SESI Kids Win Big! SESI Crixas TEAM from Brazil Are CoderZ League Champions in the Global Virtual Coding & Robotics Competition

DERRY, N.H – Feb. 23, 2022 SESI, Brazil’s Social Service of Industry (SESI), had a vision: To equip the kids in their network of more than 400 schools in all 27 states with the technological skills, knowledge, and tools to become the leaders of tomorrow—the era of Industry 4.0.

Between October 2021 and January 2022, over 50 teams from across Brazil participated in the CoderZ League, an international virtual robotics competition. All teams worked together to solve missions and challenges, while the top competitors advanced to the Brazilian playoffs. Team ‘Takamassa Numuro’, from SESI Crixás in Goiás (GO), advanced to the world championship which was broadcast live to audiences from all over the globe.

During the world finals, SESI’s students competed virtually with teams from USA, Ghana, Singapore, and Hong Kong—before eventually winning the title of world champions for the CoderZ League Junior Division.…Read More

Osmo From BYJU’s Appoints Jonathan Naseath Chief Operating Officer To Lead Next Phase of Growth

Palo Alto, CA–Feb 23, 2022–Award-winning STEAM brand, Osmo from BYJU’S, announces Jonathan Naseath’s appointment as Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately. With extensive experience in finance and operations, Naseath, CPA, CFE and CISA, will further Osmo’s global growth, creating operational excellence across the company and scaling the company’s vision of making a broader impact to education. 

“Jon is an energetic and passionate executive who will help take Osmo and Powered by Osmo businesses to the next level by solving complex issues of large scale organization management such as supply chain, logistics, finance, and creating centers of excellence,” says Cherian Thomas, Senior Vice President of International Business at Osmo from BYJU’S. “Furthermore, Jon will be instrumental in setting up our multidisciplinary teams for success in carrying out Osmo’s vision for the future.”

Naseath arrives at Osmo from Google Cloud, where he served as Cloud Value Advisor Senior Principal, and assisted the office of Google Cloud CFO to define the financial opportunity of cloud digital transformation. Between 2018 and 2020, Naseath was Chief Financial Officer and Transformation Leader at PCH International, which provides supply chain distribution and software as a service (SaaS) platforms to leading global brands. He advised on matters ranging from developing and implementing cash strategies, to overseeing global accounting, financial reporting, tax, compliance and regulatory teams. …Read More

PresenceLearning Partners with Hasbro to Bring Beloved Characters and Classic Games to the PresenceLearning Therapy Platform

NEW YORK, February 18, 2022 – PresenceLearning, the leading provider of online therapy solutions for schools and clinicians, has partnered with Hasbro, a global play and entertainment company, to bring some of the most-beloved characters and classic games to the PresenceLearning therapy platform.

Through this partnership, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and behavioral and mental health professionals will be able to use PresenceLearning’s exclusive digital adaptations of Potato Head, Candy Land, and Clue Jr. with students during online therapy sessions conducted on the company’s award-winning therapy platform. PresenceLearning has modified the traditional games to facilitate cooperative play, problem-solving skills, and visual perception skills. With the addition of Hasbro properties, the company continues to invest in building a content library that can help personalize each student’s therapy session. 

“Our partnership with Hasbro is part of a broader initiative to offer a next-generation therapy platform that helps providers deliver fun, engaging and effective therapy sessions,” said Kate Eberle Walker, CEO of PresenceLearning. “We’re excited for the potential to create more dynamic therapy experiences by incorporating these iconic characters and games into therapy activities. When children carry over content experiences from their therapy sessions into their play at home, it helps them to make connections and practice skills that can support their progress.”…Read More

Osmo From BYJU’s Names Kar-Han Tan, Ph.D., Head of Computer Vision and Machine Learning

Palo Alto, CA–Feb 10, 2022–Award-winning STEAM brand, Osmo from BYJU’S, announces Kar-Han Tan’s appointment as Head of Computer Vision and Machine Learning, effective immediately. With three decades leading teams in robotics and AI research and development, Tan will further thedevelopment of a world-class computer vision and AI platform that aids in the creation of new products, games, and devices incorporating gains made in deep learning technology. In addition, he will lead a growing global team to research, develop, and optimize new algorithms for computer vision and AI-enabled features such as object detection, object recognition, hand tracking, pattern matching, and hand-drawing analysis, among others, all in an effort to create the best learning tools and outcomes.

“We were impressed by Kar-Han’s extensive experience leading R&D teams in robotics, AI, and deep learning,” says Mark Solomon, Senior Vice President of Products and Platform at BYJU’S. “His background will help Osmo expand the usage of computer vision technology across BYJU’S various products and platforms, further meeting the needs of learners of all ages everywhere.”

Tan, who was born and educated in Singapore, most recently founded Helpful Robotics LLC, which designed and built an AI-enabled autonomous assistive robot from the ground up, and fostered a collaboration between scientists and engineers located in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the University of California San Francisco, and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.…Read More

Renaissance and Hillsborough County Celebrate 10 Years of Equitable Access to Thousands of Books

Bloomington, Minn. (Feb. 10, 2022) Renaissance, the global leader in pre-K–12 education technology, is honored to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the community reading initiative Read on myON, a first-of-its-kind partnership between Renaissance and Hillsborough County Public Schools.

Designed to promote equity and eliminate accessibility gaps in access to high quality books regardless of a student’s socioeconomic status or attendance in a particular school, Read on myON was made possible by an entire community of partners, including Hillsborough County Public Schools, The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County, Head Start of Hillsborough County, Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative, Tampa Housing Authority, Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, and United Way Suncoast.

Over the 10 years of the Read on myON collaboration, hundreds of thousands of children from birth through 8th grade have had free access to the myON platform. Thirty-nine percent of the books children access through the program are opened for the first time outside of school hours, and books have been accessed over 71,718,216 times since the inception of the program in 2012, equating to over 336 million minutes spent reading.…Read More

5 edtech opportunities that will emerge in 2022

There is a certain perspective that comes from being in the edtech industry for over 30 years, and while I thought I had seen it all, nothing could have prepared me (or anyone else) for a global pandemic. Not only did the pandemic upend our lives, it looks like we will be managing and battling surges and outbreaks of COVID variants for a lifetime or more. 

There are significant positives about how we as a society have learned to deal with COVID. Much as the problems in our medical systems, for example, have given rise to better and more efficient care, so can education benefit from rethinking its model.

The problems we’ve experienced educating students who are learning at home, either full time or in a part time model, spotlight needed improvements (particularly with equity of access) and spark new ways of thinking. …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

Prediction: The future of teacher evaluations is video

Over the last two years, educators have been forced into all kinds of unplanned experiments as we’ve searched for ways to keep students safe while continuing to advance their education amid a global pandemic.

At the Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township, we’ve found that one of the pandemic-related changes we’ll be keeping around is the use of video for teacher evaluations. I think it’s a change we’ll see a lot of other districts making in the next year or two as well.

Based on our experience, here’s how I can see it playing out across the country.…Read More

Kajeet Appoints Industry Veteran Chris Felix as Vice President of Education Sales

MCLEAN, VA. Jan. 8, 2022 — Kajeet®, a leading provider of IoT connectivity, software and hardware solutions that deliver safe, reliable and controlled internet connectivity to nearly 3,000 customers, today announced the appointment of Chris Felix to the newly created role of vice president of sales within its education business. In this role, Felix will spearhead business development and account management for Kajeet’s global education customers, further bolstering its mission of closing the digital divide in education and beyond.

“While significant progress has been made to eradicate digital inequities, over a billion school-age students worldwide are still without adequate internet access at home. We at Kajeet feel that this is unacceptable,” said Daniel J.W. Neal, Chairman, CEO and founder of Kajeet. “The addition of Chris to our mission-focused team will support our strategic growth in the global education market and reinforce our position as a leading provider of safe, reliable and secure IoT connectivity solutions for students and educators alike.”

Felix is a seasoned and strategic leader who brings more than 30 years of telecommunications experience to his new role. Before joining Kajeet, he served four years as vice president and general manager of government solutions at Sprint, where he successfully revitalized its federal government sector and aligned two sales organizations into a single, unified team on the heels of its merger with T-Mobile. Felix started his career in telecommunications at Verizon Wireless, where he quickly worked his way into management roles. Throughout his 27-year tenure at Verizon, Felix held several executive-level leadership positions, including a three-year stint as regional president of Verizon’s Upstate New York region and three years as vice president of federal government sales.…Read More

What did 2021 bring to K-12 edtech?

Each year, we share our 10 most-read stories. Not surprisingly, many of this year’s Top 10 focused on student engagement and online or hybrid learning strategies related to pandemic teaching. This year’s 2nd most-read story focuses on the K-12 edtech predictions educators and experts had for 2021–were they right?

When we posted our 2020 predictions on January 1 last year, we–along with the majority of the world–definitely didn’t anticipate the curveball that was (and continues to be) the global COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 has been called a dumpster fire, the worst year in recent memory, and more. Abrupt shifts to virtual and hybrid learning laid bare the vast inequities that exist in the U.S. education system. The move to online learning also made people wonder: Are there practices we can continue when the pandemic abates? What can we take from this when we return to our classrooms? And will we return to our classrooms to teach in the same manner as we did before COVID?…Read More