Online learning used to involve little more than clunky e-book versions of standard textbooks. No longer. Today the most innovative companies in education recognize that the very substance of what we need to know has undergone a fundamental shift. For some of the companies on this year’s list, that means supporting the development of newly relevant skills, like computational thinking (Microsoft’s Minecraft) and critical thinking (Newsela). Others, like Pluralsight and 2U, give professionals a way to keep up to date on content and advance their careers without leaving the comforts of their sofa.
Click on a company name to learn more about why it made the list.
For building new worlds in the classroom
For letting friends compare notes as they learn a new language
03. GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
For becoming the nation’s largest computer science master’s program, while charging a fraction of the typical cost
For using digital games to teach kids their rights and responsibilities as U.S. citizens
For using chatbots to improve college outcomes
For helping kids make sense of the news—at their own reading level
For recognizing that on-the-job learning needs to be on-demand
For designing educational games that magically integrate physical and digital
For making lectures more interactive
For proving that students are willing to pay top dollar for online learning
This article is part of our coverage of the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2017.