The debate over whether royalties for ELT authors are on the way out is raging on the conference circuit and in various corners of the Web. It’s clear that some kind of change is afoot within the industry, but it’s unclear yet just how extensive that change will be, especially for established authors. Here at eltjam, we thought now would be a good time to look at a couple of important issues related to fee-based ELT materials writing, especially on digital projects.
Interested observers of developments in the field of Edtech will undoubtedly be aware of the snowballing sexiness of the term ‘gamification’ as its advocates look at ways of transferring it from the world of business into the world of education.
What is emerging as the term gets shared and amplified is the fact that it is being interpreted differently and in increasingly erroneous ways. If the concepts and opportunities that the gamification proposition offer are to get effective traction within the education community it’s vital that teachers and learners are clear on what it actually entails (as well as what it doesn’t).
Adaptive learning powerhouse Knewton has announced that it has signed up with its second major publisher – Macmillan Education. Knewton, founded in 2008 by a former Kaplan executive, is already working with Pearson, and a number of US-focussed educational publishers. Macmillan will now be looking to integrate Knewton’s adaptive learning technology into online ELT courses, with the first products promised in 2015.
A whopping 62% of gamers pull the plug on their game experience when faced with in-game monetisation methods, a survey by betting site BuddyBet revealed. Further to this, 25% avoid online and mobile games altogether precisely because of these unwanted interruptions.
Jarrod Epps, CEO and Founder, BuddyBet, commented:
“[P]opular monetisation models risk alienating gamers due to the negative impact they have on the gaming experience, likely shortening lifetime user engagement and in-turn reducing the lifetime value of a player.”
In part one of this mini-series, we looked at online learning in ELT as one of the 5 key EdTech trend identified by Edudemic. In part 2, we look at what are described in the US education system as ‘alternative credentialing platforms’, and see if they have any relevance to ELT.
What the hell is an alternative credentialing platform?
On a previous eltjam post we talked about Pearson’s ingenius scheme designed to attract the best and brightest the edtech-osphere had to offer. Pearson – the educational publisher of Biblical proportions – is inviting submissions/product concepts/pitches from whomever has the wherewithal to realise that creating effective and lucrative digital propositions is no longer the exclusive territory of publishing’s Old Boy set. The company will fund the successful candidates’ travel to and from Planet Pearson and in doing so bestow upon them their expertise, contacts and blessings.
Edudemic recently identified The 5 Biggest Education Technology Trends To Know About.
The 5 trends are:
- Online learning
- Alternative credentialling platforms
- Tablets and smartphones
- Learning Management Systems
That’s great, but the angle is very much focussed on US higher education and K-12. So, in this mini-series, let’s have a look at what they mean in the world of ELT.
Online language school Open English has been getting big publicity over the last week following the news that the business has just raised $65m in funding to expand its operation further in its home base of Latin America and also, for the first time, beyond the Americas. This latest round of funding brings total investment to $120m. That’s one of the highest figures in the history of EdTech – and it’s an ELT product aiming to compete head-on with bricks and mortar English language schools and ELT publishers.
Duolingo, the online learning platform that provides free language courses, has published a paper measuring the effectiveness of its learning model in comparison to a traditional university language course. Its findings are worth some consideration.
Educational publishing behemoth Pearson is putting its dollar into the Edtech startup sector in order to help propel the company further into the 21st century and away from its long-established yet out-dated business models. This move follows hot on the heels of Kaplan linking up with TechStars to offer an edtech accelerator program in New York City. Pearson Catalyst is a new … Read more
The App Annie market index, released today, has tons of interesting stats on the iOS and Google Play app markets: the two platforms are now neck and neck when it comes to downloads, but iOS still dominates in revenue; China is now the second biggest app market; the biggest category by far is still Games; … Read more
A new report from ABI Research predicts that over a million smartwatches will be sold in 2013. Forget (for now) that apart from the Kickstarter phenomenon, Pebble, there aren’t really any available yet. What would really change the landscape would be if Apple’s rumoured iWatch does actually make an appearance. You never know, but it … Read more
The Grading Game is an addictive action word game centered around the pursuit and eradication of grammar and spelling errors. The game’s levels take the form of students’ papers, with a fresh set of errors generated for each play. Meanwhile, the papers themselves cover the most interesting and unusual topics, from the history of ramen to … Read more
Tribal Nova, based in Montreal, create apps and online learning – probably best known for their iLearnWith apps for primary age children. Houghton Mifflin are fully integrating Tribal Nova into their own business as a short-cut to developing digital-first product development expertise, as well as adding a successful product range to their portfolio.
In the week that Livemocha was swallowed up, Busuu has announced that it has now reached 30m users, with a growth rate of 40,000 a day. It’s not clear how of those are active users, though. Their main growth is coming from countries like Brazil, Turkey and Russia – the same group of countries that most ELT publishers see as the source of their own growth.
Beijing local government has invested $500k to trial the introduction of tablets in primary schools, with one device per child. The aim is to replace books with what they are describing as an ‘e-bag’. The first schools have started trailing this Spring. In one school where the tablets are being used for Maths, Chinese and … Read more
Google have launched Course Builder, an open source tool for creating online courses. Course Builder uses the platform Google put together in order to deliver their own course Power Searching With Google – a course which attracted over 150,000 subscribers. It’s pretty rough around the edges, and requires some basic programming skill in order to … Read more
Well, that was quick. Following hot on the heels of the news about their acquisition of Livemocha, Rosetta Stone has just announced that it’s closing all of its remaining kiosks in the US, shedding jobs, and moving to focus purely on online courses and digital downloads. The future is purely digital for them now, as … Read more