Online learning management system Desire2Learn Inc. recently scored $85 million in its second round of funding. With the new funding, Desire2Learn intends to expand international outreach and invest in the development of its cloud-based learning software.
“Unlike advertising and e-commerce, education is an industry that has just begun to use big data analytics,” notes Jon Sakoda, partner at New Enterprise Associates which took part in the new financing round. “Ultimately, Desire2Learn is helping educators deliver personalized learning the way that Amazon.com delivered a personalized shopping experience.”
Brightspace is D2L’s main platform that enables teachers deliver content to students in the classroom and at home via the Web and mobile devices, while tracking their learning progress regularly instead of just once a semester, at the time of a final exam or standardized testing.
The cloud-based software can be used by an individual teacher for free or can be used with more sophisticated analytics, content and other tools, by an entire school, school district or national education department.
Presently, 1,000 schools and more than 15 million students are using the cloud based software. New Zealand has adopted the Brightspace platform for its public K-12 schools, Chief Executive John Baker, as have several U.S. states, cities and districts. Approximately, 10% of D2L’s earnings is through helping corporations train their employees. The new funding will help the company grow that piece of its business.
According to Baker, the technology functions like a “Netflix for education,” recommending courses based on their skills, interests and aptitude which helps convert users to students with a complete degree within four years and decreases dropout rates.
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(Image credit: Desire2Learn)