Carnegie Learning and the Apollo Group and Summer Professional Development

Wed, Aug 10, 2011

Policy, Uncategorized

by Charles W. Bindig, Ed.D.

I attended the West Virginia State-Wide Technology Conference the past two days as an exhibitor for American Public University, and was surprised by a number of trends at this type of conference. In the good old days teacher conferences were rarely scheduled in the summer due to a perception that little could interrupt the summer break, however, this small conference in Morgantown attracted a large number (1,000) of West Virginia teachers who ranged from novice to veteran. Apparently, many teachers are willing to attend a technology conference that meets their needs in terms of professional development in the summer. This might be surprising for states like New Jersey where the schools must stay closed for two days so that NJEA can hold their annual teacher convention, which I might add, is poorly attended by veteran teachers. Could it be that teachers will attend meaningful professional development, whenever it is held?

Another surprising issue was the lack of actual exhibitors who presented products that complemented the focus of the why the teachers were there, professional development. However, Carnegie Learning was there to present its outstanding math tutorial web-based products. It should be noted that two days ago the Apollo Group (University of Phoenix) announced the purchase of the highly regarded Carnegie Learning for $75 million.

Carnegie Learning is a small company started by math geeks in the Pittsburgh area, and has received high marks in the field of tutorial technology products. The company is small, and employs merely 100 individuals, but makes sure it has a presence at teacher conventions. It is well-known that Apollo has purchased Carnegie since it needs help with retention of its college students, who are not making the grade in the math area. This is a remarkable acquisition since Apollo is now searching for ways to raise student achievement and success utilizing technology in its most effective iteration individualized interactive instruction. Look to raised interest in Compass Learning, which produces similar products in the reading and literacy area. Please see my previous blog regarding why there is a technology scholarship gap looking at the power of technology to raise student achievement.

Dr. Bindig is a full time manager of educational outreach for American Public University System and an instructor for the School of Education. He holds an undergraduate degree from The College of New Jersey and a masters degree in Musicology from Rutgers University. Dr. Bindig received an Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University with a dual concentration in Educational Leadership and Instructional Technology. He has 32 years of experience as a public school teacher, principal and superintendent in the New Jersey public schools. Dr. Bindig has taught for several online universities as well as serving as a dissertation advisor at Nova Southeastern University. His main focus in educational research is student achievement gains facilitated via technology.

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