Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Friday, January 18, 2013

StudyBlue Tools Attracting Students, Capital

A focus on mobile technology has made it possible for StudyBlue to sign up millions of students. The Wisconsin-based startup firm developed a “digital backpack” of web and mobile tools students use to organize their course materials into flashcards, quizzes, and study guides available anytime on their smartphone or tablet computer.

Students can use the tool to share content, which StudyBlue has collected a into a huge library of study materials created by its users. The free platform also provides premium subscriptions for services such as advanced search filters and an offline study mode that students pay a monthly fee to use, giving the company a way to produce revenue.

The service has 2.5 million users, adding 1.5 million new users in the last year alone, while increasing its user base from 100% college students in 2009 to more than 30% of the total now being high school students and their teachers. StudyBlue recently made it possible for teachers to identify themselves so their students can find the material they are sharing. The company plans to expand tool functions for teachers.

The growth has also allowed StudyBlue to attract venture capital, including $9 million from Great Oaks Venture Capital on Jan. 4.

“We are experiencing rapid growth and this financing allows us to further expand our community and platform to help students master their course material faster and connect students to a comprehensive crowdsourced library of content on nearly any subject, and to each other, in a highly relevant way,” StudyBlue CEO Becky Splitt told TechCrunch

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