Lore Redesigns Interface, Aims to Attract More Schools

Last month Technapex covered Lore, a new network for teachers and students used at more than 600 schools, seven of which are Ivy League universities.

Two weeks ago, Lore redesigned its user interface to make it more aesthetically pleasing. The new graphical UI jazzes up the live streaming news feed that allows students to view discussions and a calendar that can be customized with assignment dates and exam schedules. The main feature is a timeline which spans the entire length of a given course and allows students to “like” and comment on posts.

Since last year, founders Joseph Cohen, Dan Getelman and Jim Grandpre have raised $6 million, enabling them to go toe-to-toe with Blackboard, one of the leading university networks. The entrepreneurial trio dropped out of the University of Pennsylvania last year to devote their full-time efforts to launching the startup.

Educators and students are growing increasingly attracted to the new network.

In an article in The Economist, Edward Boches, a Boston University professor who teaches advertising classes says that Lore “makes teaching more interactive, extends it beyond the classroom and stimulates students to learn from each other rather than just the professor.”

The challenge the three founders face is adopting an appropriate business model to sustain the service, while taking caution to not sabotage their growing popularity. The network is currently free for anyone who wishes to use it, but Cohen, Getelman and Grandpre are interested in pursuing some kind of marketplace business model. Cohen believes that Lore could eventually become a kind of higher learning marketplace which hosts advanced course-management suites and even textbook purchases.

Cohen, Getelman and Grandpre are on their way to achieving an impressive following with their new social network, and their success provides another example of ambitious students dropping out of college to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors. With Lore, they seem to be following in the path of Mark Zuckerberg, who created something cool, free and revolutionary, but waited to make it a business until after it had exploded in popularity.

Do you use Lore at your school? What kind of response do students and teachers have to this new social network? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.