In the 21st century, there is social networking, there is e-learning and now there is Eduplanet 21, a Mechanicsburg startup – and mashup – that blends the two to deliver a new approach to professional development for teachers.
The young company, founded in 2011, offers an alternative to what CEO Jeff Colosimo calls the “obsolete professional development” mandated for teachers. Eduplanet21 offers a software platform, K-12 education-specific content and ongoing services by subscription to school systems and educational consortiums.
Paired with traditional physical sessions, or fully virtual, the package offers teachers ongoing and sustained access to state-of-the-art educational practice and theory, information sharing and collaboration with colleagues around the world. For the client school systems, it offers a cheaper, faster and better way to sustain professional development.
Colosimo compares the model to buying content on an e-reader, paired with facilitated comment threads. Eduplanet21 provides its content in the form of “social learning institutes,” web-based, multi-modal learning opportunities on K-12 education topics including curriculum development and teacher evaluation, “some of the most challenging and pertinent issues to education today.”
Eduplanet21 recently received a $150,000 investment from Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern Pennsylvania. Colosimo says the company has about 100 customers so far and projects about $300,000 annual revenue this year as it continues to seed the market and test its product.
So far, the company has six full-time employs, which Colosimo hopes to double by the end of the year as Eduplanet21 gears up to accelerate its sales growth.
Source: Jeff Colosimo, Eduplanet21
Writer: Elise Vider