BIG FISHES: Pearson was the single most active buyer last year, according to Berkery Noyes' 2011 M&A report for the education sector. Transaction volume (229 deals) was up 10% over 2010, even though the total volume stayed almost constant ($10.01 B). Nearly a third of companies sold between 2009 and 2011 were between $3 million and $33 million. You'll know edtech is really catching fire when those deal values start to climb. On the positive side, venture firms are getting pumped up, raising $5.6 billion in Q4-2011, a healthy improvement over the lackluster 2011 Q2 and Q3.