HMH to acquire Scholastic’s ed-tech business
Global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Educational Technology and Services (EdTech) business of Scholastic Corporation for $575 million in cash, subject to customary working capital adjustments.
The acquisition would provide HMH with a stronger position in intervention curriculum and services and extend its product offerings in key growth areas, including educational technology, early learning, and education services, creating a more comprehensive offering for students, teachers and schools.
The transaction would add digital infrastructure and expertise to support the development of next-generation products for HMH’s preK-12 and consumer businesses. In addition, HMH believes that combining EdTech’s digital intervention solutions sales expertise with HMH’s sales organization will create new opportunities and accelerate the company’s growth.
“As HMH drives a learning transformation powered by technology, we believe the EdTech segment of Scholastic will strengthen our offering in both K-12 and other key growth areas, including digital intervention, early learning, consumer and professional development,” commented Linda K. Zecher, HMH’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We believe that by diversifying our education portfolio, we will be taking an important step toward optimizing our growth while also enhancing our resiliency throughout economic and market cycles.”
District to use i-Ready to boost achievement
Curriculum Associates has partnered with Montgomery County Schools (MCS) in Troy, N.C. to help the district improve student achievement through the implementation of a new development program funded by a three-year Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready Diagnostic & Instruction online program for reading and mathematics will be a part of the district’s new A Culture Creating Effective Systems for Success (ACCESS) program, which was designed to create a district-wide culture of technology-based education.
ACCESS will provide the rural district with high-quality teaching and learning resources that can be accessed anytime, anywhere; expand the reach of effective teachers through connected teaching, instructional redesign and professional learning; and, create a process for teachers and students to readily access assessment data to improve instruction and monitor student progress.
With the recently-awarded $3.5 million grant, and support through its partnerships with education companies and local organizations, MCS will implement the ACCESS program and provide students with more technology-enabled tools to use in school and at home, including computers for each of its middle and high school students and i-Ready.
“The leadership team at MCS understands the power of ed-tech in the teaching and learning process,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “Being a recipient of the i3 grant is a great accomplishment for the district and further underscores its dedication to providing the resources needed to help all students and teachers succeed. We look forward to our ongoing partnership with MCS as they implement a best practice program that can be replicated by other districts across the country.”
10 free apps to build logic skills
A selection of apps, including puzzles and brain teasers, that help improve logic, spacial reasoning, and concentration skills.
Barracuda updates NG Firewall
Barracuda has released the latest version in its NG Firewall product line, which includes a number of new features and updates designed to simplify setup, administration and management for K-12 and higher education. Barracuda NG Firewall now includes self-service configuration for remote end users using MacOS, Windows and iOS to configure their VPN connection in a few clicks.
The latest version also allows administrators to activate SafeSearch and YouTube for Schools enforcement in the firewall rules settings. With the new version, Barracuda released the new Barracuda NG Firewall Remote iOS application, designed for system administrators needing simple access to NG control centers from iOS devices.
Barracuda will demonstrate the latest version of Barracuda NG Firewall this week at RSA Conference 2015, April 20 – 24, at Moscone Center, San Francisco in booth 3441 in the North Hall.
“The latest version of Barracuda NG Firewall combines application aware traffic control and next-generation security features designed to help K-12 school districts meet the security demands of technology-enabled schools,” said Klaus Gheri, VP Network Security, Barracuda. “We are pleased to offer our customers these new enhancements as we continue to deliver on our Total Threat Protection initiative.”
Highlighted features of the latest version of Barracuda NG Firewall include:
SafeSearch – Enable safe search enforcement so the strictest policies are implemented during search queries.
YouTube for Schools – Create settings that allow students to access the educational content on YouTube EDU while limiting access to non-educational content on YouTube.
Wi-Fi Policy Enforcement – Integrate with Wi-Fi access points for visibility and policy enforcement using industry leading wireless infrastructure solutions.
Remote Access Management – Manage the configuration of remote access for Mac OS X, Windows and iOS devices through a self-service portal.
Barracuda NG Remote iOS Application – Provides Barracuda NG Firewall system administrators easy remote access to their Barracuda NG Firewall Control Centers and Appliances from any place at any time.
Teach students to learn by doing with Google school coding clubs
Today my school is a Google CS First site, meaning we host CS First clubs that take place before or after school as an enrichment experience for students in grades 4-8, where they learn about computer science and coding in a hands-on way—learning by doing