Tony Wan

WGU President Scott Pulsipher on Bringing Customer-Centric Culture to Universities

Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan once said he wanted competency-based college programs like Western Governors University “to be the norm” rather than the exception. So what’s in store for WGU today?

That’s among the questions we posed to Scott Pulsipher, who took the helm as the university’s president in March 2016. (Also: What is a former consultant-turned-technology executive doing running one of the most-cited experiments in higher education?)

Not Another Dashboard: K-12 Interoperability Efforts Aim to Inform (Not Just Report)

Data interoperability should be invisible. Perhaps we’ve grown too accustomed to paying for purchases with a mobile app, or booking reservations online, or using Google to plan our daily commutes. These conveniences, which we often take for granted, require data to pass through different systems and servers.

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Tinkergarten Raises $5.4M to Get Kids to Go Outside, Play and Learn

For Brian Fitzgerald, what began as a newborn side project in 2012—when he was working at edtech startup Knewton—has become a fully-grown venture of its own.Tinkergarten, which operates a network of outdoor-based classes for young children, has raised $5.4 million in a Series A round led by Owl Ventures. Existing investors Omidyar Network and Reach Capital also contributed. (Disclosure: all three are also investors in EdSurge.) The Northampton, Mass.-based startup has now raised $8.3 million in total funding.

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Thoma Bravo’s Acquisition of Frontline Education Creates Edtech’s Newest Unicorn

Frontline Education is swapping one private equity owner for a bigger one. Today the Malvern, Penn.-based education company announced it will be acquired by Thoma Bravo, a major private equity firm with offices in San Francisco and Chicago. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Frontline CEO Tim Clifford tells EdSurge in an interview that “the company is valued in the unicorn range, well north of a billion dollars.”

Has the Game Really Changed? Reporter’s Notebook from the 2017 Games for Change Festival

The 14th gathering of the Games for Change Festival brought together developers, researchers, academics, a smattering of teachers and general gaming enthusiasts around a common goal: to celebrate and learn from video games that teach, heal, and communicate diverse perspectives. Event organizers estimate more than 100 speakers and close to 1,000 attendees showed up.

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Real Questions About Artificial Intelligence in Education

Don’t doubt it: Machine learning is hot—and getting hotter.

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Money Talks: Duolingo Raises $25M More (at a $700M Valuation)

As the chief executive behind one of the world’s most popular language-learning tools, Luis von Ahn ironically struggles with picking up a new tongue. “I’m actually very bad at learning languages, which is pretty funny, considering what I do,” the CEO and co-founder of Duolingo said in an email to EdSurge. An English and Spanish speaker, von Ahn is “making good progress” on learning Portuguese and hopes to tackle French next.

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Fueled by Big Rounds, US Edtech Funding Surges to $887M in First Half of 2017

The bull is back—or is it? After a dip in dealflow and venture capital to U.S. edtech companies last year, the dollars returned with a fury during the first six months of 2017. According to our tally, there were 58 U.S. deals that totalled more than $887 million through June of this year.

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Kahoot Gets $10 Million—and a Spot in the Disney Accelerator

Most students associate Kahoot with its addictive, funky theme song. Today the Norwegian company is groovin’ to a different tune: ka’ching!

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Unable to ‘Reach a Sustainable Business Model,’ Dev Bootcamp Will Shut Down in December

Dev Bootcamp, a pioneer in the coding school industry that was among the first to offer short-term, intensive programs to help learners acquire web development and programming skills, announced it will be shutting its doors on December 8.
In an email, the company stated that “we’ve determined that we simply cannot reach a sustainable business model without compromising our mission of delivering a high-quality coding education that remains accessible to a diverse population of students.”

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