Apogee, Inc. | January 02, 2023
Apogee, an industry leader in managed technology services for higher education, has recently announced the acquisition of Cumulus Technology Services Inc. Headquartered in Ventura, California, Cumulus Technology Services is a specialist in secure cloud services for higher education and an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Select Consulting Partner.
This acquisition reaffirms Apogee's commitment to be the preferred managed technology partner for universities and colleges that strive to innovate and transform. The acquisition extends the managed networking and IT services capabilities of Apogee into the cloud, enabling the new potential for higher education IT innovation to enhance student experiences and promote institutional competitiveness.
While the use of technology in attracting and retaining students and providing great blended learning and student life experiences is growing, IT teams in higher education confront increasing difficulty in acquiring and retaining IT expertise. Services and products that delegate IT operations, manage expenses, improve operational effectiveness, and foster innovation are in great demand. Improving the delivery of managed cloud services in higher education helps universities and educational institutions liberate time for innovation, as promised by Apogee.
The following acquired services will be incorporated into Apogee's managed technology services portfolio:
Secure Cloud Services increase Apogee's expertise in cloud, security, and data center management. Cumulus Technology Services' significant understanding of enterprise resource planning (ERP) cloud migration and containerization, Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS), Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) will enable Apogee to provide colleges and universities even improved performance, scalability, robustness, and security of their apps, infrastructure, and data.
Cumulus Data Adapter (CDA) connects and synchronizes institutional ERP systems such as Ellucian Banner® with learning management systems (LMS) such as Canvas by Instructure using a secure, simple-to-deploy technology that significantly enhances IT administration efficiency and student life. As a managed service, CDA is an additional critical tool that addresses the major pain point of data synchronization between LMSs and ERPs, hence easing student data integration difficulties for IT and enhancing the student experience for class registration and attendance.
Security Services bolster Apogee's security experience and expertise, allowing for the delivery of brawl-tested college security assessments, ransomware incident response readiness, and staffing and disaster recovery plans.
Apogee, a leading provider of managed IT services founded in 1999 in Austin, enables colleges and universities to innovate in order to improve the campus experience and foster student life. Apogee helps over one million students and administrators from over 350 colleges and universities across the United States. The company's extensive array of managed services includes Managed Campus networks and IT services, campus engagement, residential networks (ResNet), and video.
Spotivity | December 19, 2022
Spotivity, a Chicago-based tech startup has fully launched the industry’s first research-informed decision engine to help teens find meaningful afterschool engagement while also supporting program providers to lower liability, improve participant engagement, and drive recruitment. spotivity supports teens through its’ “Pocket Genie” the research-informed machine learning recommendation created in partnership with Utah State University under the guidance of Montana Butsch and Dr. Travis Dorsch.
Completed Pocket Genie launched The Genie is a patent-protected algorithm that utilizes key insights from the user to help identify meaningful non-prescriptive pathways for the user to pursue. In short – spotivity makes the unkowns known and peels back the curtain on pathway routes a teen can take. Specific information on the approach can be found in a recently published blog by Dr. Dorsch https://www.spotivity.com/blog/spotivity-a-research-approach-to-access/. As he clearly underscores, “Many children learn that some dream jobs are out of reach while others lack the functional knowledge to even know that some careers exist. In many cases, children don’t have knowledge of or access to the right preparation pathways to even start planning appropriately. The root problem seems to be that the process of finding a career is largely uninformed by evidence-based principles.”
Montana is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, read Education Research at Oxford University, is an Executive Scholar at Northwestern University, and, most recently, an Executive MBA Graduate from Brown University. Upon concluding work at Oxford, he focused on pursuing social ventures in Chicago, which led to the founding of the Chicago Training Center ‘CTC’ in 2006.
spotivity was informed by Butsch’s experience as the founder of CTC. Recent media coverage has centered on the #micdropchallenge www.micdropchallenge.com spotivity is an 1871 member, portfolio company of the Founder Institute, and graduate of the UVI Accelerate Accelerator
Penda Learning | November 16, 2022
Penda Learning, a Learning 2020 company, announced today that it has finalized an agreement with Scantron for the use of more than 14,500 assessment items in 11 assessment banks that span all science disciplines. These items will be used to expand the assessments currently available with Penda Science — a game-based science curriculum for grades 3–8, physical science, environmental science, and biology. — to include all NGSS performance expectations and state-specific science standards. Unlike traditional assessments, Penda Science interactive assessments challenge students to achieve high scores that earn them points to unlock virtual worlds, customize their avatars, and more. Teachers and administrators can use the line item analysis data to pinpoint learning gaps and personalize instruction within the Penda Science platform for small groups and individuals to help students achieve science mastery.
"This agreement will dramatically accelerate the development of comprehensive assessments within Penda Science. High-quality, validated assessments are critical for teachers to make informed decisions about instruction and intervention in order to support science learning success for all students. We are excited to be able to offer students a more interactive and engaging assessment experience and educators the reliable data they need."
Brad Baird, President/CEO of Learning 2020
The new assessment development is slated to be completed by April 2023. Assessments will be available for diagnostic, formative, and summative purposes. Also new to the Penda assessment suite will be a "quick check" assessment for teachers to use before, during, or after a unit to gauge student learning in order to plan or modify instruction to align with student knowledge.
About Learning 2020
Learning 2020, parent company to Penda Learning, is dedicated to identifying pressing, unfilled needs within the K-12 education market and developing technology solutions that solve these challenges in innovative and cost-effective ways that will positively impact teaching and learning. Formed in early 2019 by Brad Baird and Bill Tudor, experienced education technology entrepreneurs, Learning 2020's current focus is on ensuring all students have access to high-quality STEM instruction whether learning at home or in school.