Press release: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1748922#ixzz2uLL0Nx7J
From what is evident in the press release, Microsoft and Pearson report they have teamed up to develop personalized learning tools for students. Certainly sounds like a good idea, right? Why not have the biggest and best minds in technology and curriculum pulling on the same sled? It's not hard to imagine them offering a system presenting individualized content, adjusted for learning ability and demonstrated skills, allowing students to effortlessly cull together bits of information, synthesizing a work product that demonstrates their acquired knowledge. How many districts would line up to purchase something like that?
There's a problem though. From the start of the Common Core initiative, critics have complained that Microsoft's involvement (via Bill Gates) is solely profit-driven, not necessarily what is in the best interests of children. One could argue: what's wrong with advancing education (meeting a need) WHILE making money (earning a profit)? Isn't that the American way? On the other hand, it could also be argued that this is profiteering plain and simple in addition to the latest step toward corporate dominance of the classroom.
I'm not so sure. So what do you all think? Will the technological prowess of Microsoft combined with the curricular knowledge of Pearson result in powerful, intuitive, easy to use apps and digital-age curricula that will propel a new generation of US students to the top of the PISA heap? Or, is this the shoe that everyone was waiting to drop, and evidence we are seeing signs of what has to have been Microsoft's plan all along - to monetize K-12 education in a deep, far-reaching way?