What Are Ed Tech Entrepreneurs Good For?

Michael Feldstein, Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, May 07, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Markets are something we create, argues Michael Feldstein, and tech companies are just following the markets we give them, doing what they do as though guided by the law of gravity. "The LMS market is a good case in point. Want to know why the LMS industry has a reputation for building crappy, expensive products? ... College LMS procurement processes are long and complex." And they tend toward large companies with big products that have lots of features. I have a less sanguine view of these companies than does Feldstein. I think they have played a significant role in shaping these markets. "The recent evolution toward learning platforms are partly a direct consequence of the fact colleges are getting more sophisticated in their approach to the product category," he says. No thanks to the LMS companies and the publishers and the rest, in my view. What has really forced a change? As Mark Oehlert says, "our ecosystem is commodified."

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