They say that every cloud has a silver lining, however sometimes it is not always obvious at first glance. And sometimes it can take as long as four years for that silver lining to become obvious. And this is one such situation that I going to share with you.
As the founder of Zane Education, it just on 10 years ago that I made a successful offer to buy a company called Zane Publishing Inc., a company that had previously been one of the leading educational software publishers, developing over 260 CD-ROM titles to provide teaching and testing for 260 topics for the K-12 curriculum.
The reason for wanting to buy Zane Publishing was simple. I could envision a time when being able to deliver so much wonderful curriculum-based educational content online would be invaluable. So here we are several years later having produced – and now delivering on the Zane Education website – over 1,000 online educational videos, with each of the 260 topics across 11 subjects, being provided with online interactive quizzes containing over 23,000 questions that continue the learning process by explaining why each answer is correct or incorrect.
The fact that every video was captioned, or provided subtitles – now being called by some as SMS or ‘same language subtitles’ – was purely coincidental because that was the original format provided by the original software. Some have described this style of presentation dated or old-fashion, however we understood that by presenting the videos in this format we provided each child with the option to watch, listen to, or read each presentation, and in doing so, catering for a range of learning styles and abilities. But I will be the first to admit that I never fully appreciated the true value of what we had.
The fact that all of our educational video content is developed specifically to meet the requirements of the curriculum – and not simply video of a general educational nature, and because we are able to provide such a valuable form of online testing – again specifically developed originally to help continue the learning process, we are well aware that our service offers a significantly better educational solution than those other websites simply providing collections of video of just a general educational nature. So in providing a service that truly has a potential global audience, we recently made the decision to launch a fund-raising that would bring in equity investors to give us the financial strength to market our online subscription service, much more effectively. (more…)