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Education & Technology: Now Is the Time – HotChalk CEO Edward Fields (Part 3)

Posted on Wednesday, Apr 2nd 2008

SM: What types of strategic partnerships have you been able to create?

EF: Strategic alliances are critical to our success and enable us to provide many resources for free to teachers, students and parents. Our partnerships with NBC and McGraw-Hill means HotChalk can provide time-tested, proven digital news video and teacher development resources offerings at a low cost to schools.

SM: How did you achieve these alliances?

EF: In August 2007, William Oldsey, Executive Vice President, McGraw-Hill learned about HotChalk. He came to us and initiated a partnership that would bring McGraw-Hill’s significant teacher training and certification tools to our users. Then NBC learned about HotChalk’s vision and its management proposed a partnership with HotChalk to distribute their comprehensive news archive as a supplement to traditional educational materials.

The resulting affiliation has led NBC to take a much more active role than anticipated including equity participation in HotChalk’s C round financing. The success of both ventures ensures that there will be more curriculum-related joint offerings in the near future on a national and regional level.

SM: Let’s examine the marketplace. How big is your market? How do you calculate TAM?

EF: Our target market is teachers, students and parents. Teachers globally lack essential educational resources. There are 3.2 million teachers, 55 million students and over 140,000 public and private schools in the United States. Globally, there are 29 million teachers and 464 million students. The English-speaking international market alone includes an additional 1.3 million teachers. We define the comprehensive global education marketplace as our total available market (TAM).

Our business model is to provide all teachers worldwide with a free, safe, easy and cherished tool to bring their classes online with the ability to interact with other teachers and share their best resources. HotChalk aims to be an advocate for teachers so they have the resources and support that government, administration and corporations have promised to offer, but have not. We enable these teachers to readily communicate with students and parents online.

This segment is part 3 in the series : Education & Technology: Now Is the Time - HotChalk CEO Edward Fields
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I am under the impression that traditionally syllabus taught in the classroom is approved by the entities like School board or the education ministry etc. This is done to make sure that the material in the text book is legitimate etc. Each of us (and obviously teachers) is supporters of some view and opponents of the other. (E.g. some teachers might be democratic and others republican). If teachers have an option to choose the material from the media channel obviously their choosing ability will be subconsciously biased. In the future how are we going to make sure that we are not raising the classrooms which have biased opinions?

Gajendra Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 4:29 AM PT

Gajendra,

The syllabus explains “what” is to be taught. Not “how”.

For example, if, to teach history, a teacher uses television footage to explain what happened on 9/11, that certainly does not violate any “syllabus”.

Sramana Mitra Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 10:55 AM PT

how does this model make money if it's free? is it ad based? other?

margita Monday, October 4, 2010 at 11:22 AM PT

yes, it is ads and subscription based.

Sramana Mitra Monday, October 4, 2010 at 12:02 PM PT