How Will Coronavirus Impact Education Technology Investments in 2020?

edsurge | March 18, 2020

With coronavirus cooping people up in their homes and disrupting businesses across every industry, buckle down for leaner times. Conserve cash. Reduce spend. That’s the message that Sequoia Capital, one of the most active venture capital firms in the business, expressed in a note to its portfolio on March 5. On the flip side, investors like Sequoia have plenty of “dry powder,” the industry parlance for cash on hand. According to PitchBook, private equity firms are sitting on $2.4 trillion. Axios reported that venture firms have cumulatively raised $100 billion over the past two years, and many are “open for business” and actively investing. Count education-focused firms among them. Several established U.S. groups, including Owl Ventures and Rethink Education, raised new tranches of money in the past year; Reach Capital is planning to raise its third fund. New groups have emerged, too, including Achieve Partners and two separate funds from Western Governors University.

Spotlight

The best learning technology is whatever suits the needs of your organization. And every organization is different.There are tons of LMS comparison reports out there, and there’s a reason. The people creating them get paid by learning technology vendors who want a shiny badge to put on their platform. A gold star to make them stand out amongst hundreds of other vendors.


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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Online College Students Becoming Younger, Dedicating More Time to Study

EducationDynamics | June 08, 2022

The number of students enrolling in online college programs has increased in the past few years, even as total college enrollment has declined. To help education leaders understand why more students are turning to online EducationDynamics, higher education marketing experts, surveyed over 1,000 currently enrolled and soon-to-enroll students. The resulting report – Online College Students 2022 uncovers the needs and preferences of online college students in 2022 and examines changes over the past several years. The researchers confirmed many long-developing trends and uncovered new emerging trends that are likely to accelerate coming out of the recent pandemic. Students are still motivated by career outcomes and their biggest challenge continues to be figuring out how to pay for college. Compared to students from five or more years ago, the online college students of today are younger, more likely to be working full time, and devote more time to their education. Further, these students almost universally recognize the benefits and value of online learning and most intend to enroll in online programs in the future. "The landscape of higher education shifted dramatically in the past several years. While overall enrollment in college has continued to decline, we have seen growth in online program enrollments. However, even as the overall outlook for online education has significantly improved, many schools are finding it increasingly difficult to take advantage of this growth opportunity. We wanted to help them understand who is enrolling in online education – and why. With online education now taking its place in the forefront of the minds of students and educators alike, it will be more important than ever for the leaders of higher education to fully understand the online students of today and the future." -Bruce Douglas, EducationDynamics CEO, Now in its 11th year, the 2022 Online College Students Report provides a comprehensive analysis of the online learner of today and uncovers why many students are increasingly turning to online programs when pursuing degrees. About EducationDynamics EducationDynamics is the industry leader in helping colleges and universities find new adult students and achieve their enrollment goals. As the trusted partner to more than 500 higher educational institutions, EducationDynamics has earned a reputation for providing the resources and expertise required to meet a wide range of industry challenges, delivering inquiry generation and agency of record marketing (e.g. paid digital, organic search, awareness), enrollment management, retention, and technology solutions to colleges and universities across the country.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Fastest-Growing EdTech Provider Trox + Tierney to "Bluum" Under New Brand

Bluum | January 27, 2022

Having already transformed into North America's leading education technology company, Trox + Tierney will continue to grow in the education markets under the new brand of Bluum beginning today. The higher calling of ensuring every student has access to a world-class education remains the company's mission. The April 2021 Trox and Tierney merger resulted in a technology solutions provider with a robust suite of technology products and services, AV design and integration, and professional development for educators. Many of Bluum's 775 employees stem from education, providing first-hand experience and unrivaled knowledge to their former colleagues. "Our company's growth has occurred through mergers and acquisitions, as well as organically, more than tripling our revenue over the past three years. We are united under one aspirational brand and a vision of creating equity and access in education. All of our employees equally share in this identity, which aligns with our mission, objectives and pursuit of continued growth." Bluum CEO Erez Pikar Recently named to the top half of the 2021 Inc. 5000 List of "America's Fastest-Growing Companies" and one of the "Top 10 Integrators" by Systems Contractor News, Bluum is rooted in the belief that education is the single most vital step toward a more positive and equitable tomorrow. The wonder of learning and the benevolence behind increasing student engagement heavily influenced Bluum's new logo and design. "The inspiration for our brand name came from Bloom's Taxonomy, a fundamental philosophy in every educator's toolkit," Vice President of Marketing and Communications Diane Mitchell said. "The act of 'blooming' signals a moment of transformation when the right set of people, resources and knowledge come together to create something greater than the sum of its parts. Technology is only the beginning. Our level of care and involvement with every customer sets us apart in making an impact on the user and the outcome." Today's announcement is the first step in a phased rebrand, which includes the launch of a new e-Commerce site this spring. While the Bluum brand will serve its education customers, the company also introduced the Bluum Technology brand to continue to develop its existing business and government customer base. About Bluum Bluum empowers educators with technology solutions that improve learning and make it more accessible, assisting more than 26 million students grow and flourish.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

NetDragon's Promethean Maintains Leadership Position as No.1 Education Brand for Interactive Displays in USA and EMEA

NetDragon's | June 14, 2022

NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited ("NetDragon" or "the Company", Hong Kong Stock Code: 777), a global leader in building internet communities, is pleased to announce that Promethean continues to be a global leader for Interactive Flat Panel Displays ("IFPD") technology, according to Futuresource Consulting's Q1 2022 report on the World IFPD market. As schools embraced and learned to harness the power of edtech in and out of the classroom, the IFPD market continued trending upward in the first quarter of 2022. Excluding sales in China, Promethean was the global K-12 education sector IFPD market leader from 2018 to 2021 collectively. From April 2021 to March 2022, Promethean achieved a 23.8% market share of the total IFPD market. In that same 12-month period, Promethean maintained its leadership position in the United States, United Kingdom & Ireland, and Germany. Most recently, in Q1 2022, Promethean held a strong lead in the United States, achieving a 32.8% market share of the IFPD market. Promethean's 25-year product development experiences with insights from the teaching community has allowed the company to create innovative tools that make a lasting impact and continue to evolve with the classroom. Promethean's success in Q1 2022 is attributed to adapting and understanding teacher and student needs and successfully addressing those pain points in the classroom. The Promethean ActivPanel provides a user-friendly interface, customized solution and enhanced security for both educators and IT administrators. The ActivPanel includes Promethean's lesson delivery software ActivInspire and ClassFlow, which provide interactive lessons, activities, quizzes, and thousands of immersive resources, no matter the learning environment. "As we approach the second half of 2022, Promethean continues to be dedicated to resolving pain points for educators and IT administrators to get the most value out of their edtech and learning experience, Promethean is proud to be the leader of the IFPD market and is dedicated to laying the foundation for the next-generation interactive panels." -Chris Hand, Chief Revenue Officer at Promethean. About NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited (HKSE: 0777) is a global leader in building internet communities with a long track record of developing and scaling multiple internet and mobile platforms that impact hundreds of millions of users, including previous establishments of China's first online gaming portal, 17173.com, and China's most influential smartphone app store platform, 91 Wireless. Established in 1999, NetDragon is one of the most reputable and well-known online game developers in China with a history of successful game titles including Eudemons Online, Heroes Evolved, Conquer Online and Under Oath. In recent years, NetDragon has also started to scale its online education business on the back of management's vision to create the largest global online learning community, and to bring true integrated blended learning solutions to every school around the world. About Promethean Promethean is a leading education technology company working to transform the way the world learns and collaborates. From our founding in Blackburn, England, almost 25 years ago to our global operations in 22 countries today, we've continued to explore, innovate, and inspire—designing learning and collaboration tools that are built for breakthroughs. Our award-winning interactive display, ActivPanel, and lesson delivery software, ActivInspire and ClassFlow, were designed to engage students, connect colleagues, and bring out the brilliance in everyone. With headquarters in Seattle, Washington, and offices worldwide, Promethean is a subsidiary of the NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited (HKSE: 0777).

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Level Access Launches Accessibility Education Platform to Deliver Self-Sufficient Compliance to Businesses

Level Access | May 25, 2022

Level Access, the global leader in digital accessibility, today announced the launch of its all-new learning platform, Access Academy. The Access Academy platform serves to help organizations improve accessibility processes without disrupting product roadmaps. Users learn the skills they need, in a non-disruptive manner, to solve their real-world accessibility problems. The integrated training platform includes advanced features like weekly live training sessions, role-based learning paths, and tailored learning. Level Access emphasizes the importance and advantage of creating and expanding equitable digital experiences from the inside out. Access Academy is positioned to be the industry's most engaging platform to deliver digital accessibility training with demonstrable learning retention to organizations and businesses. The platform also seamlessly integrates with accessibility auditing and monitoring tools, empowering teams of all sizes to address shortcomings while building the knowledge and skills required to create truly inclusive experiences. "Our mission is to support the accessibility initiatives of organizations and ultimately create a world where digital systems can be made readily accessible to users with disabilities, Level Access guides organizations to attain compliance while bolstering equity. Accessibility is complicated and can be difficult to learn and apply to practice. Access Academy makes accessibility topics approachable, using proven training and learning practices to ensure retention and applicability to users' day-to-day jobs. With Access Academy, businesses can become self-sufficient, achieving mastery of their own digital accessibility efforts. We are thrilled for the launch of our new training offering and what it means for creating all-inclusive digital experiences." -Tim Springer, CEO of Level Access. From the initial steps of web and mobile app development, the guided planning and self-paced training courses available across Access Academy will help all members of an organization, from designers and developers to product owners and marketing professionals, organically identify what aspects of their digital interface need immediate attention, create a training roadmap, and inevitably develop a workforce confident in their knowledge and skills. Access Academy provides comprehensive training tools and programs that empower accessibility experts, product owners, and development leads in organizations of all sizes to improve accessibility processes and meet compliance, including: Self-paced training courses covering a broad range of topics, including laws and regulations, mobile accessibility, testing tools, and assistive technologies. Guided planning and development of your training road map to build the most impactful training program for your organization's credentials and certifications. Role-based learning paths for all members of an organization, from product managers and developers to designers and marketers. Microlearning modules present key concepts as bite-sized content that keeps learners engaged and reinforces training from full-length courses. Tailored learning credits that can be purchased in advance and redeemed to customize your training and meet your organization's needs. Weekly live training and Q&A opportunities on a broad range of accessibility topics. Opportunity to avail of tailored live training sessions for your organization. Reporting and alerts provide insight into how individuals and teams are progressing in their skill development. Review program performance, gather feedback, optimize, and automatically alert users of completion. Badges and certification for LinkedIn profiles and certification exams for professional development. About Level Access Level Access provides industry-leading and award-winning digital accessibility solutions to over 2,000 corporations, government agencies, and educational institutions. Level Access's mission is to achieve digital equality for all users by ensuring technology is accessible to people with disabilities and the growing aging population. Founded in 1997, Level Access has an unparalleled history in helping customers achieve and maintain compliance with the full scope of accessible technology regulations and standards including the ADA, WCAG, CVAA, AODA, EN 301 549, and Section 508. Delivered through a comprehensive suite of software, consulting services, and training solutions, the company's solutions ensure customer's web, desktop, mobile, and electronic document systems are accessible to everyone. Level Access is endorsed by the American Banking Association, named a White House "Champion of Change" in 2014, and multi-year repeat winners on the Inc. 5000 list of fast-growing companies.

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Spotlight

The best learning technology is whatever suits the needs of your organization. And every organization is different.There are tons of LMS comparison reports out there, and there’s a reason. The people creating them get paid by learning technology vendors who want a shiny badge to put on their platform. A gold star to make them stand out amongst hundreds of other vendors.

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