Frontline Education | October 06, 2022
Thoma Bravo, a leading software investment firm, today announced the completion of its sale of Frontline Education, a leading provider of administration software purpose-built for educators in K-12, to Roper Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: ROP) in an all-cash transaction that values Frontline at approximately $3.725 billion. Frontline, which offers solutions for human capital management, student and special programs, and business operations with powerful analytics to increase productivity and improve overall performance for K-12 administrators, has been a trusted partner to K-12 leaders across all 50 states for decades.
"We are grateful to Thoma Bravo for their invaluable partnership over the last five years which has allowed us to further expand the use of our critical solutions by educators across the country,As part of Roper, we are excited to bring enhanced innovation and value to our clients in alignment with our mission to empower K-12 schools with the technology capabilities they need to succeed."
Mark Gruzin, Chief Executive Officer of Frontline Education
We are extremely proud of our partnership with Frontline and what we have been able to achieve together," said Holden Spaht, a Managing Partner at Thoma Bravo. Applying our deep sector expertise, we worked with Mark and the Frontline team to make strategic acquisitions, increase revenue and expand product offerings and headcount in order to drive sustainable long-term growth. We look forward to following Frontline's continued success with Roper as their partner. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Jefferies LLC and Macquarie Capital served as financial advisors and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to Thoma Bravo and Frontline Education. Cooley LLP also served as legal advisor to Frontline Education.
About Thoma Bravo
Thoma Bravo is one of the largest private equity firms in the world, with more than $122 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2022. The firm invests in growth-oriented, innovative companies operating in the software and technology sectors. Leveraging the firm's deep sector expertise and proven strategic and operational capabilities, Thoma Bravo collaborates with its portfolio companies to implement operating best practices, drive growth initiatives and make accretive acquisitions intended to accelerate revenue and earnings. Over the past 20 years, the firm has acquired or invested in more than 400 companies representing over $220 billion in enterprise value. The firm has offices in Chicago, Miami and San Francisco.
WuKong Education | August 12, 2022
WuKong Education, a New Zealand based EdTech company, announced a new round of upgrades for its technological teaching assistant product "WuKong Interactive Exercise". Fully embodying WuKong's "7-step Learning Method", namely the seven key steps of "Previewing - Learning - Reviewing - Consolidating - Reflecting - Examing - Applying", the upgraded product effectively combines the process of "learning" and "practising" to strengthen students' learning effects with diversified, interesting and scientific learning forms, so that learners can firmly grasp what has been learnt and really enjoy the learning process.
WuKong has initiated the research and development of its interactive exercise product in July 2021. In September 2021, the product was put into use in the graded reading courses of WuKong Chinese, a famous Chinese curriculum product under WuKong Education. In October 2021, it was applied to WuKong Math as well. Since the launch of the product, its functions experienced several rounds of upgrades and have been continuously optimized according to various learning and teaching needs.
This round of upgrades further enriched the contents in the question bank. Furthermore, based on AI interaction, voice recognition and other technologies, in-class knowledge can be integrated into the lively and interesting interactive homework display page, so as to effectively satisfy students' personalised learning needs and after-class reviewing needs. The product can also meet the demands of 1-on-1 class, small class, large class and other classroom types, as well as students at different learning levels.
On the other hand, the upgrade of interactive exercise product also provides convenience for teachers. Teachers from WuKong can leave feedback on the homework submitted by students in real time through the product's voice interaction function, which improves the efficiency of online teaching, shortens the process of homework feedback, and enables teachers and students to communicate more effectively after class.
"Since 2019, our IT team has invested millions of funds in the research and development of technological platforms and data platforms. We have built the industry's leading teaching quality management system and intelligent learning situation tracking and analysing system. Based on the continuous expansion of the market and the increasing needs of our learners, we have developed a set of relatively mature teaching content systems and technology platforms to meet users' personalised learning needs."
- Cicy, Chief Education Officer of WuKong, said during the London EdTech Week
We believe that for the majority of parents today, the most precious thing is to nurture their children's interest in learning. WuKong hopes to fully stimulate their children's interest and thinking in learning by means of technological empowerment. As one of the world's most popular education technology companies, our expectation is to help children grow happily and wisely, and to be a trusted companion in the learning process for families around the world said Cicy.
Mrs. Zhang, a Tsinghua University graduate who is currently teaching in WuKong Education, expressed her reflections on the upgraded product: the WuKong Interactive Exercise can customize the exercise layout, automatically distribute homework in the system. Once the students submitted their exercises, I can also receive instant notifications and provide them with real time voice with feedback, which is really convenient and makes me feel like I'm getting closer to my students!
Practical cases of the integration of technology and education are not rare in recent years, and technological innovations have brought more possibilities to the online education industry. Under this background, more and more EdTech enterprises are injecting investments in their scientific and technological research and development, hoping to bring more intelligent education products and services to learners. WuKong Education is among this marching army as well.
Texthelp | August 18, 2022
Today, Texthelp, a global leader in literacy and digital learning tools for education, released new survey results on the current state of teaching and learning for students with dyslexia. The survey, concluding in March 2022, reflects insights from more than 3,000 school staff representing thousands of schools across the country. The goal was to identify common problems in student teaching and learning that could be addressed, and to help build better, more inclusive learning environments.
According to nearly half of the teachers surveyed, assistive technology is one of the top approaches that helps students with dyslexia, along with reading and phonemic awareness instruction. With one billion people globally living with a non-visible disability, such as dyslexia, it is critical that all students have the tools they need to understand and learn. How students digest information and communicate their knowledge looks different for everyone. More inclusive approaches to learning, such as Universal Design for Learning (UDL), are the future of education. "I have severe dyslexia and looking back, I could have benefited from having early access to assistive technology that was designed for people just like me," said Sierra Goodfellow, a current student. "Instead, I endured many barriers and obstacles while learning. It wasn't until much later that I finally found an assistive technology tool that understood me. I had thought something was wrong with me when really I needed a tool that was made for someone who thinks differently."
"It would be extremely valuable for students like Sierra and teachers of students with dyslexia if the right accommodations were always available from the start, Texthelp. "All students should have a choice in how they learn. For Sierra, that was being able to understand the text by listening to it being read aloud."
Martin McKay, Founder and CEO, Texthelp.
More than 52 percent of teachers surveyed find 'a lot of value' in providing students with dyslexia access to assistive technology tools. However, more than 54 percent of the respondents said their district will only provide accommodations to students who show a need. Providing tools to only those students who 'show' signs of their disability or disclose their learning challenges leaves out many students who are either undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or are afraid to disclose their diagnosis to indicate the support that they need."It is critical that all school districts provide assistive technology tools to every student, whether or not they are neurodivergent, neurotypical, or physically disabled," said McKay. "Providing tools for all students can bolster inclusivity in the classroom and welcomes all types of learners. Students should be attuned to how they learn best. Thoughtful, inclusive practices in the classroom make learning easier and more enjoyable for everyone."
Additional findings from the survey include:
52% find assistive technology tools to be highly valuable for students with dyslexia
Assistive technology tools can benefit all students, especially those with hidden disabilities, such as dyslexia. Providing assistive technology tools with various capabilities that are designed using UDL principles is most effective in supporting student success.
Most districts provide free tools, such as built-in tools (71.73%) and free accessibility apps (54.87%), to students as a source of reading/writing accommodations
Free tools and built-in tools aren't accessible everywhere throughout a students' education journey. When using these tools, students are limited in where they can utilize their accommodations. Oftentimes, users cannot access these tools when taking tests or searching online, which can create more barriers than solutions.
Respondents felt that the best ways to make assistive technology more impactful for students with dyslexia are:
Having the ability to identify student needs and match those with appropriate digital learning tools (55.51%)
Having teachers embrace assistive technology in the classroom (52.10%)
More training for staff (50.55%)
Founded in 1996, the Texthelp Group is a global technology company helping people all over the world to understand and to be understood. It has led the way in creating innovative technology for the education and workplace sectors for the last three decades.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 education and accessibility tools.
With over 50 million users worldwide, the Texthelp suite of products includes Read&Write, Equatio®, WriQ®, OrbitNote®, ReachDeck® and FluencyTutor® which work alongside existing platforms such as Microsoft Office and G-suite, enabling them to be integrated quickly into any classroom or workplace with ease.In 2021, Texthelp acquired the Lingit Group, Wizkids and Don Johnston Inc. By combining capabilities and knowledge across the group, Texthelp can now provide a whole suite of literacy and numeracy support to a greater number of end-users across more geographies.