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TokBox Pushing Real-time Communications for Educational Platforms

July 28, 2015

Whenever a new technology threatens existing models, generally there is a backlash from the individuals and institutions propping that model: no matter how innovative the new technology is. If it is disruptive enough and their base migrates to this new technology, they grudgingly change their view to avoid the same fate as the Dodo Bird. This scenario is playing out with online education and the established institution holding dearly to their business model. TokBox, provider of the OpenTok Platform, announced it will be showcasing several disruptive education startups at Campus Technology in Boston to address the growing demand for online learning.

According to Harvard Business School Professor Dr. Michelle R. Weise, “No other existing form of higher education shows such promise in making the cost of a high-quality education affordable to more people.”

A new federal data shows 5,257,379 students are now taking one or more distance education courses. TokBox looks to simplify the way in which the curriculum is delivered by using its OpenTok WebRTC platform for the new startups. Minerva, TutorHub, ProctorExam, Kubi for Education and Chegg will be embedded with real-time communications as part of their platform to deliver an immersive and effective experiences for their users.

The company cited a recent Gallup Poll in which only 11 percent of business leaders believe graduates have the requisite skills for success in the workforce. This has resulted in a workforce that is under-employed or altogether unemployed, while still saddled with their student debts.

Image via Shutterstock

TokBox wants to be part of the shift that is essential to educate students with the skills required for today’s specialized workforce. OpenTok is a global cloud platform for embedding real-time video, voice, messaging and collaboration experiences into websites, applications and services. The scalability of this platform allows it to deliver content to thousands of users with a customizable solution so users can have the creative freedom to develop any video interaction, from one-to-one chats to large-scale broadcasts.

“Whether it's remote tutoring, virtual classrooms, online seminars or interactive learning management systems, WebRTC is revolutionizing education by breaking down the barriers in traditional one-way learning,” said TokBox CEO, Scott Lomond.

The new startups are:

  • TutorHub – An online tutoring service built on top of the OpenTok platform that connects students and tutors through live video.
  • Chegg – A connected online learning platform.
  • ProctorExam – A suite of web and mobile apps that allow students to take monitored exams remotely.
  • Kubi for Education – an interactive robot and application for engaging remote learning.
  • Minerva - A university offering innovative learning paths for its students.

Let’s face it, education today seems to be more about weighing down students with debt when they graduate than it is about enlightening young minds, and the $1.2 trillion higher-education debt speaks for its self. Weise went on to say, “We see great disruptive potential in rigorous online competency-based models that offer flexibility, affordability and faster completion times. As competency-based learning providers and employers collaborate, a separate and possibly even more powerful value network of industry-validated experiences could have the power to override the importance of college rankings and accreditation.”

If all goes according to plan, TokBox can spearhead the next delivery model for online education around the world. 

Edited by Andrew Bindelglass

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