The success of EdTech Startups

Tech Companies Angle for Big Bucks in Education

Textbook publishers are already buying EdTech startups: MacMillan acquires Late Nite Labs and Pearson takes over Learning Catalytics

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Pearson, taking one step further towards digitalization

There is a lot of hupla surrounding technology in higher ed right now and I am only excited to see where it is going next.
Let me break some things down for you first:

BYOD/BYOT (bring your own device/technology encourages students to use their own devices to retrieve information)
MOOC (massive open online course, now being offered at Universities and the Museum of Natural History)

It is inevitable for the textbook industry to, well, ‘budgetize’ their print production to meet the needs of the market. Cengage, Macmillan, and Pearson are making their strides to adapt to a changing market by partnering with CMS providers, creating textbooks that are far less traditional black-and-white paper and more full multimedia experiences and recently, acquiring small startups. Pearson, for example bought Learning Catalytics, software for teachers to collect and track a student’s retention and feedback during a lecture in real-time. [This could be used to prompt classroom discussions in both lower grades and seminars alike]. Pearson also continues to grow their eBook library, offers access codes providing resources to an accompaniment of MyLabs and is surely improving that drag-and-drop feature many like. But if decreasing the needs of traditional books being sold at college libraries and being used across classrooms, eventually focusing on an online curriculum or very best, a blended learning environment, what will this mean for professors? We are redefining the textbook and redefining the classroom experience right along with it. If textbooks are fading, will colleges jump on the wagon to offer MOOC-based curriculums?

Currently EdX, Udacity and Coursera are the three largest MOOC providers. They provide free classes out on the web (hence open courseware) to unenrolled students. ‘Students’ in the broad sense of the word… The Museum of Natural History recently joined Coursera in offering development courses to public school science teachers in NYC and some colleges have adopted the model ”flipping the classroom,” allowing instruction and homework to be done online and classroom discussion meant to facilitate discussion! These three companies will have an undeniable impact on higher ed in the future. It will be exciting and nerve wrecking to watch education transform. There will always be ups and downs. But if MOOC is changing our idea of learning, what does this also mean for the textbook industry? If publishers do not have a say over which titles are being offered, how will content be standardized? How will we regulate the Common Core? If any solution, MOOC providers should work one-on-one with the publishers to ensure content and all needs are met.