K-12 classrooms. The software runs on computers, tablets, and smartphones, letting teachers give quizzes and grades virtually. It also enables students and instructors to interact in a social networking environment. Make no mistake though; Schoology’s network is not another place for meaningless status updates. Third party educational content is available on the platform in digital formats from publishers. Users can highlight information they find interesting for others to discover. For example, teachers can use the platform to virtually swap ideas with their colleagues from California to New York, and then manage homework assignments and track their students’ progress.

Schoology uses a freemium business model, which lets individual users access an initial set of features for free. The company charges an annual subscription to users who want more advanced capabilities, such as the ability to customize networks in schools. Friedman says an app and content store is in development and due out this summer. It will feature material from third party developers that will be available for purchase.

Founded in 2009, Schoology has raised a total of $9.3 million in funding. Jeremy Friedman, CEO, says the latest round will help Schoology grow its staff from 21 to 30 by year’s end and introduce the platform in more communities. He says more … Next Page »

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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