Tony Wan

Benetech, Macmillan Pioneer Effort to Make All Digital Books ‘Born Accessible’

There are more than 711,000 books—and counting—in Bookshare, a digital reading platform for people with reading barriers including dyslexia, blindness or cerebral palsy. Working with more than 850 publishers across the world, the library adds as many as 100,000 titles every year, according to Brad Turner, vice president and general manager of global education and literacy at Benetech, the nonprofit that runs Bookshare.

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Pearson Still Won’t Buy Your Startup. But It May Invest in It.

Pearson probably still won’t buy your startup. But it may consider investing in it.Today, the publisher announced the launch of Pearson Ventures, a $50 million fund earmarked for education technology startups raising Series A and B rounds.

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A Humbled Declara, Once a Darling of the Edtech Industry, Finds a New Home

Declara launched in 2012 to considerable funding and fanfare—including a shoutout from former President Barack Obama. But its AI-powered social learning platform struggled to live up to expectations, and never quite found its footing in the education market.

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That’s a Rap! Nearpod Buys Educational Hip Hop Creator, Flocabulary

It’s out of the ordinary when Nearpod buys a company.Today it’s adding Flocabulary, to bring hip hop to the library.

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Instructure Acquires MasteryConnect for $42.5 Million to Expand K-12 Footprint

Instructure, the publicly traded company best known for its learning management systems (LMS) Canvas and Bridge, has agreed to acquire a fellow Salt Lake City-based education technology company, MasteryConnect, for $42.5 million.Of that figure, about $12.3 million will be paid in Instructure common stock, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The deal is expected to close by next Tuesday.

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Tencent-Affiliated Family Office Leads $15M Investment in Entangled Group

According to Paul Freedman, the name of his company, Entangled Group, is an homage to the physics research that his late father and a colleague undertook that proved Albert Einstein wrong about the theory of quantum entanglement.

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Allovue Acquires Equiday to Make K-12 Budgeting More Transparent and Equitable

“You can’t talk about closing the student achievement gap without talking about the resource gap,” says Jess Gartner. In other words, how schools allocate funds for educational services play a major role in shaping student outcomes. Yet deciding how that money is distributed and tracking how it is spent, across state agencies, districts and schools, can be a morass.

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Mark Cuban, ECMC Lead $1.9M Round for Cluster to Develop Industrial Tech Talent

The allure of “tech jobs” and the salaries they command have given rise to new industries, from coding bootcamps to specialized recruiters. Yet the likes of Google and Facebook sometimes overshadow sectors that have been—and remain—core to the American economy: industrial manufacturing.

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Judge, Jury and Education Startups: Reflections From the SXSW EDU Launch Competition

All the world’s a stage when you’re a startup, and life becomes a pitch in front of investors, advisers, reporters, partners and potential acquirers.Those hats were represented in the panel of judges at this week’s SXSW EDU Launch Competition, which included Bridget Burns, executive director of the University Innovation Alliance; Vince Chan, co-founder at Creta Ventures; Jonathan Rochelle, product management director at Google for Education; and your correspondent.

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Edtech’s Blurred Lines Between Security, Surveillance and Privacy

A study by Northeastern University researchers suggests that schools are safer than they were in the 1990’s. But headlines about cyberbullying and school shootings have communities understandably on edge.

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