Edtech’s Next Big Disruption Is the College Degree

Edtech’s Next Big Disruption Is the College DegreeFor centuries, the college degree has been the global gold standard for assessing an individual entering the workforce. But after cornering the credentials market for nearly a millennium, the degree’s days alone at the top are most definitely numbered.

By 2020, the traditional degree will have made room on its pedestal for a new array of modern credentials that are currently gaining mainstream traction as viable measures of learning, ability and accomplishment. Technology is changing the job market, and it’s only natural that we find new ways of determining who’s the right fit for those jobs.

In one respect, the staying power of the traditional degree is a testament to its timeless relevance, cultural meaning and professional utility. The world has experienced wrenching technological and cultural change over the centuries, and yet the academic degree remains the de facto baseline for fields ranging from accounting to computer science to biology—and everything in-between.

Much more.

To get all the ebook and digital publishing news you need every day in your inbox at 8:00 AM, sign up for the DBW Daily today!

Free Webinar: Exploiting New Markets & Protecting Your Titles out in the Field
Tuesday, November 3rd, 1pm EST
Most publishers are actively looking for ways to bring their titles to new and growing global markets, but are simultaneously concerned about protecting their works from unauthorized use. In this informative webinar, Tom Chalmers, managing director of IPR License, will discuss ways in which technology—and specifically online platforms and marketplaces—can help publishing houses maximize their global rights and licensing business. Then, Blair Elefant, a senior relationship manager at Digimarc Corporation, will explain how new tools, such as digital watermarking, can protect your digital assets and intellectual property out in the field.

Why Apple Took Ebook Antitrust Case to Supreme Court (Fortune)
Having maintained its innocence throughout the federal district court trial, which it lost, and in the appeal, which it lost in a split decision, it should surprise no one that Apple is taking its ebook antitrust case to the highest court in the land. There’s no guarantee the Supreme Court will hear the case. And with two strikes against it, the odds of a favorable outcome for Apple are steep. But that may not matter to Tim Cook and company.

Subscription Service Blloon Closes (Pub Lunch)
It’s no big surprise that European-based subscription service Blloon officially closed at the end of October. The subscription program was spun out of ebook technology provider and platform txtr—which went insolvent earlier this year, before pieces of the operation and some of its personnel were picked up by retailer Media-Saturn—and both Blloon and txtr were run by Thomas Leliveld.

Kindle Unlimited Changes the Payment Rules Again (Pub Lunch)
Amazon announced another change in how they will compensate self-published authors who participate in the Kindle Unlimited subscription payment pool. In July, the system switched from paying for every download to paying based on pages read—and now those per-page rates are becoming much more complicated, international and opaque.

Amazon Shutting Down ‘Register’ Credit Card Processor (New York Times)
Amazon quietly killed its credit card reader service for small and medium-size businesses, a move that seems to scale back the company’s ambitions of going after micro-merchant processing services. The credit card reader, called Amazon Register, debuted to much fanfare little more than a year ago.

Amazon to Close Amazon Local (TechCrunch)
Amazon is exiting the daily deals space. According to a message now being displayed on the Amazon Local homepage, the company’s deals platform is closing up shop on December 18th, 2015. At that point, Amazon will stop selling deals via the website and in the Amazon Local mobile app. Customers who have already bought deals, however, will still be able to use them, the company notes.

Contract Workers Are Suing Amazon (Buzzfeed)
Four Amazon contractors—drivers who worked for Prime Now, Amazon’s two-hour local delivery service, and were hired through a third-party contracting company—have proposed a lawsuit against the company, accusing Amazon of misclassifying them as contractors. The drivers, their lawyer argues, should be classified as employees for a number of reasons.

How the Google Books Case Could Change Fair Use on Campus (PW)
In the digital age, copyright litigation can be a little like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates—you never know what you’re going to get. And there’s a feeling that attorneys at Georgia State University may not be happy with the chocolate-covered cherry they just plucked from U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Pierre Leval’s recent opinion in the Google Books case.

How One Author Turned the Internet Into A Giant Book Club (PW)
“I believe in grand gestures,” writes author Nomi Eve. “Grand gestures make people sit up and take notice. Grand gestures set you apart from the rest of the world. So I came up with my grand gesture. I challenged myself to personally meet with 100 book clubs. I called it my 100 Book Club Challenge and put the word out on Facebook that I would meet with any book club (either in person or by Skype) that invited me. I asked people to help me reach a goal and to become part of a community of readers.”

Used Bookstores Bolster Bottom Lines with E-Commerce Partnerships (PW)
Bricks-and-mortar bookstores have long struggled to find a way to compete with Amazon and other mega e-tailers. But rather than go up against them, many stores that carry used books have found success by partnering with Amazon, eBay, AbeBooks (an Amazon subsidiary), Alibris, Biblio and Half.com (which is owned by eBay), to name just a few. While the practice is not new, bookstores have revived these partnerships and found they can get significantly more visibility for their inventory by teaming with the larger online retailers.

Candace Robb’s Digital Rebranding (PW)
Candace Robb never thought she would see her Owen Archer series, featuring a 14th-century Welshman who’s handy with a bow, make its way to ebook format. The 10-title medieval mystery series began in 1993 with The Apothecary Rose (St. Martin’s Press) and ended in 2008, with two other publishers—Mysterious Press and Heinemann/Random House U.K—releasing some of the titles. Since no single publisher had the rights to all 10 books, no company made the effort to convert them into ebooks. So Robb decided to step in herself.

Resale of Digital Content Would Be a “Blow to All Cultural Industries” (Digital Reader)
The right to resell ebooks has broad support from activists, the Dutch courts, and German regulators, but publishers aren’t so happy. Boersenverein, the German book industry trade group, has officially responded to the news from last week that a German consumer protection ministry wants consumers to have the right to resell ebooks they buy.

Sterling & Stone Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Story Writing App (GalleyCat)
The trio behind the Sterling & Stone indie publishing company hopes to raise $80,000 on Kickstarter. They intend to use the funds to hire developers to create a story writing app called StoryShop.

Ziff Davis Wins with a Digital-Only Strategy (Fortune)
Two decades into the Web, it’s hard to find a media commentator who believes legacy print brands can transform themselves into digital contenders. Just look at the reactions to the new publishing platforms offered by Google, Apple and Facebook, each of which have won cooperation from the largest media companies in various online programs.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *