Type the word "education" into Google and the search engine will spit up 690 million results, with top links to a U.S. government site, Wikipedia, the New York Times and Apple Computer.
For PTA types, that much information could be a curse. That's why a Silicon Valley upstart aims to cater to time-pressed parents with a new reference Web site that's all about child-age schooling.
The site, called Education.com, launched in beta Thursday. According to CEO Ron Fortune, the site is designed to be "the WebMD of education" for parents and teachers of pre-schoolers all the way up to 12th grade. It hosts feature articles, expert editorials and reference materials from institutions around the country. And it connects parents and teachers through social networking tools.
"Parents often don't have the resources and time to get the information they need. (With this site), we want to empower parents to help their children succeed," Fortune said in an interview.
The free site will be supported by advertising and sponsorships. The privately held company, based in Redwood City, Calif., is backed by venture capital firms Azure Capital and TeleSoft Partners, which owned the Web address Education.com prior to the founding of the company. Azure and TeleSoft approached Fortune and three others to build the site this year.
Given that Education.com receives more than 100,000 unique referrals from Google monthly based on the simple name, according to Fortune, the site should have an easy head-start against rival education sites like Sun Microsystem's Curriki.
"It's a good way to build up the brand," he said.