VHS Learning Celebrates Twenty-Year Partnerships with Schools and Educational Consortiums

Boston – Jan. 27, 2022 – VHS Learning is pleased to celebrate its partnership with four educational organizations that have been with the program for twenty or more years. These schools, districts, and consortiums helped to pioneer the use of VHS Learning’s online program to build equity and expand educational opportunities for their students.  

“In 1996 we were awarded a U.S. Department of Education Technology Innovation Challenge Grant. Online learning was in its infancy, and we worked closely with a small group of innovative schools who helped us establish a strong foundation for the work we do today,” said Carol DeFuria, President & CEO of VHS Learning. “Without them, our program could not have grown to its current size, serving students in all 50 US states and 63 countries around the world. This year marks our 26th year of operation, and we want to recognize these forward-thinking partners who are true pioneers in online education.”

The four partners are:…Read More

Fastest-Growing EdTech Provider Trox + Tierney to “Bluum” Under New Brand

PHOENIX, AZ – Jan. 26, 2022 Having already transformed into North America’s leading education technology company, Trox + Tierney will continue to grow in the education markets under the new brand of Bluum beginning today. The higher calling of ensuring every student has access to a world-class education remains the company’s mission.  

The April 2021 Trox and Tierney merger resulted in a technology solutions provider with a robust suite of technology products and services, AV design and integration, and professional development for educators. Many of Bluum’s 775 employees stem from education, providing first-hand experience and unrivaled knowledge to their former colleagues.

“Our company’s growth has occurred through mergers and acquisitions, as well as organically, more than tripling our revenue over the past three years,” Bluum CEO Erez Pikar said. “We are united under one aspirational brand and a vision of creating equity and access in education. All of our employees equally share in this identity, which aligns with our mission, objectives and pursuit of continued growth.”…Read More

Don Johnston Incorporated Joins Texthelp Group; Edtech Giants Join Forces to Help Students Across North America and the Globe

WOBURN, Mass., Jan. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ —  Texthelp, a global leader in literacy and accessibility technology, today announced that they will acquire the Education Technology Division of  Don Johnston Inc., a leading assistive technology and special education curriculum company based outside of Chicago, IL. Don Johnston Inc. is the latest Assistive Technology provider to join the Texthelp Group. Following Five Arrows’ investment in December 2020, Texthelp acquired Lingit Group and Wizkids in 2021, expanding the company’s reach in the Nordics and the UK. Texthelp’s goal is to use its assistive technology to help 1 billion people with reading, writing, and numeracy by 2030. Together with Don Johnston Inc.’s leading SaaS-based products, the Texthelp Group will become the global leader in assistive technology tools for classrooms and workplaces. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

One in ten people have dyslexia, and in the US, 12% of students are in special education, 15% of children at school are learning their 2nd language, and the average reading age is 7th to 8th grade. Using assistive tools has been proven to help students overcome these barriers and harness their unique strengths. Both Texthelp and Don Johnston Inc. have made it their mission to support equality and inclusion of all people, especially individuals with dyslexia and other learning needs. Together, Texthelp and Don Johnston Inc. will continue to offer their full suite of products, and customers will see the benefit of collaborative technology innovation between the companies within the first few weeks. Don Johnston Inc.’s curriculum division will form a new company, named Building Wings™, which includes the products Readtopia® and First Author®.

“Texthelp and Don Johnston Inc. share a common vision of a world where every student can feel what it is like to learn and succeed,” said Martin McKay, CEO and founder of Texthelp. “Don and I founded our organizations for deeply personal reasons. We have an incredibly similar mission to elevate as many students as possible, helping them both understand and be understood. We are so excited to have Don Johnston Inc. join the Texthelp Group, and to have Don as an investor and board member. Our combined teams and expanded portfolio of products will allow us to give millions more students in the US and across the globe the best possible start in life and help them fulfill their full potential. Along with the Don Johnston team, we will continue to innovate and develop our suite of products to create the best assistive technology tools available.”…Read More

Panasonic and Olympian Katie Ledecky Partner to Inspire Student STEM Innovation and Unlock the Power of Technology

Las Vegas, NV (Tuesday, January 4, 2022) – To inspire student innovation in science, technology, engineering, and math (“STEM”), Panasonic Corporation of North America (“Panasonic”) is partnering with 3-time Olympian, 15-time World Champion, 10-time Olympic medal-winning swimmer, and proud STEM advocate Katie Ledecky to launch the STEM Forward educational initiative and engaged Discovery Education to help make this educational program a reality. Announced during CES 2022, the initiative combines Katie Ledecky’s passion for STEM education and advocacy, Panasonic’s legacy of innovation, and Discovery Education’s worldwide leadership in education technology, STEM Forward connects students in grades 3-8 to the game-changing power of technology with standards-aligned resources for any learning environment at no cost.

“As champions for progress at Panasonic, we’re focused on how we can move the world forward and commit ourselves to enhancing the well-being of people, communities, and society. Today’s students have a tremendous future ahead of them, one where technology is not only a tool but an inspiration,” said Megan Myungwon Lee, Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Corporation of North America. “We’re proud to continue to partner with Katie Ledecky, who is an inspiration to young people around the world, and empowers students to reach their full potential and discover new ways to think about and apply STEM to build a better world.”

Building on Katie’s ongoing work with Panasonic as a STEM leader and a member of Team Panasonic, STEM Forward provides students, educators, and families with dynamic digital resources that explore how technology improves lives and makes the world a better place. In addition, STEM Forward includes a special Virtual Field Trip appropriate for both in class use and at home exploration.…Read More

GoGuardian Appoints Former Google Executive Jenny Zhao as Chief Technology Officer

LOS ANGELES–( BUSINESS WIRE)–GoGuardian, the leading education technology company helping K-12 schools maximize the learning potential of every student, today announced the appointment of former Google executive Jenny Zhao as GoGuardian’s Chief Technology Officer. At GoGuardian, Zhao will lead the teams responsible for building digital learning solutions to help educators create engaging and safe learning environments.

Zhao recently served as Senior Director of Engineering at Google. Her multi-decade rise through globally dominant tech companies started at computer graphics innovator Silicon Graphics, where she led advanced simulation middleware solutions for clients including the U.S. Air Force and Disneyland. At Google, Zhao excelled as an engineering director, managing global teams across cultures and geographies, building innovative solutions in Google Pay, Search, and Maps.

“Jenny believes deeply in the mission of GoGuardian and shares our passion for building effective learning solutions that advance educational outcomes,” said Advait Shinde, co-founder and CEO of GoGuardian. “Jenny’s incredible track record of leading people-centered, high-performing engineering teams and driving change at the world’s most successful companies is a perfect fit for GoGuardian at a transformative time for our company.”…Read More

Lightspeed Wins a T.H.E. Journal 2021 New Product Award

TUALATIN, ORE. (PRWEB) DECEMBER 09, 2021– Lightspeed, a leading provider of powerful instructional audio solutions, announces the company’s Topcat instructional audio system wins a T.H.E. Journal 2021 New Product Award, winning platinum in the “Classroom Audio Distribution/Sound Enhancement” category.

T.H.E. Journal’s  2021 New Product Awards honor the outstanding product development achievements of manufacturers and suppliers whose products or services are considered to be noteworthy in the transformation of education technology. Launched in 2020, the awards program recognizes leading product and services providers—like Lightspeed—in education. The 2021 awards program drew an impressive number of submissions.

Lightspeed’s Topcat, an all-in-one ceiling-mounted instructional audio system, produces an even distribution of sound throughout classrooms, ensuring students hear their teachers’ natural voices. The wireless audio integration makes installation simple and cost-effective for both new construction and existing classrooms. Plus, the Topcat now connects with life-safety systems ensuring building-wide communications are never missed.…Read More

Capstone and Buncee Invite Classrooms to Help Share Holiday Cheer “Holiday Hugs” Program To Bring Messages and Books to Patients at Children’s Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – December 3, 2021 – Capstone, an innovative publisher and education technology provider of children’s content for schools and home, and Buncee, its newly acquired creation and collaboration tool for students and educators, are inviting students to help create kind and supportive Holiday Hugs messages to children in the hospital this holiday season. Capstone has pledged to donate one book for every five Holiday Hugs ecards created which will be gifted to patients at Children’s Minnesota pediatric health system.

Holiday Hugs encourages students and educators to create fun, interactive holiday ecards with thoughtful messages or even silly jokes for children spending their holidays in the hospital. Classrooms add their ecards to the official Holiday Hugs online board, which will be shared with patients at Children’s Minnesota. The more Holiday Hugs created by December 15, 2021, the more books Capstone will donate to Children’s Minnesota, up to 500 books. 

“We hope Holiday Hugs helps make the Holidays shine a little brighter for kids in the hospital and shows them that they have a community who cares and is rallying behind them. Capstone would love to reach our goal of 500 books to donate to Children’s Minnesota, so we hope that sparks students to create more Holiday Hugs,” said Scott Sustacek, Capstone President.…Read More

Renaissance Releases Updated Focus Skills and Launches Math Trip Steps to Support Accelerated Learning

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (Nov. 4, 2021) — Renaissance, a global leader in pre-K–12 education technology, has updated its collection of free resources built around Focus Skills and debuted Trip Steps, which identify math skills students tend to stumble over. The combination of resources is designed to help educators increase the impact of their instructional time following the disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Identified as key skills within Renaissance’s learning progressions—the path students take as they move from a novice to expert level of understanding, according to the standards of each state—Focus Skills are also important prerequisites for future learning.

“When we find that students are missing skills that we normally would expect them to have, we just don’t have time to stop this year’s grade-level instruction and teach a separate lesson,” said Dave Gibbons, curriculum director at Schuyler Community Schools in Nebraska. “We have to find ways to adjust our scope and sequence, our teaching, even the day’s lesson plan so that we can scaffold in the instruction students missed last year. We really have to know what those Focus Skills are in order to anticipate those needs and address them efficiently.”…Read More

4 ways to support the growing role robotics will have in society

In the past decade, robotics have evolved from a sci-fi fantasy set in some distant future to an industry capable of producing present-tense toys, companions, workers and self-driving cars. And this is just the beginning. The industry forecast calls for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 26 percent, which would mean a value of $210 billion by 2025.

The inventors (and users) of tomorrow are children sitting in preK-12 classrooms right now, who by and large are not learning about robotics. This represents a huge opportunity for education technology companies. Robots promise to become a bigger part of our daily lives as the industry shifts from being primarily industrial-driven to increasingly consumer-oriented. As they expand beyond the warehouse to wherever we need them, robots will become more diverse, intuitive and useful.

The speed of change has been impressive in recent years and will only accelerate as machine learning and neural networks endow robots with human-like senses, allowing them to “see” and even “taste” like we do.  The skills children learn through robotics could certainly lead to career opportunities later, but that’s not the only reason to embrace the ABCs of androids. In addition to a range of science and math skills, students can practice problem-solving and creativity as well. We’ve arrived at a tipping point in robotics, and for education, that represents lifelong learning opportunities.…Read More

DreamBox Learning® Announces Record Expansion into New School Districts

BELLEVUE, Wash. — September 15, 2021 — DreamBox Learning, the leading education technology provider that in 2006 pioneered intelligent adaptive learning, today announced new expansions and partnerships with school district customers, including Prince George’s County Public Schools and East Baton Rouge Parish School System. The districts join DreamBox during a year of record growth and expansion into the K-12 English Language Arts market with the acquisitions of Reading Plus® and Squiggle Park. DreamBox now delivers personalized and adaptive math and reading learning experiences to nearly 6 million students.

As the only dual-discipline provider offering school districts solutions rated “Strong” by Johns Hopkins’ EvidenceforESSA.org in both mathematics and reading, school districts are selecting DreamBox as a partner to provide educators and students evidence-based learning solutions. New and expanded district and state department of education partners now using DreamBox’s math and/or reading solutions include:

  • Beaufort County School District, S.C.
  • East Baton Rouge Parish School System, La. 
  • Northside Independent School District, Texas
  • Prince George’s County Public Schools, Md.
  • Seminole County Public Schools, Fla.
  • South Carolina Department of Education, S.C.
  • Wake County Public School System, N.C.

“DreamBox Learning is the right choice to best support our teachers and serve the diverse needs of our students,” said Dr. Sito Narcisse, Superintendent of East Baton Rouge Parish School System in Louisiana. “We have learned not all education technology is created equal, so we are excited to offer our teachers an evidence-based solution proven to increase student achievement. In addition to impressive adaptive learning technology and real-time predictive analytics, DreamBox also provides our teachers actionable professional development – a necessary resource as we adapt to another uncertain school year.”…Read More