Echo360 Secures $31 Million In Funding From AOL’s Steve Case And Ted Leonsis
Dialing into the internet using a modem was how I connected while in high school. This caused a conflict in my house because it wasn’t uncommon for people to want to contact my father at late hours in the night because at the time, he worked independently as a consultant. When someone needed to reach my father, they needed to speak to him right then and there.
This was the technology that Steve Case’s AOL provided most of us connecting online, and in our house we didn’t use a separate line to dial out as we should have. If you called our house while one of us was online, you got a busy signal.
For various reasons, AOL didn’t manage to evolve and as a result the once popular company fell to obscurity in comparison to the market share it once held.
This hasn’t stopped Steve Case’s quest to be involved in startups and technology in the least. In fact, former CEO of AOL Case and one of AOL’s chief executives during its peak, Ted Leonsis recently invested $31 million dollars in startup Echo360.
Echo360 And Blended Learning
Blended learning is the approach to learning that combines face to face classroom methods that are integrated with and supplemented by digital technology. This creates various learning environments for the student to engage with.
By signing contracts with schools and universities, Echo360 provides the school with a user friendly set of digital tools that enables them to record lectures (audio and video), create podcasts, and put other supplemental materials for students online.
The Product Of Record
This material is available to the students not only through their desktops or laptops but it’s also available to any portable device.
$31 Million Of This Investment
This new round of funding will allow Echo360, a four year old company, to continue to expand its classroom support capabilities in a significant way. With two releases a year, Echo360 continues to innovate by providing features that are requested by its users. Already reaching 1 million students worldwide, Echo360’s most recent updates include deep digital editing.
In addition to being able to check viewing stats and analytics (giving the professor valuable feedback), professors can go in and correct or better explain concepts within a lecture that perhaps weren’t expressed clear enough during classroom time.
Transformative Educational Experience
Echo360 hopes to have a major impact in education and to change the way we’ve traditionally experienced the classroom. With contracts ranging from $20K to $200K depending on the size of a school, Echo360 also hopes to soon integrate the social dynamic of the online experience to their platform. This would allow the students themselves an opportunity to collaborate around the content captured.
Many schools are starting to embrace Echo360’s approach to higher learning. While there are other options available that offer similar capabilities like Panopto, MediaSite, and Tegrity, Case believes that in the end it will bring out the best in Echo360 to have so much competition. Perhaps this time, Case’s startup investment will prove a true longterm vision.