Mark Ling was a student studying Spanish at university when he realized that he wanted to find some good online Spanish educational materials. He was seeking supplemental help for his studies, but he couldn’t find what he wanted. What he wanted was something better. So he, and friend Jason Oxenham, set about to create something with the best educational focus possible. Rocket Spanish was their first result.
The Spanish program was the first online language course offered by Rocket Languages, the company that has grown to be regarded as one of the best by many. All the language programs the company offers, is based upon an educational focus that embraces key studies outlined in their 2007 white paper, “Language Learning Software for Those in the Now”.
The white paper discusses the relationships between learning, teaching, and technology. It provides a historical view of the evolution of computer use for education. And, it does so with a specific eye toward distinguishing the difference between using technology simply to have it, or using technology that flows from a particular educational technique. Their online Spanish program incorporates traditional educational language teaching methods with the newest technology available. The technology is interactive in the ways the students need to help them to learn easily.
But is the educational focus of this course really the best? It is more a question of whether or not is the only best online course available. Actually, there are other programs that also have an educational focus that parallels this course. Competitive programs created by professional instructors with a keen awareness of what students need to succeed do exist. What can be said about the program is that it might be the best at online marketing. And this is really a crucial difference to consider. There is no problem with the excellent business strategies it uses.
Congratulations go out to the team for creating an excellent product and selling it. But, for the buyer, it is important to remember that there are other excellent choices available at price points ranging from free to more expensive than the Rocket Spanish program. And, though many find it pleasing, not everyone will be comfortable with the friendly learning style of the program. And, last to consider, is that not everyone who seeks to learn Spanish will have a desire to learn it using interactive digital media. There are still people who enjoy a face-to-face learning environment that includes real people in real time, for the joy they find in making friends in their own neighborhood. There is a big difference between pointing a mouse and sharing friendly hugs.
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