According to the authors of a newly published report, at least 10 state education agencies—Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington—have launched official microcredential pilots. And another five states—Illinois, Maryland, Montana, New York, and Wyoming—are experimenting with microcredentials in some way.
sponsored by the non-profit Digital Promise, the report argues that we’ve reached a kind of tipping point in the evolution of the “emerging micro-credentialing ecosystem,”
Reports from early adopters (among them, the NEA, the country’s largest teachers’ union) have been promising, and the potential market for such programs is potentially huge. According to Digital Promise, nearly three out of four U.S. teachers are currently engaged in some type of informal professional development or learning.
more on microcredentials in this IMS blog:
16 Startups Poised to Disrupt the Education Market
Colleges and universities are facing new competition for customers–students and their parents–from startups delivering similar goods (knowledge, credentials, prestige) more affordably and efficiently. Here’s a rundown of some of those startups.
Related story on the IMS blog:
In a new book, The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere, author Kevin Carey distills a brave new world in which a myriad of lower-cost solutions–most in their infancy–threaten to upend the four-year, high-tuition business model by which colleges and universities have traditionally thrived.
Using cloud-based e-textbooks and course materials, Rafter helps campus bookstores digitize their offerings and keep their prices low, allowing them to regain the market share they were losing to other stores and course-materials marketplaces.
Piazza is an online study room where students can anonymously ask questions to teachers and other students. The best answers get pushed to the top through repeated user endorsement.
As do the above two companies, InsideTrack sells its services to universities. It provides highly personalized coaching to students and it helps colleges assess whether their technology and processes are equipped to measure student progress. nsideTrack recently announced a partnership with Chegg, through which it will provide its coaching services directly to students.
If you attended a four-year school, then you know the feeling of receiving relentless requests for alumni donations. USEED is like Kickstarter for school fundraising:
5. Course Hero
One of Inc.‘s 30-Under-30 companies from 2013, Course Hero is an online source of study guides, class notes, past exams, flash cards, and tutoring services.
This is another site offering shared learning tools from students worldwide. Quizlet
according to Tony Wan’s superb story on EdSurge.
7. The Minerva Project
Other companies on this list provide services to schools or students. The Minerva Project is, literally, a new school.
8. Dev Bootcamp
In its own way, Dev Bootcamp is also a new school. Its program allows you to become a Web developer after a 19-week course costing under $14,000.
9. The UnCollege Movement
Founded by Thiel Fellow Dale Stephens (who took $100,000 from Peter Thiel to not go to college), The UnCollege Movement provides students with a 12-month Gap Year experience for $16,000.
Founded by Stanford computer science professor Sebastian Thrun, Udacity creates online classes through which companies can train employees. AT&T, for example, paid Udacity $3 million to develop a series of courses, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The tagline says it all: “Free online courses from top universities.” Indeed, Coursera’s partners include prestigious universities worldwide.
In a nonprofit joint venture, MIT and Harvard created their own organization offering free online courses from top universities. Several other schools now offer their courses through EdX, including Berkeley, Georgetown, and the University of Texas system.
13. Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative
CMU’s OLI is another example of a nonprofit startup founded by a school to ward off its own potential disruption.
Founder Michael Saylor has been musing on how technology can scale education since he himself was an undergrad at MIT in the early ’80s. Anyone, anywhere, can take courses on Saylor.org for free.
15. Open Badges
Founded by Mozilla, Open Badges is an attempt to establish “a new online standard to recognize and verify learning.”
Calling itself the “future of certificate management,” Accredible is the company that provides certification services for several of the online schools on this list, including Saylor.org and Udacity.