The GSV Big 10: Bollywood Meets Berkeley
Here's your weekly coverage corner for the top 10 stories, insights, and major plays in learning and skilling.
#1 [Interview] Luis von Ahn, Duolingo CEO: Fortt Knox Earnings
Duolingo grew DAUs by 62% and paid subscribers by 67% this past year. There are more people learning languages on Duolingo in the US than across all US high schools combined. Duolingo is the world’s #1 way to learn a language, but it has ambitions to become the world’s #1 way to learn any subject. If their recent earnings beat is any indication, it’s on the right track.
#2 How TikTok And Bill Nye Are Winning The Edutainment Wars
In an Attention Economy, Time is Money. Bill Nye has had a rule since the 1990s that no bit could last more than 110 seconds. Short-form video learning is more flexible and specific than traditional lectures, while students find it more engaging, entertaining, and effective. GSV Ventures’ investments in “Hollywood Meets Harvard” are highlighted here.
#3 Dishonor Code: What Happens When Cheating Becomes the Norm?
“If you’re reading the question, you’re doing it wrong.” Our nation’s finest universities suffer from a bitter irony: if you want to suceed, learning material is a waste of time. Students come to elite unviersities to send a signal for their future opportunities, but the real focus appears to be having fun and doing the bare minimum.
#4 Opinion | How Liberal Campuses Are Pushing Freethinking Students to the Right
Once the bastion of intellectual debate and free speech, it now seems like the only thing that brings students together on both sides of the aisle is cheating on tests. Encouraging students to have opposing political viewpoints won’t just improve campus culture…it will challenge students to listen and learn from their peers.
#5 The End of the English Major
Statistics is Hot, Shakespeare is Not. In a world where most writing will be computer-generated, ironically, humanities majors are likely to be more valuable.
#6 Transcript & Video: Fireside w/ Dylan Field and Elad Gil
Dylan Field “unbundled” the design industry through Figma; higher education could be next. Universities have become about credentials, community and social clubs – all of which can be scaled globally. As he puts it, we’ll “hopefully have a lot of Silicon Valleys around the world that are close to you and have that community and infrastructure.” We like the sound of that…
#7 Udemy Announces New Chinese Brand Name to Expand Flexible Corporate Training Opportunties in China
As many China observers know, the symbol for risk and opportunity is the same in the Chinese language. While Coursera has almost no presence in China, Udemy is expanding rapidly. Edtech in China will never look the same, but is there still an opportunity?
#8 Introducing Q-Chat, the world’s first AI tutor built with OpenAI’s ChatGPT
Quizlet’s Q-Chat is the latest competitor in the AI Tutor Arms Race. Bloom’s Two Sigma Problem – the seminal paper on the power of one-on-one tutoring – was published nearly forty years ago. We may finally have a faster, better, and cheaper solution to solve this problem.
#9 The conservative education revolution that David Brooks is missing
Arkansas is quickly becoming the hub for education reform. New Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ new bill would increase teacher pay by $14,000, offer $6,000 in loan repayment to new teachers, and mandate literacy for third grade students. That sounds like a win-win-win to us.
#10 TikTok's parent ByteDance is building a new 'AI-based' edtech platform called GeniusJoy and is hiring in Los Angeles and Singapore
ByteDance is already the world’s biggest digital learning company…it’s learning more about its users than any other company. But GeniusJoy would be a massive move into edtech and would bring an AI-based version of the Singapore math curriculum across the world. Being addicted to learning seems like progress to us.