Welcome to the Meratas Memo’s Weekly Roundup! This is your weekly fix of higher education and alternative financing news. Here are this week's stories:
Davidson College student were surprised by a day off last Friday. The students were still advised to stay on campus and to social distance but all classes and labs were cancelled for the day.
While there is some debate about whether an extended Fall break would heighten chances of an outbreak at schools and many school have, instead, chosen to end their semester at Thanksgiving. However, some experts have praised Davidson College's surprise break for that very reason: it was a surprise meaning that their students still stayed on campus.
Read the full story on Inside Higher Ed here.
Coursera's co-founder Daphne Koller and her husband and chairman at an education company spotlighting MOOCs Dan Avida are back in the teach-ed space with $14.5m in funding. Their mission? Create live, engaging learning experiences online with a focus on the social aspect of being in a classroom.
Their new startup, Engageli, is creating a software that will allow students and teachers to do just that. Similar to other well-known video meeting apps, their platform will also have other features to make it feel more like their users are in a real classroom. Some of these features include seating students at virtual tables, better content distribution, and tools to gather metrics on student engagement.
In the wake of the pandemic, labor markets and colleges have been hit particularly hard. In turn, this has created a need for teaching in-demand tech skills to students. Podium Education is looking to help bridge the gap between these in-demand skills and traditional schools.
Podium's platform is simple, teaching relevant tech skills with high production value taught by leading experts in technology fields that are attractive to today's modern job market. The classes are similar in style and production to other learning platforms such as Masterclass but with the key difference of being aimed at the traditional learning environment. Students who take these courses will have the courses count for credit and will be eligible for federal financial aid. Podium has already raised $12m to develop this platform.
Topics: The Weekly Roundup