One of the biggest take-overs in eLearning has taken place recently with very little publicity. Rosetta Stone has bought Tell Me More for $28 million. Steve Swad (President and CEO of Rosetta Stone) is quoted in a recent Wall Street Journal article on the 11th December, “Tell Me More is an exceptional fit for Rosetta Stone,” http://online.wsj.com/article/HUG1749069.html He also states that “This acquisition will immediately strengthen our growing Enterprise & Education business with a complementary suite of products and services that enhances our offering around the world. We will also be significantly building up our European operations and acquiring an established operation in China, where we are not present today. In addition,” Swad continued, “we are going to introduce Tell Me More’s products into some of our Consumer markets, giving our customers even greater choice.”
Rosetta Stone have obviously made it a strategic decision to enter the HE market not just in Britain but at a Global level. They can see that Tell Me More’s product is different and in some respects better than their own product. Tell Me More software is much more compatible with the future of eLearning where learning is moving to more mobile learning devices, such as phones and tablets. Also the market is likely to grow and expand in the future. In Europe the increased funding for the Erasmus + project will further boost this market;
The consequences for UK higher education will be dramatic. Previously Tell Me More were the main providers to UK universities for online language tuition. In the past, most Universities have chosen Tell Me More because it went up to much higher levels of language tuition compared to Rosetta. Now Rosetta will be in a very strong, if not a monopolistic position within HE provision. Their basic product is great for students who are beginners and now with Tell Me More they will be able to offer the higher levels that the Language departments have also wanted.
Just one other thought ….here’s a song that’s you’ll never see in a Rosetta Stone ad: