DynEd International

DynEd International (http://www.dyned.com) is one of the more established providers of English Language teaching software. I heard of DynEd when I was in Japan as some folks I knew had used been using it. Having not explored it myself, I decided to focus my cube analysis on it. Established in 1987, it has a clearly established track record and while headquarted in California they have offices/representatives in a number of places around the world. English is one of the most taught subjects world-wide and their international focus reflects the size and diversity of the language learning market.

Face #1 – Market Analysis

DynEd has products aimed at all segments of the market including corporate (& government), K-12, university, and additionally broadcasts lessons on Voice of America (the lessons they broadcast are actually parts of two of their products which clearly helps build product awareness for them). The courses they offer are tailored for each of these market segments with some overlap.

Face #2 – Types of Offering

The current line-up of Dyned products are software courses that are downloaded (or in some markets CDs which was their original product) that include lessons, placement testing, student record management, and teachers guides.

Face #3 – Who is the Buyer

As they cater to a broad range of markets, this depends on the segment. In the case of schools, it is bought regionally or nationally (apparently the French Ministry of Education has endorsed one of their products), in universities it will be purchased by Departments/divisions for the learner, and in corporations/government it will typically be purchased centrally within the organization.

Face #4 – Global Markets

The English language is taught globally and as such and DynEd has representatives that will work with potential buyers around the world. That said, looking through their team, and various products, their key focus is on the pan-Asian market, Europe, and more recently Latin America. By all accounts they have significant market penetration across a range of markets in both the corporate and K-university segments. They tend to focus on Language learners in non-English speaking countries and as such have limited focus on markets such as Canada and the U.S. as evidenced by a lack of material focused on the needs of potential segments such as new immigrants.

Face #5 – Development of the market

DynEd is in a broad range of markets and as such there is some overlap, but for the most part, the Market supports export oriented learning technologies and substitution of imports.

Face #6 – Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

DynEd’s products will not replace actual teachers in the classroom, but for the most part will supplement what instructors do.

~ Joe

10 comments


1 Joe Dobson { 09.21.08 at 11:59 am }

Yikes – not sure what happened here with all the code at the top!

Joe


2 Carolann Fraenkel { 09.21.08 at 12:16 pm }

Hi Joe,

It looks like you figured it out. If you need some help with HTML let me know, (it looks like you used Word to create this?)

Carolann


3 davidp { 09.21.08 at 1:37 pm }

Thanks for this one, Joe.

English language training is an enormous market. If a company could get this one right, the numbers would be very high.

Any sense that they have got it right?


4 David Wees { 09.21.08 at 3:19 pm }

Yeah it is such a huge market that, if every single English teacher in the US came over to teach here in Thailand, and didn’t mind how little they would be paid, they would all have jobs. Pretty much everyone in South East Asia would like to know how to speak English better. Just having a foreign teacher in the school your child goes to is a mark of status.

However I doubt many people from the US would be willing to work for 18000 baht a month so some sort of software that actually works would be a huge deal.

Language is learned socially. Hence, in order to be successful, this software must involve a social aspect (even a pretty girl/boy in a video that seems to be talking with you might help!).

I think most language software fails because of the lack of social interactivity.


5 Joe Dobson { 09.21.08 at 8:21 pm }

Hi All,

Carolann – yes – I typed it up on Word first thus. At least we can edit our posts.

Yes – the market for English language training is huge – and the material out there for purchase is really hit and miss – often quite lame in my opinion. Looking at DynEd’s catalog and some of the courses they have, I’m pretty impressed with the way that they structure it – they seem to be quite good products. Given that they’ve been around for quite a while now and the references they have on their website to purchasers, I suspect they’ve carved a solid niche.

As David points out, there are plenty of barriers getting folks from overseas to teach in places like Thailand (a couple universities I visited there in May were near desperate trying to find instructors) and having the right product could lead to a lot of success, but as he notes the tools currently available can’t replace human beings.


6 cwickes { 09.21.08 at 9:51 pm }

Hi Joe,
I was quite surprised to see how long this particular English language training program has been available – it obviously has an established market niche as you pointed out. I explored the site a little but wondered what this program might have that others don’t as far as its solid establishment as a technological training tool. What makes this one so much better than all of the others that may have fallen by the wayside? Sometimes when choosing educational resources it’s really hard to figure out.


7 Deepika Sharma { 09.22.08 at 12:53 am }

May I add a different dimension to this? I have just concluded a project in Vietnam which was about ed tech in schools and I worked with several rural vietnam school teachers. Much as I like to think of my skill as an education technologist 😉 I was told that the fact that I am an English-speaking Asian went in my favour for this project (during final selection from Viet education ministry) bacuse my english was likely to be less accented!

Any thoughts or experience with this kindof an approach?


8 David De Pieri { 09.22.08 at 7:30 pm }

In Repsonse to Dave Wees,

Dave are you enjoying the throws of Thailand ? Sa-bai dee mai?

I have a younger brother who has been to Thailand the last 7 years and spends 4 to 6 months there, usually Chang Mai or Udon tahni. Your right, your average shmuk could teach there without a degree for about 18, 000 baht, but if you have a degree, your monthly salary jumps to 50,000 – 70,000 baht, and that’s dependent on many things. Private school vs. gov’n funded and old town verses new town etc. Many variables… He keeps trying to convince me that I should spend a year there teaching English. Maybe one day when my kids are old enough.

He met a gal who had 2 degrees plus a teaching degree and she was making, in a private school, 82,000 per month / that’s roughly $2733 Can dollars. Enough to live very high on the hog, especially in Thailand.

Most university students will have a computer, but the general public, No. This alone would make any Educational software a hard sale in places like Thailand or any 3rd world country. I can see universities buying the software like DynEd, but also needing the human resources to back it and make it fire on all 8 cylinders.


9 Joe Dobson { 09.23.08 at 9:29 pm }

Since the conversation here has turned to Thailand I feel compelled to jump in. David De Pieri – you’re right – there are obstacles to the general public being purchasers of Ed. software in developing world countries, and in a sense Thailand can be used to demonstrate the range of differences that exist in any number of potential markets.

DynEd targets institutions, k-12, and the corporate market. In Thailand there are certainly plenty of potential buyers in the corporate world there given the prominence of foreign corps, and NGOs. I think the public school system is a near impossible sell there. Both my in-laws are recent retired school teachers there and we’ve had many conversations about education, corruption, education technology and the like for many years now, and the likelihood of success in that seems very slim at this point in time.

Universities vary. Thailand has a mix of public/private and the public ones are coming off a period of downloading through legislation that makes them semi-autonomous (this particularly affects bigger national universities). This also leaves few $. Computer labs for language students at those institutions are also rare and infrastructure $ go elsewhere. I think the better bet is the private university market where some have significant money available and given their organizational structure can be a little more nimble in adopting new technologies. This past spring I visited several universities in Bangkok with a group of Thais and the difference was quite evident.

My wife previously held a post in biology at Chiang Mai U. and my last comment about salaries in Thailand reflects numerous other conversations. The higher salaries mentioned tend to happen only at private universities (mostly Bangkok) or international schools (which are commensurate with salaries here), and don’t reflect the vast majority folks who go to teach there.


10 Jagpal Uppal { 09.28.08 at 5:22 pm }

Hi everyone,

The language market is a growing market, and with English being a dominant world language this market will continue to grow.

The motives of the buyer need to be considered when marketing a language product. Is it for the corporation to train their staff to better compete in a global market? Or is it an individual consumer, looking for accreditation…and potentially a better job.

I also like what David Wees said about language learning requiring a social component. David said: “Language is learned socially. Hence, in order to be successful, this software must involve a social aspect (even a pretty girl/boy in a video that seems to be talking with you might help!).

I think most language software fails because of the lack of social interactivity.”

It might be easier for a corporation to include some videoteleconferences with other employees and increase the interactivity for those employees.

Jag

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