Sadly it looks like InfuseLearning is shutting down. You can read their announcement here. I did not personally use InfuseLearning but I saw Jon Corippo (@jcorippo) demonstrate it’s learning power many times. Had I still been in the classroom, I’m sure I would have used it straight away. InfuseLearning is not the first education based tech start up to build a great product that teachers and students love only to disappear for lack of a business model. I think the problem is that schools aren’t used to paying for software (unless it’s Microsoft Office). Historically, schools pay for curriculum packages, learning management systems, traditional assessment programs and drill and kill skills based applications but not innovative workflow apps like Infuse. In fact, I don’t think that Google Apps ever would have caught on and Google Classroom wouldn’t be the overnight success it is if schools had been required to actually pay for them. Thankfully google doesn’t have to make money off of these services, yet.
Absent district purchases, companies are left trying to make money through ads or worse, classroom teachers. Teachers can only afford to pay so much so products like InfuseLearning are up against steep hurdles if they expect to generate revenue without district buy in. Too bad a company like Apple doesn’t take the opportunity to swoop in, pick up InfuseLearning and continue to develop it as a free for educators tool. It works great on the iOS platform. And yes, even if they took it iOS only, at least it might give schools a reason to keep buying iPads. On second thought, it would be even cooler if Google bought them and integrated the InfuseLearning feature set into Classroom.
We used to say that in the age of Web 2.0, a new tool would always rise from the ashes of a failed one but i’m not so sure anymore.