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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Thompson Leaves Learning Market

Saw Thomson Corp exists Learning Market on Learning Reflections...
Not only have they just completed the sale of their NETg subsidiary to SkillSoft for $270 million, but they have also announced they are selling Higher Education assets of Thomson Learning to a couple of venture funds for $7.75 billion.
This goes back to the discussion we had recently around the challenges for vendors: eLearning Business Alternatives - Good Discussion. Looking back at some old posts, Disruptive Changes in Learning and Content Vendor Value - this is really a WOW topic.


Dennis D. McDonald said...

Tony, I recently did a client-sponsored market analysis that included a look at content-related trends in elearning, publishing, and other fields, and I saw that industry trend data showed only modest growth in sales of traditional content such as textbook related materials into both el-hi and academic markets through 2010. By that I mean trends showing single-digit as opposed to double digit growth. Double digit growth for content, especially electronic content, was more likely to be projected for business oriented markets and applications. Granted, sales projections in such volatile markets are very difficult to make, but I think you need to take into account which "elearning market" you are talking about when evaluating the significance of sales such as the Thompson sale. The possibility exists that non-school elearning expenditures of time and money may be on the increase, at least more so than what is happening in traditional school environments.

Clark said...

Tony, the old adage is that it's not about textbooks, it's about content. I think the next stage beyond that is about experience, and more. Pine and Gilmore say the step beyond the experience economy is the transformation economy: experiences that change you. That's where I think the leverage point is: designing content with quality learning and an engaging experience. Yes, in flexible and reusable ways, but the value add is on top of the content quality. That will also be added by instructors/mentors, but also needs to be core to the material and there can be value to that.