ALL POSTS & ARTICLES

Fee-based ELT materials writing: risky business?

Risk tournament
Image by Flickr user derekGavey. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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.

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It’s In The Game: ‘Gamification’ and Language Learning Pt. 1 of 2

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).

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Macmillan signs up with Knewton for adaptive learning in ELT

Knewton

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.

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Money A Turn Off (It Turns Out)

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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.”

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GlobalEnglish makes its play

Image by Flickr user pennstatenews. Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic
Image by Flickr user pennstatenews. Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic

The next time you’re sat opposite that businessperson on the train engrossed in their BlackBerry or iPhone, don’t assume they’re frantically trying to get to Inbox Zero. It’s just as likely they’re trying to get to the next level of Angry Birds.

Or so GlobalEnglish might have us believe.

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(Out)Source Code: Kaplan’s EdTech Accelerator To Success

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.

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The 5 EdTech trends of ELT part 1: Online Learning

Online learning - ELT

Edudemic recently identified The 5 Biggest Education Technology Trends To Know About.

The 5 trends are:

  1. Online learning
  2. Alternative credentialling platforms
  3. Tablets and smartphones
  4. e-textbooks
  5. 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.

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Open season on language schools? Open English secures huge funding

Open English

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.

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See you later, incubator: Pearson invests in Edtech startups

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

2013: The rise of the smartwatch?

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: birth of the “first person tutor”

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

Houghton Mifflin buys Tribal Nova

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.

Online language learning start-up Busuu reaches 30m users

imagesIn 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.

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Chinese primary schools introducing tablets

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 Course Builder

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

Categories ELT

Rosetta Stone going online-only

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