Startup Spotlight: blended learning through Education Elements
Education Elements, founded in 2010 by Anthony Kim, announced March 6 that it received $6 million in its Series A funding round. Top investors include Harmony Partners, Rethink Education, and Eff Martin of Anthos Capital. This $6 million — on top of the initial starting investment of $2.1 million secured in February of 2011 — will allow the fast-growing startup to expand it’s reach into new school systems, bringing its blended learning methodology and content aggregate software in front of more educators and, subsequently, their students.
Education Elements works with students and teachers to implement blended learning, using its anchor software, Hybrid Management Learning System (HMLS). The software works as a content aggregation platform. Students can l0g on to HMLS and gain access to specific, targeted content. This content can come from a variety of sources in any sort of form. For example, through HMLS, a student can access a long-form Khan Academy lecture, have his experience with it examined, stored, and recorded, and then move onto an online worksheet or application to practice his skills. HMLS internally analyzes student progress and data so teachers can easily identify and reinforce weak areas.
HMLS is the basis for Education Elements focus on blended learning. Education Elements describes blended learning on its website as simply “the combination of offline and online learning,” but goes on to specify that it defers from traditional approaches that bring technology into the classroom. Blended learning, as Education Elements defines it, requires a direct correlation and an easily identifiable link between offline and online elements — one must inform the other.
Blended learning and HMLS are being put into practice by the Education Elements staff in a variety of West Coast schools, including KIPP LA, IDEA Public Schools, Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, and Dolores Mission. Education Elements sends individual support teams into each of these school systems to explain how the increase in funding for Education Elements will allow them to expand into new programs and continue to innovate. An East Coast office is also in the works for the team.
Learn more about Education Elements, HMLS, and their blended learning policy at their home page, and sound off in the comments section below about their methods. Are you anxious to get your students in front of a computer that utilizes HMLS? Do you implement blended learning in your classroom? Let us know.