Social Network for Higher Education, Coursekit, Launches After 30-School Pilot
NEW YORK, November 29, 2011 — Social networks have transformed the way millions of people interact in their personal and professional lives. The education experience, however, has lagged behind. Students and instructors remain frustrated by clunky and unreliable course websites. Coursekit, launching today, is a free platform for courses that brings together easy-to-use instructor tools and familiar social networking features.
Coursekit was created by three University of Pennsylvania students out of frustration with Blackboard, an expensive learning management system used by many schools. After raising $1 million in financing in May 2011, the trio — Joe Cohen, Dan Getelman, and Jim Grandpre — left school early to focus on Coursekit.
Coursekit is re-imagining course management systems but also the industry’s business model. Instead of charging schools steep fees, Coursekit is available to any instructor, for free.
This fall, Coursekit was piloted in courses at 30 universities nationwide, and has people saying that it could be a makeover for education itself. “I’ve always been a reticent user of social media, but Coursekit has opened my eyes to a greater depth ofcommunication,” said Neal Menschel, a professor piloting Coursekit at Stanford University.
Instructors are not the only ones excited about Coursekit. The introduction of social networking has been enthusiastically welcomed by students. “It’s been great getting feedback from other students as I work on my project,” reports a senior at NYU on Coursekit.
With almost 3500 students using Coursekit in pilot courses, the word is spreading quickly. Coursekit has also hired 80 student ambassadors who are excited to bring it to their campuses.
“Our goal is to turn courses into communities online. Because when that happens, amazing things follow: people share ideas, make new relationships, ask questions, and get to know each other,” said Joseph Cohen, Coursekit’s co-founder and CEO. “It transforms the learning experience from something that happens twice a week into a continuous conversation.”
Coursekit is launching today. Instructors can go to coursekit.com to read testimonials and set up a Coursekit for free. Students too can get involved by going to coursekit.com and sharing it with their instructors.
About Coursekit, Inc.
Coursekit is revolutionizing the academic experience by giving courses a
place online for students and instructors to interact. It combines the best
of social networking with simple and elegant course management tools. The
company was founded by University of Pennsylvania students Joseph Cohen, Dan
Getelman, and Jim Grandpre. It completed a $1 million round of financing in
May 2011 and is headquartered in New York City.