NO RESTING ON LAURELS: Bloomberg reports that Baltimore, MD-based Laureate Education, the biggest for-profit college operator in the world with 84 universities around the world, is talking with banks in anticipation of a $1 billion IPO. As the reporters point out, for-profit colleges have been under fire after Corinthian Colleges was slapped with a $30 million fine, and declining enrollments at DeVry and the University of Phoenix (owned by Apollo Education Group). The IPO, which would value Laureate at around $5 billion, is not expected until 2016, according to Reuters.
FINDING FOLLETT: Ever wonder about how Follett Corporation, a major educational content reseller and distributor, chooses which edtech startups to invest in its $50 million Follett Knowledge Fund? Brad Simpson, Managing Editor of appoLearning shares in Huffington Post how the company works with Atrium Capital to source two-thirds of its deals. "We get calls from five companies a week that meet our mission and our goals," said Follett CEO, Mary Lee Schneider.
TOO COOL (PERFECT FOR SCHOOL): We've got our favorite edtech teacher and administrator tools for the week right here, as highlighted in our Instruct newsletter. By the way--got a favorite S’Cool Tool you like to use? We would love to hear and share your recommendations! If you’ve got a tool that makes you or your students sing from the proverbial mountaintops, fill out this form to let us know. It might just get featured!
Our tools of the week are:
Free! LocoMotive Labs is offering Todo Math, available for iPads, designed for K-2 learners, especially those with special needs or who lack grade-level preparation. It provides six multi-level games covering concepts in three categories: Numbers & Counting, Visual Representations, and Math Facts Practice. Users can play games or standards-aligned practice mode. In the Todo Math Pilot Program, teachers can use the games with up to 30 students for free until June 30. Parents can buy games within the free app.
Free! If managing a weekly allowance is too easy, young entrepreneurs can sharpen their tbusiness acumen with Cashtivity. Students can use the app to charge or pay for food at a school bake sale or pizza day, or to organize charges for their babysitting startup. Users under 18 must use Cashtivity under the supervision of a responsible adult.
Freemium! Do you have a student who dislikes statistics —unless the numbers are about her favorite sports team? NextLesson offers videos and lesson plans to connect your students’ interests to curriculum in math, English language arts, social studies or science. Basic accounts are free; learn about other pricing options here.
License: On Nureva Troove, students can create digital portfolios for academic work, reflections, and photos and videos from their lives. You can give feedback on their work, share it home, and track a student’s progress throughout the year. Request a demo to learn more about pricing; students under 18 must have parental consent to use Nureva Troove.
INVENTIVE STARS: We can all use edtech inspiration sometimes, and this week, we found ours--in the form of 15-year-old inventor Chase Lewis. In a recent TEDxUNC 2015 talk, Lewis encourages us to look around, find tools or inspiration in our immediate surrounding, and do something extraordinary with it. “You are inventors. Inventing is only human,” he says. Here’s hoping that you carry out your wildest dreams in the classroom this week--and beyond.
TRACK THIS: Sharing data creates stronger parents partnerships, according to Humboldt Schools' Title 1 teacher and reading specialist, Maureen Holt. From organizing “Parent Data Nights” to sending home data reports each time she sees a child, Holt shares her best practices on Edutopia’s “Schools That Work” video series.
RAISE LABS: $4.5 million to San Francisco, CA-based Raise Labs in a Series A round led by Owl Ventures. First Round Capital, SJF Ventures, Deborah Quazzo, Mark Goines, Paul Freedman and Thomas D. Lehrman also participated. The Raise.me website and app enables high school students to "earn" micro-scholarships starting freshman year in high school. More from The Wall Street Journal.