September 26, 2018

CAN YOU SPEAK MATH? Bamboo Learning, a Seattle-based startup that offers interactive voice educational products, is receiving an undisclosed investment from Amazon’s Alexa Fund, which supports companies that use its voice technology. The company is using Alexa technology to create a voice-assisted math practice and instructional product, called Bamboo Math. The product will cover a range of exercises from basic arithmetic to more advanced word problems, and will be released on Oct. 11, Geekwire reports. It will initially be free.

September 27, 2018

THE SOCIAL CODE: SoloLearn, a San Francisco-based startup behind a coding education and community platform, has raised $5.6 million in a Series A round led by Naspers Ventures. Existing backer Learn Capital also participated in the funding.

September 27, 2018

A recent New York Times article highlighted the financial struggle that many institutions are facing, with no sign that pressures will soon let up. “Continual belt-tightening is creating a number of negative outcomes,” says Eric J. Barron, president of Pennsylvania State University. “Henry Houdini was never bound this tightly.” 

Colleges are, in many respects, between a rock and a hard place. Budgets may be shrinking, but institutions still must deliver the high-quality connectivity students expect and the information security defenses needed in this era of persistent threats. For institutions feeling the fiscal pressure, technology integration may be the answer to relieving stress without sacrificing the goods.

September 26, 2018

ACT AT IT AGAIN: ACT, the nonprofit education organization best known for its college-readiness assessment, is acquiring the “automated item generation” (AIG) technology from Canada-based MGHL Consulting. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The purchase comes exactly one year and one day after the ACT announced it would begin working with MGHL and using the company’s AIG technology to enhance its test development process. AIG technology produces test questions with the help of advanced computer programs. The technique has been “thoroughly assessed and verified through rigorous research,” including research conducted by the ACT, the nonprofit said in a press release.

September 26, 2018, the nonprofit division of Salesforce, today pledged to give $15.5-million to two California school districts to bolster computer science education, train teachers, teach math in innovative ways and support projects to encourage mindfulness.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff announced the donation during the annual ‘Dreamforce’ conference in San Francisco.

September 28, 2018

Google has partnered with colleges around the country to offer students its entry-level IT Professional Certificate Training, Inside Higher Ed reports.

The course was created through Google's "Grow with Google" program, which offers a multitude of online certifications and lesson plans.

The training program will be available on Coursera to students in 25 community colleges in California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. In addition to these community colleges, students at Northwestern University can earn up to 12 credits toward an online bachelor’s degree in information technology. 

September 26, 2018

Chegg plunged more than 12 percent Wednesday after disclosing a data breach that could affect customers' user information.

In a filing with the SEC Tuesday, the online textbook rental and tutorial company said that, in late April, an unauthorized party gained access to a company database hosting user data — including names, emails, shipping addresses and passwords. Chegg said user data for its family of brands, including EasyBib, could also have been impacted.

September 25, 2018

Last week at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference, the head of Air Force training Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast spoke at length about some new ways cadets are onboarding into the cockpits of U.S. aircraft. A large aspect of that training in the future will likely occur at the hands of AI-powered simulators.As the commander of Air Education and Training Command told, a pilot program testing out the use of adaptive learning algorithms in military flight training has shown promising results. He believes it will be able to push the mental limits of pilots before they set foot in an aircraft.

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September 24, 2018

BOXING DAY: Boxlight Corporation, a publicly-traded company that offers interactive displays and hardware technology for the education market, has acquired a K-12 consulting and professional development firm, EOS Education. The transaction was made with 100,000 shares of Boxlight common stock, which at the time of writing is trading at $3.12 a piece. (That would value the deal at roughly $300,000.)

EOS, based in Phoenix, will continue operations as a subsidiary of Boxlight. With the acquisition, Boxlight expects that its professional services division will make up as much as 10 percent of the company’s overall revenues, according to a press release.

September 21, 2018

On June 27, 2018, the California Legislature, in a flurry of last-minute activity, passed the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA). Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on the same day, and the CCPA is set to become effective on January 1, 2020.

This is a game-changing law that will impact companies in the U.S. and globally, and moves the U.S. toward closer alignment with the European Union, where the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) went into effect in May.

September 21, 2018

Among the emerging technologies hitting the K–12 sphere, virtual, augmented and mixed reality toolshave garnered a lot of interest.

Mixed reality has remarkable potential for the K–12 classroom. Here is a tool that lets students explore the molten core of our planet or get deep in the anatomy of a frog without ever picking up a scalpel — all with the click of a button.

Mixed reality is still relatively new, however, and while more research is coming out on its benefits, teachers want to make sure investing in virtual reality headsets will open new doors for their students and not just be another shiny toy collecting dust in the classroom.

September 21, 2018

A public university in North Carolina has teamed up with six community colleges to offer a program that promises students they will pay no more than $10,000 out of pocket for their four-year degree.

Participating students will attend a two-year college in the state to get their Associate’s degree, then transfer to an online program at Fayetteville State University to finish their bachelor’s. The students will continue to have access to mentors and resources at the local community college to help them stay on track.