News Corp. is looking to sell off Amplify after a failed experiment in the education and educational technology business. The coup de grace was a $371M write down announced yesterday. The NYT suggested “the moves highlight the difficulty that has confronted News Corporation and others looking to move teaching into the digital age, relying on the Internet and tablets to update traditional curriculums.”
Moving teaching into the digital realm is, indeed, difficult. But does anyone disagree it’s a bad idea? I understand teachers over 35 are having difficulty getting acclimated to new devises, e.g., interactive whiteboards, assessment clickers, curriculum apps and education software, but passing advanced chemistry in high school wasn’t a walk in the park either. It’s a learning thing.
Professional development in K12 is such a big business because many teachers don’t get the new technology. Layer that with new Common Core standards and you are beginning to see the “perfect storm.”
Amplify will be bought by either Pearson or Google (or a smart super-rich tech spender) who will reengineer how to teach teachers to teach, using a new digital curriculum. It won’t be easy, but when it works (and it will), the results will change U.S. education by leaps.
Ar-ne Dun-can, clap, clap, clap clap clap. (Baseball stadium reference.)