busuu.com: The State of Language Learning Pt. 1/2

busuu.com  is inconceivably big. It is in fact the largest social network for language learning in the world with over 30,000,000 users from 200 countries. That’s more than the population of Uzbekistan. It’s more than the populations of the Czech Republic, Sweden and Austria combined. It’s more than 800 times the size of Liechtenstein, the homeland … Read more

The Open Education Alliance: A Brave New World

During TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference in San Francisco on Monday Udacity‘s CEO, Sebastian Thrun, announced the launch of the Open Education Alliance (OEA). The alliance represents the efforts of Google, AT&T and a range of educational organizations (Khan Academy, cloudera, etc.) who are combining forces with a view of developing and providing learning tools to help … Read more

Vocabla: The Words On The Street

The folks over at Polish startup LangApp have come up with something rather special; a heady mix of vocabulary tutor, social network and shareable media library. It’s a potent brew. Vocabla is a powerful demonstration of how addictive language learning can be whilst also being both effective and entirely free. Its premise is a simple … Read more

More news for Knewton

More interesting news from adaptive learning technology provider Knewton today, as they announced their latest publisher partnership, this time with Cambridge University Press, and the opening of a new office in London. The partnership will see the Knewton API integrated with the Cambridge LMS platform, which currently serves over 250,000 students and teachers globally. The move … Read more

#elthack: Using Virtual Assistants in ELT Publishing

It’s a common occurrence; as the projects and deadlines start to stack up it gets increasingly difficult to get to the bottom of your inbox let alone move ahead with organising the work that actually needs to be done. Keeping on top of the correspondence and coordinating a team has a knack of becoming an … Read more

ELT dips its toe into the crowdfunding pool

Back in June, Laurie wrote a piece on crowdfunding in ELT, which lamented the fact that nothing much ELT-related was happening on crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter. Well, there’s one recently launched project that’s definitely worth a look. Atama-ii Books is the brainchild of, amongst others, Marcos Benevides, a Japan-based teacher, publisher and author. Marcos is well … Read more

Breaking up is hard to do: the ‘atomisation’ of ELT content

Is the linear ELT course on the way out? There’s a growing trend towards the provision of modular mix and match content, or even completely ‘atomised’ content. There are four key things driving this trend: The need to make content development faster and more efficient The potential for huge improvements in production efficiency The rise … Read more

Beyond SCORM – How Tin Can could transform the LMS

The way learning activity is recorded by LMSs is about to undergo a long over-due shake up. If you use an LMS as either a student, a teacher, an administrator, or even as an LMS provider, you no doubt already have some misgivings about the way in which learning activity is tracked by the system: your LMS is probably too rigid to track all the results at the level of granularity you want; it is likely to be a painful process to conform your learning content to work with the way outcomes are tracked; and almost definitely your LMS is unable to track informal or non-curricular learning activity at all. You are not alone in your dissatisfaction. Fortunately, inroads are being made into redefining the way in learning experiences can be tracked and recorded.

Disruptor or disrupted? How to be among the 9% that survive

A recent scary-sounding post on FutureBook (Will you be in the nine percent of publishers that survive?) about recent research into disruptive innovation got me thinking about what it might mean for ELT publishing. A few weeks ago I posted a primer on disruptive innovation in which I made the case for EdTech as a disruptive force in ELT. I thought it might be interesting now to delve into this a bit more and explore what it is that a disruptive ELT publisher might do, and how to avoid being among the ranks of the disrupted.

Ahead in the Clouds: Cloud-Based Publishing and ELT

The typical creation, development, production and publication of an ELT title is an often gruelling process. The sheer amount of meetings, emails, phone calls, emails, meetings and Word docs is overwhelming to the point of maddening. But … that’s the way books are born, right? The key project team (publishers, editorial, production) correspond with each … Read more

Developing ebooks for ELT – 10 questions to ask before you begin

ebooks are fast becoming something that ELT publishers simply have to be able to deliver in a world that’s lurching towards the paperless classroom. However, moving from print to ebooks is much easier said than done, especially if you’re adapting an existing (and possibly old) print book, and there a number of hurdles which might not be immediately obvious. Here’s my starter for 10. Each of these is a whole topic in itself, and I’ve raised more questions than answers, so let’s consider this just a starting point!

Rosetta Stone Buys Up Lexia Learning

It’s appears truer then ever that a rolling stone gathers no moss as Rosetta Stone follows its recent acquisition of Livemocha by taking on the services and systems of Lexia Learning. The $22.5 million deal represents Rosetta Stone’s leading edge strategy of moving towards being an education solutions provider in U.S. schools as opposed to exclusively … Read more

Self-publishing in ELT (Part 1)

My recent post on whether ELT brands had become more important than ELT authors generated lots of interesting discussion in the comments, and a few things in particular jumped out: Jason R Levine: … in the age of education 2.0-3.0, have the ELT teachers, content creators, and curators become more important? Eric Roth: Given the … Read more