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There’s a whole host of ways to teach online, and startup Udemy is looking to make a business for itself in combining a variety of tools together to make what it hopes will be a new kind of online classroom experience. The site officially launched today.

A first glance Udemy looks like a mix between a social-networking and a video-sharing site. The creator of a “course” can upload presentations, videos, and even write blog posts. If a user finds a course they are particularly interested in, they can subscribe to it and ask questions via discussion boards. Lastly, creators can set up live virtual sessions with whiteboard, presentation viewer, chatroom, and file-sharing components available to use.

None of that may sound particularly unique, but the real difference may be the range of tools provided. For example, EduFire and Supercool School are really focused on live learning in virtual classrooms, not sharing educational content. A website-building service like Weebly, on the other hand, is all about sharing educational content, without a live or strong collaboration component.

California-based Udemy, founded in February 2010, has been in development for over a year and a half and has received no funding to date.


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