Edtech

Browse the latest news about education technology and startups in Southern California from dot.LA.
Courtesy of Brett Brewer.

In 1996, when the internet was in its infancy, Brett Brewer and a couple of college buddies decided to start a company from their pad in Manhattan Beach.

What became Intermix Media—which would later give birth to the original social network, Myspace—initially started off as an ecommerce business called Entertainment Universe that sold movies, music and games. It took 18 months for Brewer and his partners to get the venture off the ground and raise any sort of capital; by April 1999, the company went public, just before the dot-com bubble burst.

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Image courtesy of 1Question

After the pandemic shuttered schools and social activities, screen time among children nearly doubled as digital devices became their sole source of education, recreation and social activities.

The obsession with screens was noted in the Elnekave household, where husband-and-wife duo Issac and Ann watched their children grow increasingly attached to their phones. The pair would try to limit excessive Internet use through parental screen controls and “no phone” times. They even attempted a type of blitzkrieg schooling: Ann would jump out from behind door frames and ambush their daughter Alyssa with multiplication questions.

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Courtesy of Subject

With America facing an ongoing, pandemic-induced teacher shortage, schools in poorer communities are feeling the pinch the most. As a result, some have stopped offering classes deemed “non-essential,” such as art, music and AP-level courses.

“Your zip code and your parents’ socioeconomic status really dictate your high school experience right now—and that largely dictates your life trajectory,” according to Michael Vilardo, co-founder and president of online education startup Subject. “So if we help level the playing field to provide more equity, that is something to be really excited about.”

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