Using this online platform and its existing apps, teachers and students can easily access and manage classes, assignments, and notes in the cloud. Not only is the interface cleaner and tidier than normal learning management systems, it bears mild resemblance to Facebook’s interface, and thereby making it very intuitive. This familiarity then allows users to quickly master the interface without any initial training or time commitment. Other unique aspects to Language Cloud that differentiates it from others is its social aspect. Other than the usual groups and forum chats, Language Cloud features a section where you can follow other members of the school such as teachers and students.
They will also have an app center in January 2013 whereby teachers and students can purchase premium Language Cloud features, popular digital textbooks and practice tests, and third party e-learning apps. Within 7 weeks of launching in beta, they were able to sign up with 50 schools. In July 2012, they received a seed investment from Digital Garage and Sunbridge, the investors behind Twitter and Salesforce Japan, to grow their engineering team and accelerate Language Cloud’s development. The following month, 500 Startups, a Silicon Valley based seed fund invested in them as well.
Reception from these 50 schools in both the academic and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) community has been so positive and energetic that in Spring 2013, Language Cloud will be expanding internationally to the U.S. and South Korea. They will be announcing a licensing agreement and partnership with Cambridge University Press this month that will allow them to integrate Cambridge textbooks and practice tests, which have never before been digitized, into the Language Cloud platform.
Brothers, John and Billy Martyn are half Japanese and American. They were born in Saudi Arabia and grew up in Pakistan, France, and the U.S. Language Cloud was an idea birthed while they were attending university in U.S., and studied abroad in Japan.
In the future, they plan to bridge the gap between educators and entrepreneurs by facilitating innovative discussion regarding the role of web 2.0 technologies in academia. Other efforts to promote web 2.0 technologies is through Language Cloud sponsored conferences.
This past September, they hosted the first “Future of Language Learning: Tokyo 2012” conference. This event included a public forum and panel discussion where educators and entrepreneurs of all levels were able to come together and voice their opinions and concerns regarding the future of language learning and educational technology.