Technology Headlines for March 2013
Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Technology headlines for March 2013 include: New Leadership for Saba, Infographic on Dark Side of MOOCs, E-Learning Revenues in Africa Will Double to $512.7 Million by 2016, New FREE Simulations Resource: The Clark Chart, Fast Company Article Explores Global Growth of MOOCs. 

New Leadership for Saba

Saba recently announced that Bobby Yazdani will step down as chairman, CEO, and director. In connection with the change in leadership, Shawn Farshchi, Saba’s executive vice president and COO, has been named Interim CEO. Farshchi, a 30-year veteran of building high-technology companies, will also retain his responsibilities as COO. In addition, the Board of Directors has separated the roles of chairman of the board and CEO and appointed independent director Bill Russell to the position of non-executive chairman.  

The Board intends to commence a search for a permanent Chief Executive Officer, and will consider both internal and external candidates. 

Infographic: Dark Side of MOOCs 

While there are many pros to support the current hype surrounding MOOCs, they are certainly not without faults. This infographic from Online examines the dark side of MOOCs and takes a closer look at reasons why some professors and academics remain unconvinced. 

E-Learning Revenues in Africa Will Double to $512.7 Million by 2016

Self-paced eLearning revenues in Africa reached $250.9 million in 2011 and will more than double to $512.7 million by 2016, according to a new Ambient Insight report called, "The Africa Market for Self-paced eLearning Products and Services: 2011-2016 Forecast and Analysis." 

Forecasts for sixteen countries are included in this regional report: Algeria, Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Senegal has the highest growth rate in Africa at 30.4 percent, followed by Zambia and Zimbabwe at 27.9 percent and 25.1 percent, respectively.  

"In all the years I have been doing learning technology research, I have never seen a regional market grow so fast. The dynamics in Africa are amazing. The major finding in this report is that the supply and demand metrics for eLearning in Africa are evolving so fast that the market bears little resemblance to the competitive landscape as recently as two years ago," reports Sam S. Adkins, chief research officer. "Essentially, any commercial market research on the adoption of eLearning in Africa that is older than two years is effectively obsolete." 

"Africa now represents a lucrative opportunity for suppliers. Ambient Insight has revised our previous forecasts significantly upward for most African countries for three major reasons. First, there are far reaching academic digitization programs underway in every country in this report. Second, the sharp rise in online higher education enrollments in Africa is nothing short of astonishing," comments Ambient CEO Tyson Greer. "And finally, we are seeing a spike in the uptake of eLearning in the corporate segment, particularly in the booming economies. According to the World Bank, seven of the top ten fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa." 


The supply-side section provides revenue forecasts for five types of self-paced e-learning products and services including: packaged content, custom content development services, cloud-based authoring tools and learning platform services, installed authoring tools, and installed learning platforms. 

"Due to the exceptionally promising market conditions in Africa, the region has the highest growth rates in the world for four out of the five e-learning product types. The growth rate for cloud-based e-learning products in Africa is a breathtaking 38.6 percent," adds Adkins. "The e-learning product type that will generate the highest revenues in Africa throughout the forecast period is packaged content." 

Over 200 suppliers in specific countries in Africa are cited in this report. There is a young vibrant supply-side ecosystem with new suppliers coming to market at an accelerated rate. Over 40 percent of the domestic suppliers identified in this report entered the market after 2009.  

The free abstract is available at

New FREE Simulations Resource: The Clark Chart 

Learning technology guru Clark Aldrich has launched a new free registry for simulations and serious games: The Clark Chart. Information for each listing includes

  • subject
  • producer
  • developer
  • platform
  • price
  • release date.  

The registry is growing, and developers and users are encouraged to add titles. The more sims that are listed here, the more it will be able to help all involved. Use the “Add your Sim” form to upload key information, and then just submit some screenshots.  
In addition, listings are not ranked or reviewes, but registry users can leave comments about their experiences using the sim.  

Clark Aldrich is a global education visionary, industry analyst, and speaker who serves on boards of universities, companies, and in the intelligence community. He is the founder and Managing Partner of Clark Aldrich Designs, and clients include Cisco, Microsoft, Motorola, U.S. Department of Defense, Center for Army Leadership, Harvard Business School Publishing, HP, Shell, GM, UPS, McDonald's, and World Anti-Doping Agency. Aldrich is also the author of five books.  

Fast Company Article Explores Global Growth of MOOCs

A February article in Fast Company, “The Race to Fill Online Classrooms Expands Overseas” by Anya Kamenetz discusses recent announcements from MOOC developers Coursera and Edx about their global expansion efforts.

Kamenetx writes: “Coursera, which has the highest enrollments--2.8 million to date, with 1.45 million signing up monthly--and the most university partners of any platform in the field, is adding 29 partners. That brings their total to 62, and of the new partners 16 come from overseas. The result will be new video and interactive courses available in French, Spanish, Chinese, and Italian. As before, courses will rely on both computer-graded assessments and peer review for humanities subjects. 

“EdX, the only nonprofit MOOC platform, founded by MIT and Harvard, is doubling its number of university partners to 14, including partners from Canada, Europe, and Australia. They have only 700,000 signups but still plan to hit 1 billion by 2023.” 

Read the complete article here.

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About the Author

Ryann K. Ellis is an editor for the Association of Talent Development (ATD). She has been covering workplace learning and performance for ATD (formerly the American Society for Training & Development) since 1995. She currently manages ATD's Community of Practice blogs, as well as ATD's government-focused magazine, The Public Manager. Contact her at 

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