Class Technologies creates learning tools directly for Zoom (ZM) and is ramping up its business after a $105 million investment from SoftBank.
CEO Michael Chasen tells Yahoo Finance that Zoom is a great platform, but that it didn’t necessarily have the virtual tools teachers and younger students needed for learning at home. “So, whereas in higher ed, online learning is a little bit more established than in K-12. This really, I think, gave them the push. They needed to start exploring online learning in a more serious way,” said Chasen, who served as co-founder and CEO of Blackboard Inc.
“We often find it’s the teachers that have a little bit more of an uphill battle. But what’s happened during the pandemic is that every single teacher got a crash course in teaching online and Zoom. So we’ve been able to put our technology in the hands of teachers and students, and they get it right away, Chasen noted.
“There’s no advanced training that’s necessary … a lot of them are able to sit down and use it right away because it’s built on this standard Zoom interface that they’ve been using for the last year,” he said.
Chasen said that one of the company’s core ethos is to take the basic skills of in-person learning and bring them to a virtual setting.
“The idea behind Class was to take those basic core skills, those things that the teachers did in the physical classroom and bring them online. So what you can expect to see in the future is people using Zoom but having the tools to be able to give a quiz or handout and assignment or proctored exam just as they would in the physical classroom.”
Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.