When one of the most one of the most intriguing edtech companies of the year adopts one of the most popular acronyms of the year, this column just writes itself. Amplify announced last week the first free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for High School Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science. The course provides two full semesters of academic instruction and will help students prepare for the College Board exam. Geekblog Techcrunch has an mostly positive in-depth look at this attempt to bring MOOC platforms, currently the darling of higher education, to the K-12 space with details from Joel Klein, CEO of Amplify and one of Tech&Learning's Most Influential people in 2013.
Not everyone is enthused however. Take this snippet from the Washington Post blog The Answer Sheet: “Why will some of these MOOC start-ups die? It is hard to make sufficient money year-after-year from delivering instruction because teaching and learning, unlike automobiles and washing machines, are not subject to productivity and efficiency gains. Economists call this the ‘cost disease.’” Whatever the outcome, both Amplify and MOOCs will be leaving a mark on public education and we looking forward to covering the story.
—Kevin Hogan, Editorial Director