A Silicon Valley education start-up is getting a big vote of confidence from two venture capitalists who have veritable PhDs in social networking.
Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, and Matt Cohler, an early employee at Facebook, are joining the board of Edmodo. Their respective venture capital firms, Greylock Partners and Benchmark Capital, are leading a new $15-million funding round.
"Edmodo has emerged as the engine in the classroom for content sharing, collaboration and assignments," said Cohler, a general partner with Benchmark Capital. "Edmodo works and students get that, teachers get that."
And that has helped the Facebook-like service catch on in the classroom. More than 5 million teachers and students in 60,000 schools around the globe use Edmodo. The site's usership has doubled in the last three months.
Hoffman, a managing partner with Greylock, said Edmodo is emerging as a key network. Just as Facebook is the social graph and LinkedIn the professional graph, he said, "Edmodo is the educational graph."
Even as technologies in Silicon Valley have radically transformed our lives and industries, they've been slower to make a major dent in the 21st century classroom. Surveys show that most students still use technology more outside the classroom than in it. And while 73% of teachers say digital content is essential, only 11% of districts are using it, according to a survey of IT professionals.