Business

Socratic raises $1.5M to build open online community for teachers

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Socratic has raised $1.5 million to create the “world’s best learning resource.”

Socratic is an online open community where teachers share educational video content. Anyone can add or suggest videos, and the best videos for each topic can rise to the top, Reddit style.

“The best teachers have the power to take any idea, no matter how difficult, and make it accessible, relatable, and exciting,” the founders said in a blog post. “We see individual teachers starting to create and share great content. We also see what benevolent, open communities like Wikipedia and StackExchange can achieve by focusing on worthy goals. We want to bring the power of these open communities to teaching.”

Basically, a ton of great educational content is on the Internet, but the channels to share, find, and collaborate with that content are still being developed.

Unlike massive online open courses (MOOCs), which make teaching more accessible to students, companies like Socratic, Edutopia, and Declara focus on centralizing and organizing content for teachers.

Interestingly, Pinterest has also become a major hub for teachers to share lesson plans, classroom decorating ideas, topical projects, and such. People pin more than 500,000 education-related ideas a day, so Pinterest established a dedicated “Teachers on Pinterest” community.

Socratic focuses on video content. Some of Socratic’s “rising stars” include an instructor who teaches physics exclusively by using Google Glass and an Iraq veteran who teaches organic chemistry.

The ultimate goal is to build a global community that covers every topic, in every language, and in every teaching style.

This funding will help achieve the goal. Spark Capital led this seed round, with participation from Betaworks, Andreessen Horowitz, David Tisch, John Maloney, and Terrapin Bale.

Socratic is based in New York City.


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