So, what’s new in EdTechLand this week? Here’s a few things that caught our eye:

Big Data

Let’s start with two somewhat contrasting views on Big Data in education. First up, here’s Jose Ferreira of Knewton, and he has some bold claims:

Big data is going to impact education in a big way. It is inevitable. It has already begun. If you’re part of an education organization, you need to have a vision for how you will take advantage of big data. Wait too long and you’ll wake up to find that your competitors (and the instructors that use them) have left you behind with new capabilities and insights that seem almost magical.

Read his full post here. Knewton are really helping to set the agenda for adaptive learning and use of data analytics in education, so it’s worth keeping and eye on their blog.

And, by way of contrast, here’s EdTech luminary and campaigner against MOOCs, adaptive learning, computerised and automated learning, Audrey Watters in a bit of a rant against what Big Data might mean for education and specifically on why adaptive learning is flawed. Again, Audrey’s Hack Education blog is worth a follow.

Scientific American on adaptive learning

How big data is taking teachers out if the lecturing business

And while we’re on the subject of adaptive learning, here’s a great big article on the subject from Scientific American. The headline tells you the angle they’re coming at this from, but the article is more balanced than it sounds – an interesting read.

Google moving into textbooks

Google is about to launch a Textbooks section in its Play store, and has announced partnerships with Pearson, Wiley, Macmillian Higher Education, McGraw-Hill and Cengage Learning – read more here. This could be interesting. Apple’s Textbook section in the iBookstore is slowly gaining traction, but it hasn’t exactly set the world alight, so let’s see how Google do.

Welcome to the New Livemocha

In their first big move since being acquired by Rosetta Stone, Livemocha announced ‘the new Livemocha experience’ this week. Check out their all-new site. From the looks of the comments from users, it’s a tad controversial!

Rosetta Stone buys Lexia Learning

Another purchase for Rosetta Stone, as they continue to try and adapt to the digital age by buying up other companies. This time, it’s a move into children’s literacy.

Anakana Schofield: publicising a novel – the problems

Not related to ELT, but useful for all writers nonetheless. Novelist Anakana Schofield writes in The Guardian on the business side of writing for a living and the role of the media.


Enjoy reading, and see you next week!

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