Pearson School Systems is in the eSchoolNews headlines twice this week for acquisitions of other companies and major products. The first article is about Pearson’s purchase of Canadian-based Chancery Software, a major SIS (student information system) company. The second article focuses on Pearson’s purchase of PowerSchool, Apple Computer’s student information system that has been selected for awards by both Technology and Learning and eSchoolNews. According to the article and Apple’s own press release, Pearson will be developing content for the iPod and the iTunes Music Store as part of the deal.
From my perspective, this latter concession probably represents a much more important financial landmark for Apple than continuing promotion and sales of Powerschool internally would. The educational future will increasingly include podcasts– and getting a major educational publisher like Pearson to embrace both iTunes and podcasting is a huge deal.
It will be interesting to keep watching Pearson. In a lot of commercial contexts today, we see the big fish getting bigger– continuing to eat the smaller fish. This is happening in banking, telecommunications, and the commercial education market. Whether or not this trend is a good thing for students, teachers, administrators, and consumers / citizens in general remains to be seen I think– but the trend seems undeniable.
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