Hitting Reset, Knewton Tries New Strategy: Competing With Textbook Publishers

Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge, Dec 08, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Remember Knewton? Pundits loved it. It positioned itself as "the world’s leading adaptive learning technology provider with the mission of bringing personalized education to the world" and drew some $157 million in funding. Now they're executing a pivot "along with mounting criticism that its founding CEO, Jose Ferreira, overhyped its technology." Now the company is trying to compete with publishers. "The secret to its swift entry into publishing was OER (open education resources). Rather than hire authors to write textbooks from scratch, the company is now curating open-educational materials already on the internet." Only the open educational resources won't be free. "Each online textbook costs $44 for two years of access, or $9.95 per month."

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