A Technological Fix For Education

Sramana Mitra:

Venture capitalists are chasing hot areas with planet-scale problems: energy, water, global warming. Industry legends, including John Doerr and Vinod Khosla, have become prominent spokesman for the issues and have pumped huge sums of capital into these markets.
In our enthusiasm for green, however, there’s a forgotten society and industry segment that remains woefully unaddressed–namely, education.
With the advent of social media, and with the revival of entrepreneurship and investments in consumer Internet services, technology-enabled education looks like a huge opportunity for wealth creation.
Why have entrepreneurs and investors ignored education? “The market is relatively tough to crack due to its seasonal nature and the dysfunctional sales cycle which results in wary investors,” says Edward Fields, chief executive of HotChalk, a free online community application that aims to connect teachers, students and parents from kindergarten through grade 12. Unlike many other efforts, HotChalk seems to be getting real traction.