Dennis Kavelman of Desire2Learn Inc. is brewing a perfect storm with the convergence of technological revolution and cloud computing in online education. According to him, the market is ready to explode. Based in Kitchener, Ontario, Desire2Learn is considered in the forefront of advanced mobile and software applications in the industry. It is estimated that some 8 million people across the globe are using its applications so that students can submit their homework online; teachers can attach audio criticisms to the students’ assignments when they return them; and stream lectures are made possible through mobile applications.
Desire2Learn is also developing applications for tablets so that teachers can download submitted students’ assignments for reading and marking using their iPads. The company is also growing fast as it opens offices in Melbourne, Toronto, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. However, its client base is still dependent on government spending as there are no sales yet from the kinder to Grade 12 sector. But John Baker, Desire2Learn CEO, is unfazed. According to him, although there is a future in online education, what matters most is that the company has an impact on the world. His personal vision is seeing the students stream lectures through their iPhone while on the way to class so that they can spend their time productively.
In a related development, the company also recently accepted venture investment worth $80 million. This amount will enable the company to quickly grow its online education firm so that it can conquer a larger market around the world. Funded by New Enterprises Associates (NEA) and OMERS Ventures, the money will be used on research and development in order to boost international sales and set up marketing offices in Australia, London, and Singapore.