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ETCH Weekend Reading - 7/23
Preply's Series C, China's tutoring ban backfires, and TikTok study buddies
I aspire for ETCH to be the first place you, and your colleagues, visit when you want to learn something about the EdTech industry. At base level, that means this newsletter has to keep getting better.
Sometimes that leads to me tinkering! Adding, subtracting, and moving sections around. Contributing more or less opinion to different stories.
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With that, on to the links!
Funding / M&A
Braintrust raises $2.5M / US, Tutoring / LAUNCH Accelerator and Angels
Ucademy raises €1.5M / Spain, Test Prep / Brighteye Ventures, Eoniq
Komi raises $12M / UK, Gig Economy Software / RTP, Third Prime, Antler, E& Capital, Brighteye Ventures, Contour Ventures, Vicus Ventures
The Digital Learning Institute raises €1.8M, brings on Aaron McKenna as CEO / Ireland, Upskilling content / Davy EIIS Fund, Enterprise Ireland, and Angels
Just Learn raises $200K / India, Corporate Training / Angels
General Funding News
Another one! Brighteye Ventures 1H 2023 EdTech funding report. / via Brighteye Ventures
600 Kindergarteners were given bank accounts. Here’s what they learned. / via Wall Street Journal
China’s $100B tutoring ban backfires. Who could have predicted that? / via Bloomberg
The Great Unbundling of the US K12 system. / via Education Next
Red state education restrictions leave textbook publishers in a bind. The publishing business model relies on producing materials for the largest markets possible, and then pushing those materials into smaller markets. When a big state like Texas, Florida, or California (this is not just a red state problem) makes a curriculum demand, it impacts everyone. / via Washington Post
Most tech companies profit from student data. Be particularly wary of free games children are playing. The results are sort of horrifying, but good on Common Sense for putting this data together. / via Education Week
School funding debates are raging in states, with districts caught in the middle. “All of this chaos leads to one unavoidable reality for school districts: The amount of money they’re getting, and where they’re getting it from, is constantly in flux.” / via Education Week
Related, America’s education system is a mess, and it’s students who are paying the price. / via the 74Million
Related, refusing to teach kids math will not improve equity / shoutout and
$190B later, reason to worry relief funds won’t curb COVID’s academic crisis. / via the 74Million
Related, state laws leave school districts unprepared for looming fiscal cliff / via the 74Million
Let high schoolers do more cool things!
Rhode Island’s charter high school for future nurses / via the 74Million
Airbus after-school classes help aviation careers take off / via the 74Million
Missouri to open Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) profits to high schoolers. All bets are off on NIL at this point. If anyone would like to offer some of that sweet, sweet NIL money to my future children, just hit reply to this email. / via Inside Higher Ed
Pressure mounts on colleges to ditch legacy admissions / via Washington Post
Related, Bari Weiss interviews Larry Summers about his Washington Post op-ed. Really good interview. I am still skeptical, but this finally addresses updating Ivy League admissions policies and student body expansion in realistic terms. / via the Free Press
Related, should colleges use AI in admissions? / via Higher Ed Dive
New proposed Gainful Employment measures from ED. / via Higher Ed Dive
UT Dallas launches AI/ML Bootcamp with Simplilearn. Fascinating to see UT Dallas go with Simplilearn amid 2U’s success with UT Austin. / via Yahoo Finance
Education Department kicks off student loan forgiveness plan, round 2. / via Higher Ed Dive
Related, the complete history of student loans. Sort of underwhelming for a “complete” history, but actually pretty useful for a quick reminder on the evolution of government-sponsored student loans in the US / via Yahoo Finance
While most of the TikTok discourse this week focused on Pinkydoll’s NPC ASMR (if you don’t know what that means, consider yourself lucky and do not click that link), we also learned that college students are turning to TikTok for study buddies. / via EdSurge
Academics turn to paid newsletters for scholarly connection. / via Inside Higher Ed
Bank of America is using AI and Metaverse to train new employees. “It’s hard to teach traditionally. VR creates anxiety, it gets your heart rate up. It makes you nervous.” Nice. / via Bloomberg
The Zoom Wave - the awkward thing we all do at the end of video calls - is good. Keep doing it. If you want to level up, ask Alberto from Transcend for tips - they are, very seriously, the best in the business at it. / via the Atlantic
Note: I like to shout out independent creators and the folks who send me links. If you write something or read something *excellent*, send it to me!
This email, EdTech Thoughts Weekend Reading, is the free sister publication of the EdTech Thoughts Weekly Update. It provides links to the week’s EdTech Funding, M&A, People moves, and a curated list of Links to relevant industry news. If you enjoyed this edition, I hope you will subscribe and/or forward to your friends!
Meme of the Week
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but: