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Napster, Udacity, and the Academy Clay Shirky

n the US, an undergraduate education used to be an option, one way to get into the middle class. Now it’s a hostage situation, required to avoid falling out of it. And if some of the hostages having trouble coming up with the ransom conclude that our current system is a completely terrible idea, then learning will come unbundled from the pursuit of a degree just as as songs came unbundled from CDs.

If this happens, Harvard will be fine. Yale will be fine, and Stanford, and Swarthmore, and Duke. But Bridgerland Applied Technology College? Maybe not fine. University of Arkansas at Little Rock? Maybe not fine. And Kaplan College, a more reliable producer of debt than education? Definitely not fine.

(Full Story: Napster, Udacity, and the Academy Clay Shirky)

Big Data For Higher Ed: With $4.1M From First Round, Floodgate, Former Kaplan Exec Launches Civitas Learning

To improve academic outcomes and keep students in school, teachers, learners and administrators need access to insight in realtime. Big data, predictive analytics, machine learning and recommendation engines are transforming the way we buy products, play games and watch movies, and Civitas Learning believes that the same should be true for education.

(Full Story: Big Data For Higher Ed: With $4.1M From First Round, Floodgate, Former Kaplan Exec Launches Civitas Learning)

Kaplan’s SAT On-Demand Course Wins 2011 EDDIE Award

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kaplan Test Prep’s SAT On Demand course has been recognized as the top high school “Test Tool Website” in ComputED’s 2011 Education Software Review Awards (EDDIE Awards). The EDDIE Awards, now in its 16th year, recognize innovative programs and websites that augment classroom curriculum and improve teacher productivity, providing parents and teachers with the technology to foster educational excellence. Winners are selected from around the world and judged on academic content, potential for broad classroom use, technical merit, subject approach and management system.

(Full Story: Kaplan’s SAT On-Demand Course Wins 2011 EDDIE Award)

New and Better Apps Help Students Study for SAT – NYTimes.com

Several to consider on this front include Princeton Review’s SAT Score Quest for iPad (free) and SAT Vocab Challenge for iPhone ($5), Kaplan SAT Flashcubes (free) and SAT Connect ($10 for Apple). For math, Adapster ($10 on Apple) is designed nicely.

(Full Story: New and Better Apps Help Students Study for SAT – NYTimes.com)

Slow Selling is the Way of the Future

Elsewhere, the “Kaplan Commitment” program ensures students make an informed decision before paying for school. Kaplan allows students to enroll in classes for over a month and determine if courses are the right fit and meet their needs before making any financial commitment. Students feel less pressure and Kaplan has more stability and predictability in its student base.

(Full Story: Slow Selling is the Way of the Future)

The Norton Anti-Virus Online University Bowl Redefines “Football” @ TeamCoco.com

Think of the kind of person enrolls in an online university, and then imagine how good you think they would be at playing football. Now, THINK HARDER because they are even worse than you can imagine! Thanks to their sponsor Norton Anti-Virus, we got to watch the students of the online University of Pheonix and Kaplan University “play” a “game” of “football”. I thought I saw one of the players smoking a cigarette. Did you see that? Or am I crazy?

(Full Story: The Norton Anti-Virus Online University Bowl Redefines “Football” @ TeamCoco.com)

Kaplan Releases SAT Prep Game App for iPhone and iPad

Test prep giant Kaplan and game maker Aspyr Media have adapted their SAT test prep video game, FutureU, for iPhone and iPad devices.

The free FutureU SAT study game — which includes four $1.99 in-app premium upgrades for additional levels — is now available as an iOS application to students looking for a mobile interactive way to prepare for the SATs.
(Link: Kaplan Releases SAT Prep Game App for iPhone and iPad)

What Might Innovation Award Winners Look Like in Five or 10 Years? – WSJ.com

Adaptive Learning
“Start-up companies like Knewton and Grockit as well as stalwarts like Kaplan are starting to push in this area,” says Mr. Horn, “and there promise to be breakthroughs in the next five years.”
(Link: What Might Innovation Award Winners Look Like in Five or 10 Years? – WSJ.com)

Forget the Tote Bag; Cablevision Is Offering Free SAT Prep – The Choice Blog – NYTimes.com

The on-demand PSAT and SAT training course (ordinarily available for $99, Cablevision said) is being offered online by Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions. In conjunction with the promotion, Cablevision said it had also produced a television series for its MSG Varsity channel, “Prepare for the Next Level,” that is “designed to help high school students and their families prepare for the college application process.” The first episode is scheduled to be shown Friday.
(Link: Forget the Tote Bag; Cablevision Is Offering Free SAT Prep – The Choice Blog – NYTimes.com)

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