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Why (Digital) Education is the new eCommerce (nextbigwhat.com)
20 points by manishreddyt 1578 days ago | hide | past | web | 9 comments | favorite



That sounds frightening to me. A bunch of people getting into the education market just because its the next big money maker is wrong. I deal with current education software on a daily basis. A large percentage of that is made or owned by Pearson as one example. The amount of money charged for something that is just terrible in every facet is sickening.


Pearson is not strong outside institutionalized education, which is not the growth space and is VERY hard for startups to address anyway. They have money to buy stuff, but their margins are eroding in print and the company isn't structured to innovate elsewhere, in large part because no-one running any division wants money-losing investments on their balance sheet. So the company has to acquire rather than innovate, and isn't even very good at that (Tutorvista???).

There is really interesting stuff happening in the adult education market that will eventually trickle into K12 and higher ed. It just isn't generally covered by edutech press because of the focus on institutional money. So don't fear the reaper and all, although I agree about the quality problems now things will look differently in ten years.


I wouldn't fear this development. Sure like every other 'new' development everybody and their aunt will want a piece of the action. But we are talking the internet here. We'll see a quality/price competition develop and us users have excellent ways to complain or praise. I can even see 'old' institutes compete in this space, as well as one-on-one coaches or authors of 'how to' books selling educational plans along side of their books. Think of Amazon showing you a popup "you bought 'Career Warfare', would you like to enroll for the upcoming class? First 2 classes free!"


Though many people are getting into education ( some serious curriculum education ) but many of them are working towards open learning, and above that people are taking that very seriously.


While the author believes that "the ease, access, convenience and lower cost [offered by online education] appeals to people just about everywhere" the huge - giant - glaring omission here is that education is not so much about enjoyment, ease, or cost as it is about developing your core competencies, content knowledge, and cognitive development - it must, in a word, work.

And, it doesn't.

I'll be quick to change my tune when online education proves itself effective - but right now online k12 education is failing miserably all around the country despite great promises and powerful support(e.g. there are current 16 online k12 charter schools in Pennsylvania getting terrible results).

This isn't a field in which innovators are allowed to fail for a year until they find appropriate answers to their problems - that year of failing is a year of their students failing to advance. There is no stomach from teachers, administrators, or parents for such bumbling - nor should there be.


I absolutely agree with your concerns. However there are very high number if success stories indicating that technology is the only solution. Very large scale adoption of services like Google apps for education, Edmodo, BetterLessons and Desire2Learn are the examples.


They are strong education tools, no doubt - but note that each of them is a support technology for traditional education, not a replacement for it. These success stories could not succeed (or usefully exist) without a well established traditional education system.

These are also not the sort of tools the article here is discussing (which instead posits that the future of education will be the replacement of traditional flesh-and-blood education with digital education platforms - which will fail).


Calling it the next eCommerce might sound almost sinister if you are only considering it as a money-making opportunity.

However, working at kenHub (kenhub.com), a very small startup which aims to help medical students learn anatomy online, I personally find it very refreshing. It feels good helping the next generation of doctors and nurses. It's not really that much about money as it is about making a positive impact, and making student's lives easier.

It is an uphill struggle, against big publishers and the academic establishment, but students deserve better tools that are more agile, and fit with their existing lifestyles and habits.


All the data mentioned there is all good... but I would suggest that you put some reference links to back it up...




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