IXL Learning acquires Teachers Pay Teachers

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Dive Brief:

  • The personalized pre-K-12 online learning platform IXL Learning announced it has acquired Teachers Pay Teachers, the pioneering digital catalog of educator-created instructional tools and content. More than 7 million teachers, including 85% of pre-K-12 educators, use Teachers Pay Teachers, according to IXL Learning. 
  • IXL Learning, which did not disclose the price of the March 2 acquisition, owns other digital education services including Rosetta Stone, Vocabulary.com, SpanishDictionary.com, inglés.com, ABCya, Education.com, Wyzant and Emmersion.
  • With the new ownership, IXL Learning will be “redoubling TPT’s efforts toward building a special home for educators centered around expertise, trust and a deep devotion to learners’ success,” said Paul Mishkin, CEO of IXL Learning, in a statement. 

Dive Insight:

Founded in 2006, Teachers Pay Teachers has touted that it made teachers millionaires by enabling them to sell their original learning activities to other educators through its online marketplace. 

The platform emerged as a way for educators to earn extra income, just as calls elevated to increase teacher pay amid fears of a teacher shortage. On top of that, teachers’ weekly wages and total compensation have shown signs of decline over the years compared to those of other professionals, the Economic Policy Institute reported in August. 

In 2022, Teachers Pay Teachers saw strong growth with a record number of educators purchasing materials and also earning money through the platform, according to IXL Learning. 

While over 300 teachers can call themselves millionaires thanks to the company as of 2022, Teachers Pay Teachers CEO Joe Holland revealed in a November interview with EdSurge that the platform’s average seller makes a profit in the low single-digit thousands. 

Teacher-authors on the site are responsible for reporting intellectual property infringement, and accounts and their affiliated resources will be removed if a violation of the platform’s copyright rules is discovered, according to Teachers Pay Teachers.

ASCD reported details from a September study by researchers at Elon University and Northern Arizona University that found 61% of 1,359 educators surveyed said they used Teachers Pay Teachers to help fill gaps in their curriculum that were not addressed enough by their school or district. While a need for more school support in curriculum shows, some teachers said in the survey that they just relied on the platform for more engaging materials, according to ASCD.

When asked if IXL Learning would address any previous concerns about copyright infringement on the platform, an IXL Learning spokesperson told K-12 Dive over email that it’s a little early to comment on any potential changes the company could make to Teachers Pay Teachers.

“We will always prioritize the concerns of our community and continue to evaluate how we can create an even more special home for it,” the spokesperson said. “We look forward to communicating directly with Teacher-Authors and educators about how we can improve TPT’s platform.”

This article originally appeared in www.k12dive.com

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