Forbes Magazine recently presented Nic Borg with its "30 Under 30" award. The magazine presents the award annually to young entrepreneurs (under 30 years-old, as you might have guessed) in 15 different fields like finance, entertainment, technology and education. Mr. Borg’s award was in the education field for his co-founding of Edmodo.com with Jeff O’Hara.
Mr Borg’s background, Forbes magazine says, differs from other entrepreneurs in the field by being an intensely practical one forged in a high school environment where he built web-based tools and management solutions for seven years before founding Edmodo. Edmodo, formed in 2008 with the slogan "Where learning happens," uses what he learned in that down-and-dirty educational environment to facilitate communication and collaboration between students teachers both in and outside the classroom. He wanted to form a site that solved "real" problems for teachers. The largest K-12 social learning network with more than 33 million users, Edmodo is often called the "Facebook of education".
A web search for reviews indicates Edmodo has indeed solved some "real" problems for teachers and students that use it. As examples, one teacher writes, "Once you join the community you can get direct access to the resources/ideas/experience/feedback of other teachers from around the world". A student says, Edmodo "helps me get my homework and project online instead of using tons of paper that going to go in the trash". Reviews by parents are also generally positive, although some reflected their concern on problems inherent with all social networks: too much chat and not enough substance in some communities.
And like Facebook, there are some monetization issues with Edmodo. When questioned by Forbes magazine, Mr.Borg admitted that at present they are trying to leverage their site with increased users – teachers, students, parents – before concentrating on commercial aspects. In other words, social utility before profit; luckily his investors agree with his present patient course.
Nick Borg is a fine example of the young entrepreneurs working in this country to better EdTech in the classroom. His Edmodo.com reflects his own practical background in K-12 education by solving real problems for teachers, students and parents. Edmodo’s success as an edtech tool is reflected in numerous positive reviews on the Internet. At the moment, as with other successful social networking sites like Facebook, Mr. Borg is less interested in profit then with increasing his site's membership.