How Pearson Shifted from a Reliance on Textbook Publishing to Become an All-Purpose Education Technology Provider | MIT Technology Review: "Pearson is the world’s largest book publisher. Now it wants to be a one-stop shop for digital education. . . . California State University, the nation’s largest four-year university system, with 427,000 students, hired Pearson to launch some distance-learning course options in 2013. Professors will use Pearson’s system to post class material for students who can’t make it to the lecture. The company, not the university, will field technical questions from students. The Cal State system, which has seen budgets cut by 40 percent in the past few years, is betting that technology will let it stretch its resources. Mike Uhlenkamp, a spokesman for the chancellor’s office, says that by putting courses online, the California schools might reduce dropout rates and eventually admit more students. Pearson can also make money from online education even when it doesn’t have anything to do with the underlying technical infrastructure. For example, students in MOOCs offered by Udacity and MIT’s edX will be able to affirm their mastery of a subject by taking proctored exams in physical testing centers run by a Pearson unit known as Pearson VUE. Pearson oversees more than 4,000 such centers around the world. . . . "
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