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Thought Leaders in Online Education: Katya Andresen, CEO of Cricket Media (Part 1)

Posted on Wednesday, Jul 23rd 2014

It almost always is the case that Edtech companies don’t have solid monetization models. Cricket media is experimenting with models that are worth understanding. This interview also further elaborates on the issues raised in one of my articles, Are We In A Golden Age of Edtech?

Sramana Mitra: Let’s introduce our audience to Cricket Media. Tell us what you do and what trends you are aligning with.

Katya Andresen: We’re a children’s education media company. We provide award-winning content for learning on a safe and secure learning network. It’s for children, families, and teachers around the world. We have a number of products. Some of them are media brands, which are like digital apps. We have 14 of those for toddlers to teens in multiple languages. We also have products for school where we use that combination of content and ability to safely collaborate around it for learning and project-based learning globally. In a nutshell, the most succinct way to describe us is children’s education media company meets safe and secure learning network.

Sramana Mitra: Let us double-click down on that and give us some examples of how your business works. Who’s buying? Is it parents or school?

Katya Andresen: We have two sides to the business model. Let me start with B2C. We have a lot of great digital apps and products for parents and kids. We have everything from a digital app that allows a kid to read about science and do interactive games to apps that allow me to read to my kid when I’m on a business trip. Those are consumers paying either a subscription fee or paying for individual purchases of digital or physical products. That’s the B2C side.

We have also opened up the content that we have, which takes the form of digital magazines and apps and licensed it. We have also opened up the collaborative capabilities of our platform and licensed it. That’s the B2B side of our business where customers include publishing companies like McGraw-Hill, Pearson, or the Smithsonian Institution, which recently licensed our platform to have a virtual, global exchange where kids around the world share their cultures. The common theme is content with face collaboration wrapped around it.

It’s an important issue that we’re trying to address. Content is going digital. Content is not just something we expect to passively consume anymore. We expect to be able to create our own content, mix and match the content we find online, and we want to be social around it. Our traffic apps are social and our music apps are social. Certainly anything relating to learning should be social. That’s the need we’re addressing. Like I said, we address it with consumers but then we also serve the companies that are serving teachers, students, and schools around the world.

The last thing I’ll say that is important is the the global aspect. If you want to stand for collaboration in digital content, you want to do that in a global way. It’s just not meaningful to connect with people who are just like you in the same country. If we really want to promote global understanding and digital citizenship and meaningful learning, it’s important that our social graph spans the world. Some of the most interesting examples that I can give you are what we’ve done when we connected kids from China with kids in the United States, or when kids in India are talking about their culture with kids in Australia. Those connections are important to our model as well.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Thought Leaders in Online Education: Katya Andresen, CEO of Cricket Media
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