Everspring | March 11, 2022
Everspring, a leader in higher education technology solutions, announced the expansion of Envision, its multi-media faculty research hub. The announcement came on March 10th, and will enable Everspring partners to access the practical, on-demand, and cutting edge information they need to deliver online teaching effectively.
"Everspring invests in more than just cutting-edge technology. We also invest in the people—university faculty and instructional designers—who bring learning to life online. Envision is an essential resource for our partners to ensure a dynamic, engaging online learning experience for their faculty and students."
-Beth Hollenberg, president and co-founder of Everspring
"The meaningful working relationships we establish with our faculty partners are reflected in Everspring's high faculty satisfaction scores, which are routinely in the mid-to high 90% range. Our expansion of Envision reflects the depth of our commitment to supporting the professional development of our faculty partners by making the platform more content-rich and relevant."
-Kathy Groth, vice president of learning design at Everspring
Texthelp | January 11, 2022
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. 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."
Martin McKay, CEO and founder of Texthelp
For more than 40 years, Don Johnston Inc. has developed technology tools and curriculum that have helped students and educators build literacy skills. The company's support and accessible technology is designed to accommodate children and adults with special needs and learning disabilities. Since its inception, Don Johnston Inc. has helped over 32,000 schools through technologies, implementation, and personal connections.
"Don Johnston Inc. and Texthelp have worked in parallel in the edtech sector for decades. We share so many commonalities," said Don Johnston, CEO of Don Johnston Inc. "Fundamentally, we are both unified by a mission to help as many students as possible learn and succeed. I strongly believe that together we can achieve more, and I am excited to see what the future holds. My new role on the board of the Texthelp Group will allow me to continue to drive forward our shared vision. This is also an opportunity for our curriculum tools to forge their own path as a new organization, Building Wings. I am passionate about the role curriculum has to play in helping students, and I will maintain a leadership position with Building Wings as CEO."
Texthelp and Don Johnston Inc. will work together to expand product innovation and help many more people fulfill their potential, beginning in classrooms and extending through to the workplace. The two organizations will combine their teams and products to create the best technology available to students, educators, and employees. Texthelp will add Don Johnston's Snap&Read™, Co:Writer®, Word Bank™, Quizbot® and uPAR™ tools to its suite of products and all employees of Don Johnston's Education Technology Division will become Texthelp employees.
Founded in 1996, the Texthelp Group is a global technology company. On a daily basis, it helps people all over the world to understand and to be understood. For the last three decades, it has led the way in creating innovative education and workplace technology. Texthelp believes in a world where difference, disability, or language are no longer barriers. It is focused on helping all people learn, understand, and communicate through the use of digital literacy and accessibility software. With over 50 million users worldwide, the Texthelp suite of products includes Read&Write, EquatIO®, WriQ®, Fluency Tutor®, ReachDeck®, and SpeechStream®. These tools work alongside existing platforms such as Microsoft Office and G-suite. This allows for its products to be quickly integrated into any classroom or workplace with ease. Visit www.texthelp.com for more information.
About Don Johnston Inc.
Since 1980, Don Johnston Inc. has been a staple of the accessibility community, partnering with literacy experts, AT specialists, SLPs, OTs, and special education directors to develop popular assistive and evaluative tools including Co:Writer®, Snap&Read™, uPAR®, Word Bank™ and Quizbot®. Students across North America with dyslexia, autism, dysgraphia, and other diverse learning challenges rely on Don Johnston Inc. assistive tools every day to accommodate their learning needs in schools and at home. Education isn't the end of the transformation, it's only the beginning. Don Johnston Inc. tools open up possibilities right through the education journey and into the workplace. Visit https://learningtools.donjohnston.com/ for more information.
About Five Arrows
Five Arrows Principal Investments (FAPI) and Five Arrows Capital Partners (FACP) (together, "Five Arrows") are the European and US corporate private equity arms, respectively, of Rothschild & Co's Merchant Banking business. Five Arrows is focused on investing in middle-market companies with highly defensible market positions; strong management teams; business models with high visibility of organic unit volume growth and strong free cash flow conversion; and multiple operational levers that can be used to unlock latent value. The sector focus at Five Arrows is limited to healthcare, data & software and technology-enabled business services.
YouScience | August 24, 2021
While educators have worked to battle student learning loss for years, the COVID-19 pandemic and virtual learning have brought this issue to the forefront. According to CNBC, "Nearly all — more than 97% — of educators reported seeing some learning loss in their students over the past year when compared with children in previous years."
In March 2020, YouScience merged with Precision Exams to establish a revolutionary education technology company offering an innovative solution for career discovery, exploration, preparation, and connection. The company uses science-based brain games to identify innate abilities (a.k.a. aptitudes) and connect them with real-world careers and offers over 200 certification exams that span across the 16 National Career Clusters.
Pretesting from YouScience provides a method to overcome learning loss for secondary educators. Each exam is written by subject-matter experts that align the content therein to the academic standards. When used at the beginning of a course, pretesting provides teachers with a calculated measure of students' previous knowledge of a particular topic. It helps to measure the learning that did take place while identifying where gaps may have formed because of a break from school, virtual learning, or any number of things. Using the report data, teachers can plan their curriculum accordingly.
Secondary school teachers across the country are already taking advantage of the pretesting option with YouScience and have the success to show for it. Robert Kovi, a district CTE Director in Connecticut, said, "Precision Exams were a natural fit as they are already aligned to national standards and many of the textbooks and curriculum we already use."
Kovi reported the teachers in his school were able to have more informed discussions using the data provided to guide conversations and instructional decisions. Many are also using the pretesting feature to set yearly learning goals for their students and using single exams for benchmarking throughout the year.
"Coming out of remote learning, we're realizing just how important benchmark testing is in guiding the educational experience," said Edson Barton, CEO of YouScience and cofounder of Precision Exams. "Educators can use pretesting to make data-driven decisions to best serve their students and prepare them for the future. Each year, they can learn more and optimize their lesson structure to improve knowledge retention and curriculum efficacy."
YouScience empowers intentional individual success by aligning talent, education, and industry. With revolutionary career guidance and industry-recognized certifications, we empower individuals to uncover their natural talent, validate their skills and knowledge, and pursue their best-fit educational pathways.