The LMS, as we currently know it, is a relic from a long-gone era. An era where the internet was in its infancy, where static, text-heavy content was the norm, and where the web was accessed from the desktop. Where services like AOL, Yahoo and MSN tried to be everything to everybody.
The modern economy has no real respect for degrees—other than demanding at least a Bachelors for every position and from every applicant.
Higher education in America has become confused with trade school: everything from four-year computer science degrees to Masters-level management schools are concerned with occupational education. They are advertised as the necessary link between academic life and employment: high schoolers take jobs; college graduates enter careers.
Back in my pre-startup life running corporate development for a large educational publisher I saw dozens, if not hundreds, of education technology companies passionately focused on solving a single problem for instructors, students or administrators. While the focus should have simplified everything they were doing very few of them emerged from the morass to become compelling, scalable businesses with sustainable economics. Why is that?
WordPress, the content management software created by Matt Mullenweg, already powers over 23% of all websites on the Internet.
With the acquisition of WooThemes the company has now the potential to become a major player in the online education market, both in terms of reach and revenue.
The Internet opened up huge opportunities for tech savvy tutors not that long ago. If you had a basic understanding of how to set up a website, a bit of SEO and online marketing knowledge, chances were high to grow a tutoring business from a local customer base into an international operation. Skype, tutoring platforms and marketplaces, YouTube and social media represent only a handful of the new tools tutors had at their disposal. Glory days.