EdTech: Knewton’s Brain Meets Pearson’s Massive Dataset

What a big brain you have. Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Education startup, Knewton is about to get a whole lot smarter.

Knewton develops analytics that tailor-fit curriculum for students. But even the smartest brain and fastest computer are nothing without data points. Add massive data and machine learning and the theory is more intelligent content delivery.

This is where Pearson comes in. The giant curriculum developer is giving Knewton access to hundreds of thousands of students that use Pearson products Mastering and MyLab for college prep. For Pearson, the deal will show them what kind of new curriculum to develop.

The semi-monogamous marriage has an unspecified expiration date.

Another entrant in the analytics space is Junyo, run by Steve Schoettler, formerly of Zynga and School of One. Schoettler told edSurge they are ramping up quickly. Take a look at their hiring board to see what they want to be.

Knewton video explaining how their analytics brain works:

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A run down of the deal over at Fortune Tech:

Pearson’s close to 9 million college-age digital students will work within Knewton’s system, creating a massive amount of coveted data on how student learn online. Pearson will get semi-exclusive access to Knewton’s adaptive learning technology. And Knewton, which recently raised $33 million in venture capital funding in a round led by Pearson and Founders Fund, will get a share of proceeds based on the number of Pearson’s (PSO) online students. “Pearson is a network effect wrapped up in a bow,” says Jose Ferreira, Knewton’s founder and CEO.

Demand for online education is exploding. The global market for online learning at schools and businesses is expected to grow from $32.1 billion in 2010 to approximately $50 billion by 2015, according to research firm Ambient Insight. And Pearson is far from the only player that’s fighting for a piece of that growth. News Corp (NWS) purchased a 90% stake in Brooklyn-based Wireless Generation for $360 million last November. Apollo Group (APOL) purchased Carnegie Learning Technology, an adaptive learning company, in a $75 million deal this past August. And companies like NBCUniversal and even Disney (DIS) have begun to dip their toes into the online learning business.

via The race for education tech heats up – Fortune Tech and edSurge.


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