Renaissance Announces Significant Growth Investment from Blackstone

NEW YORK, SAN FRANCISCO, WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. November 9, 2021 – Renaissance® (“Renaissance” or the “Company”), a global leader in pre-K–12 educational technology, today announced its entry into a definitive agreement for private equity funds managed by Blackstone (NYSE:BX; “Blackstone”) to make a significant equity investment in the Company alongside existing investors including Francisco Partners and TPG’s The Rise Fund. Francisco Partners, a leading global investment firm that specializes in partnering with technology businesses, acquired the Company in 2018 and will remain a major shareholder. Blackstone’s investment will be made through its flagship private equity vehicle. 

Founded in 1986, Renaissance combines decades of experience in assessments with personalized instruction and analytics solutions delivering teachers and administrators the tools to plan, lessons to teach, and the resources to motivate students to learn. Renaissance is one of the most recognized and trusted brands in K-12 education serving more than 40% of US schools and more than 16 million students worldwide. The Company’s assessment-driven, integrated instructional ecosystem enables schools and districts to benchmark student progress; teach, plan, and respond to students’ needs in real-time with personalized instruction; and offer supplemental student literacy and math learning software solutions. 

The new investment from Blackstone will enable the Company to further accelerate organic growth initiatives and innovation across its product suite. Building on the platform’s growth under Francisco Partners, the investment will also enable the Company to continue executing on its targeted acquisition strategy following its recent acquisitions earlier this year of Lalilo, a research-based foundational literacy program; and Nearpod, a leader in teacher-facilitated instructional delivery. …Read More

Education needs to go back to school for cybersecurity

The education sector has not been immune to the digital revolution transforming businesses and organizations across the world. The year before the pandemic saw sky-high growth and adoption in education technology, with global edtech investments reaching €15.87 billion in 2019.

Many education institutions have their own bring your own device (BYOD) policies, while downloads of educational apps have risen by 130 percent over the past year.

Everything from laptops and mobile devices to interactive touchscreens and even virtual reality are becoming commonplace in schools districts, colleges, and universities.…Read More

Epson Now Shipping Eight New PowerLite Laser Projectors Built to Captivate and Impress Audiences in Virtually any Environment

New Laser Projectors Deliver Ultra-Bright, Impactful Displays for Education, Signage, Corporate, and Entertainment

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. – June 17, 2021 – As markets continue to open up, schools and businesses are looking for advanced display solutions that make an impact. Epson, the number-one selling projector brand worldwide,1 today announced it is shipping eight new PowerLite® laser projector models that deliver bright, powerful displays – the L520W, L520U, L530U, L630U, L730U, L735U, L630SU, and L635SU. Ranging from 5,200 to 7,000 lumens of equal color and white brightness,2 the new PowerLite projectors offer convenient creative tools and easy installation. From classrooms and meeting spaces to signage and entertainment applications, the new models captivate audiences and empower laser-focused learning.

“Building on the success of Epson’s existing PowerLite lineup, the new models bring next-generation display technology to end users, enabling them to wow audiences and make an impression, no matter the environment or installation,” said Mark Roslon, director, product marketing, Epson America, Inc. “These compact projectors combine impressive visuals with helpful installation tools and connectivity options, making them ideal display solutions for a variety of presentation and signage needs.”…Read More

3 things parents of neurodiverse kids should know

As we wrap up April’s Autism Acceptance Month, it’s been so heartening this year to see businesses and our government show solidarity and launch numerous initiatives that support neurodiverse kids.

Movie theaters now have “sensory friendly showings.” The Utah Jazz took efforts to make their arena certified by KultureCity, making the stadium more accommodating for fans with sensory needs. President Biden signed a proclamation calling April 2, 2021 as World Autism Acceptance Day.

These are all worthy efforts and initiatives. But I’m also aware that for many parents, this April could be the first time they are recognizing Autism Acceptance Month, or the first time it’s been on their radar. Maybe they just received a diagnosis and are feeling overwhelmed. As great as these initiatives are, the parents of neurodiverse kids may need something simpler: connection, guidance, and empathy from other parents who know their situation.…Read More

The coming coding revolution

In the 1400s, sons of good families were sent to be taught Latin by the Church. The monks who taught them weren’t trained as educators, and they made heavy use of corporal punishment. So it wasn’t much fun to learn to read back then.

In this period, no one assumed that everyone needed to be able to read–quite the contrary. Reading was for religious purposes and learning to read English was seen as unnecessary at best, heretical at worst.

But people who knew how to read and write English were guaranteed a spot in the new middle class. Businesses, now springing up in the towns, needed literate people to work in offices, reading and writing contracts, invoices, rules, and regulations. The Church thought that learning to read English was a waste of time–Scripture was all that mattered. But they just didn’t see what was coming. English was the language of business, and capitalism would soon replace the feudal economic system.…Read More

Tightrope Brings Online and OTT Channel Publishing to Schools and More with Cablecast VIO Stream

Available immediately, new automated solution lets organizations efficiently deliver live and on-demand video across multiple platforms in their own sophisticated content portals

Tightrope Media Systems has unveiled Cablecast VIO Stream, a full-featured, automated solution for bringing live event streams and on-demand video to the web, social media, and over-the-top (OTT) platforms. Extending the “add once, publish everywhere” efficiency of Tightrope’s proven Cablecast broadcast automation solution to organizations that don’t have their own television channel, VIO Stream enables local governments, schools, churches, and businesses to dramatically expand the public’s access to their content with unprecedented ease.

“Many public sector organizations, institutions and enterprises already offer VOD content or a live stream through social media or their website, but OTT platforms such as Roku®, Apple TV®, Amazon Fire TV®, and Android TV™ have become very significant for reaching viewers,” said Steve Israelsky, President of Tightrope’s Cablecast Community Media division. “VIO Stream makes it easier and more efficient for them to present their content online in a branded, professional-looking format, while effortlessly extending their reach to OTT devices through the same workflow. From city council meetings and high school sports to worship services, users can broadcast live streams of their scheduled activities while building a rich library of VOD content.”…Read More

BlueZoo Expands into Occupancy Monitoring for Social Distancing with BlueFox Count

To better protect businesses, their employees, and their customers from the dangers of overcrowding during the Covid-19 pandemic, BlueZoo is now applying its BlueFox solution to monitor social distancing.

BlueFox sensors measure real time occupancy by using Wi-Fi probes from mobile phones to measure the presence and aggregate flow of people through a space. The company is the world’s leading provider of Wi-Fi-based occupancy measurement solutions. BlueZoo gained success by offering businesses and institutions insights into unique visitor counts, visit dwell times, and visitor recurrence rates to better plan operations, schedule staff, and manage demand, as well as track advertising effectiveness. 

Now, the BlueFox range is expanding to help prevent overcrowded conditions, without the overhead of keeping staff at each entrance, with BlueFox “Count”. BlueFox solutions notify the on-site team instantly when the number of people in a store or a public place exceeds a preset threshold. BlueFox customers can predict wait time because BlueFox knows the historical rate at which visitors leave when the space is at any occupancy level. …Read More

Epson Projectors for Impactful Signage and Laser-Focused Learning

Epson, the number-one selling projector brand worldwide,1 today announced it is now shipping its budget-friendly PowerLite® 800F for classrooms and PowerLite 805F for digital signage applications. As businesses and educators continue to adapt to social distancing needs, Epson’s new ultra short-throw laser solutions help boost engagement while delivering impactful and informational content across education, retail, entertainment, and hospitality environments. Combining powerful projection with user-friendly software, robust connectivity and flexible installation, the new projectors transform spaces and offer easy reading from nearly anywhere in the room.

“Projection provides a reliable and flexible tool as companies adapt to changes in consumer behavior and educators work to stay more connected with students while adjusting to new forms of learning,” said Remi Del Mar, product manager, Epson America, Inc. “In today’s more spread out, social distancing classrooms and meeting rooms, larger display sizes are crucial. The new PowerLite models provide affordable, easy-to-use solutions to help deliver clear, impactful and relevant content, while optimizing existing spaces.”

These versatile ultra short-throw projectors offer flexible, 360-degree placement and a full stack of connectivity options including HDBaseT to illuminate spaces with vibrant, true-to-life images up to 130 inches. The PowerLite 800F and 805F feature built-in edge blending and split screen2 for easy, scalable projection image when larger images are required and a 3LCD laser light engine for lasting reliability.3 For added convenience, users can wirelessly display eye-catching content using Miracast via Epson’s iProjection™ app, and even mirror device photos, videos and apps.4 …Read More

Protect and Recover Your Data with’s New Snapshot Features

In response to COVID-19, many creatives are being required to work remotely. This often presents technical challenges that can be difficult to overcome, especially for small production teams. To be successful, the creative process must remain easy, reliable, and secure. Collaborative storage is the main hub connecting remote locations, and recently there has been a 148% spike in ransomware attacks. Cyberattacks cost businesses of all sizes an average of $200,000, but with the right storage partner there is hope. has just released the industry’s most comprehensive storage “snapshot” tools, logic, and web app to protect and recover from accidental or networked file encryption and deletion attacks.


A snapshot is simply an exact picture of the state of your data at a certain point in time. It is based upon a single dataset (we call it a “Space”). Snapshots and rollbacks are almost instantaneous and don’t require additional storage space until any active files are deleted.’s enhanced features allow users to not only take a protected snapshot of their data, but also schedule future snapshots, set an expiration date, and assign administrative access based upon user roles.…Read More

Free communication, billing and payment tools for schools

Curacubby, an end-to-end commerce, billing and integrated payments platform built for the education market and modernizing the business of schools, announced that it is making several of its tools free until at least July 1, 2020 during the COVID-19 outbreak. Schools have been heavily impacted by this time of economic uncertainty, and Curacubby’s communication, billing and payment tools are helping their businesses run remotely. Using Curacubby, schools can issue tuition statements, receivables and other revenue items online and via mobile, ensuring they are receiving on-time payments to improve cash flow and keep their businesses operating without interruption. Curacubby keeps parents connected with schools and gives them the ability to make payments online or via mobile instead of in-person so families can continue practicing self-isolation while students are switching to online and remote learning.

Curacubby’s free tools include:

  • Reach Out Text (SMS) & Email Communications: In the current uncertain climate, Reach Out enables schools to instantly send important text and email communications to individuals and groups remotely. Schools can group communications any way that they prefer, including by class, grade, team and more. Reach Out can notify families of school closures, remind them of upcoming bills or tuition dues, or alert them to potential emergencies quickly, efficiently and effectively. Reach Out includes unlimited usage and no toll charges.
  • Financial Records Automation: Curacubby automates the creation of financial statements and tracking of school receivables in real-time online, ensuring that schools and education programs, as well as families, have a single and accurate source of truth for their financial records in times of crisis.

“We are in California, and when our school was mandated closed until at least April 7, we faced a major crisis. We had only the weekend to get all of our students set up to do their studies remotely for weeks and had no idea how to communicate effectively with every student in such a short amount of time,” said Susanne Ryan, Vice Principal at DP Christian School. “We turned to Curacubby for help, and they set us up over the weekend with Reach Out, which enabled our school to send important communications to families in real-time and set all students up with their home studies quickly and efficiently. It was critical in allowing our school to keep running so our children could continue learning despite this pandemic.”…Read More