Since the idea for open education emerged and was realized with OpenCourseware from MIT, other “edupreneurs” have created businesses that may appeal to teachers from K-12 through college. The following list of the top 25 Web startups are revolutionizing teaching by making teaching easier, more robust and interactive for teachers, students and parents. Additionally, they provide clues for teaching jobs and revenue for teachers at all educational levels.

  1. 2Tor2Tor: 2tor develops state-of-the-art technology platforms that enhance traditional offline curricula to create transformative instruction using the best educational and Web 2.0 technologies. 2tor also develops the human and support infrastructure needed “on the ground.”
  2. Academic EarthAcademic Earth: This Web site brings together academic content from various sources to create an environment in which content is remarkably easy to use and where user contributions make existing content increasingly valuable. Prior to Academic Earth, Richard Ludlow established Students for Organ Donation.
  3. Apex LearningApex Learning: Started in 1997 by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, this site works on the premise that online courses and test prep could be applied to K-12. After a series of ups-and-downs during the dot-com bubble, Apex Learning raised and spent $37 million from venture capital investors. Since 1999, Apex learning has served over 660,000 students.
  4. CramsterCramster: At Cramster, students can get unstuck on any homework problem whether it’s math, science, engineering, humanities, business, or writing help. Cramster offers free and premium memberships. In 2008, Cramster secured $3 million in Series A funding led by Shai Reshef, an online education industry veteran.
  5. Dreambox LearningDreamBox Learning: This start up, a site that uses online games to teach math, was created in 2009 by Charter School Growth Fund, a nonprofit investment fund for charter schools. DreamBox Learning recently was acquired by Netflix. Reed Hastings, the founder and chief executive of Netflix, taught high school math in Swaziland with the Peace Corps after college.
  6. EdmodoEdmodo: Started in September 2008 and officially launched in September 2009, Edmodo is a private micro-blogging platform built for use by teachers and students for use in the classroom, built with the privacy of students in mind. Their free network offers a safe and easy way to post classroom materials.
  7. ENAEducation Networks of America: ENA currently manages multiple statewide and district-wide education and library networks successfully serving over 5,000 end sites, 560 school districts, and 230 libraries. This ends up being more than 2.5 million students, teachers and administrators as well as more than 6.2 million librarians and patrons. ENA’s reach is quite significant.
  8. eduFireEduFire: Jon Bischke founded this teaching and tutoring platform after he created two earlier education-related companies: 2000Tutor.com Network, which he sold in 2001, and LearnOutLoud.com, a catalog of educational audio, video, and podcasts. Instead of hiring professional teachers, eduFire lets anyone become a tutor and relies on the community to identify the most qualified members.
  9. Flat World KnowledgeFlat World Knowledge: This for-profit business commissions professors to write open-source textbooks that are free online, and modestly priced for downloads or print-on-demand copies. Their books are open for instructors to modify and make their own (for their own course — not for anybody else’s). Flat World closed $8 million in VC funding earlier this spring.
  10. GradeMateGradeMate: GradeMate is a powerful online organizer for teachers and students to keep track of their courses — from managing grades, assignments, and events to sharing files, course notes and class discussions. Mike Gioia founded GradeMate in 2007 when he was still an engineering student at Lehigh University.
  11. GrockitGrockit: Through the application of social networking and online gaming technology, the Grockit learning platform offers students in grades 8-12 a fun and engaging way to master academic skills and to prepare for standardized tests. Grockit was founded in 2007 by Farb Nivi, a former Princeton Review Teacher of the Year and academic director at Kaplan.
  12. GuruvantageGuruvantage: Guruvantage.com is a single platform for professionals in India to come to in order to satisfy their training needs. This site provides information on training institutes, and provides you with the ability to review the quality of training you have received at the institute.
  13. InigralInigral: With market-specific capabilities, Inigral leverages the Facebook platform across the student life cycle to address admissions marketing. An overwhelming majority of students are now on Facebook. Therefore, this platform allows for an increased yield of accepted students, student engagement, and increased retention of enrolled students and alumni involvement in order to increase donations.
  14. KnewtonKnewton: Founded in 2008 by Jose Ferriera, a former Kaplan, Inc. executive, this program uses uses adaptive learning technology to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses. Concepts are tagged at very specific levels, testing students’ grasp of hundreds of skills measured by standardized tests.
  15. KnoKno: Osman Rashid, who previously started Chegg, a Netflix-for-college-text-books service, recently revolutionized the textbook, higher education and learning itself in one move with a device includes two touchscreen panels that students can use to write, highlight, watch video and read. It will launch as a student beta-test later this year.
  16. Latimer EducationLatimer Education: This is a for-profit education company that is developing an online university for African-Americans. Latimer Education received $1.25M in unattributed funding in April this year, and added Scott Royster as founder, chairman and CEO at the same time.
  17. World Learning GuideLearning Guide Network: LGN was incorporated in early 2006 with a mission of helping schools and private instructors to find students and students to find schools. Their directory and magazine covers recreational, personal and professional learning activities.
  18. LectureShareLectureShare: Founded in 2007, LectureShare’s goal is to allow teachers to create courses which are easily shared among universities and individuals. LectureShare intends to allow the users to define where, how and when their course material should be available to others. LectureShare currently is in early beta.
  19. P2PUPeer2Peer University: In pilot phase, The Peer 2 Peer University is a grassroots open education project that organizes learning outside of institutional walls and gives learners recognition for their achievements. Peer2Peer got a $70,000 seed grant from the Hewlett Foundation to launch its first 10 pilot courses.
  20. ScitableScitable: This is an open online teaching/learning portal combining high quality educational articles authored by editors at NPG (Nature Publishing Group) with technology-based community features to fuel a global exchange of scientific insights, teaching practices, and study resources.
  21. ShmoopShmoop: Shmoop is a digital textbook publisher, offering learning guides created by experts and educators. Shmoop writers come from Ph.D. and Masters programs at Stanford, Harvard, and Berkeley. Shmoop and PBS.org are the only education websites to be honored by the Webby Awards in both 2009 and 2010.
  22. TeachStreetTeachStreet: Founded in 2007, TeachStreet is a dynamic online community that brings motivated learners and talented teachers together. TeachStreet is privately-funded and located in downtown Seattle, WA. They’ve formally launched in major cities all over the U.S. and customers have listed classes in more than 500 cities across the country.
  23. Teachers Pay TeachersTeachers Pay Teachers: Founded in 2006 by Paul Edelman, a former NYC public school teacher, TpT’s mission is to make teachers lives just a little easier by bringing together those who create curricula with those who are seeking fresh new approaches in the classroom. This is the world’s first open marketplace where teachers buy and sell original teaching materials.
  24. University of the PeopleUniversity of the People: Open to classes in 2009, this is the world’s first tuition free online academic institution dedicated to the global advancement and democratization of higher education. Shai Reshef, UoPeople’s Founder and President, has 20 years of experience in the international education market.
  25. UpToUsUpToUs: Founded in 2008 with a new Web site launched in 2009, this site is a unique social network that brings parents together and helps them to organize their children’s communities, such as classrooms, sports teams and extracurricular activities. Only people in your group can see group information and each group leader acts as a gatekeeper.

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