K-12 Dealmaking: Hoonuit Acquires DecisionInsite; NWEA Receives $4.5 Million in Grants

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Data management and analytics company Hoonuit acquires DecisionInsite; NWEA received two grants worth a total of $4.5 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation; Spotify company Soundtrap partners with listening-skills company Listenwise.

Data management and analytics company Hoonuit acquires DecisionInsite to improve educational outcomes.

Hoonuit, a provider of data management and analytics to schools and districts announced it has acquired DecisionInsite, a company that provides enrollment analytics and geographic information system (GIS) technology.

By pairing Decision Insite‘s interactive geospatial tools with Hoonuit’s data set, the company says it will help schools and districts better understand the geographic context of their student data to make more informed decisions. By integrating mapping technologies, the company says educators can better determine resources available within a specific area, for example, or can learn more about different populations of students and target specific interventions to those populations. 

“By integrating mapping technologies with Hoonuit’s industry-leading predictive capabilities, robust data model and technology platform, administrators will be able to identify program services, staff, and the facilities required within a selected geographic boundary,” said Paul Hesser, CEO at Hoonuit.

Hoonuit will also use DecisionInsite’s Enrollment Analysis solution, which supports budget, facility and staff planning decisions. The immediate benefits of enrollment forecasting, housing development data, boundary consultations, school capacity, and student yield studies will be combined with Hoonuit’s data management and analytics offerings to better serve schools and enhance student outcomes, the company says.

“By joining forces with Hoonuit we can take our enrollment analytics and mapping toolset to new heights and allow education agencies to identify trends faster, with more depth and enable them to be more creative and strategic in their planning and staffing,” says Dean Waldfogel, senior vice president at DecisionInsite and former superintendent at Irvine Unified School District in California.

Earlier this year, Hoonuit also acquired Texas-based Mizuni, a provider of data integration and data warehouse solutions.

Together, Hoonuit and DecisionInsite serve nearly 15,000 education agencies and support more than 16.5 million students nationwide. Hoonuit will maintain the DecisionInsite office in Irvine, Calif. while its corporate headquarters remain in Minneapolis, Minn.

NWEA awarded $4.5 million to expand college- and career-ready standards-aligned content for MAP Growth assessments.

 NWEA, the not-for-profit provider of assessment solutions, has received two grants totaling $4.5 million to expand college- and career-ready standards-aligned content for its MAP Growth assessment. The funds, from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, will lead to the creation of innovative assessment solutions designed to provide educators with deeper, more useful information to enhance teaching and learning.

The grants will be used to fund the curation, development, and testing of new standards-aligned content for NWEA’s MAP Growth assessment, according to an announcement. Part of the work will include the expansion of item types to demonstrate new ways to measure learning.

The grant funding will also support an exploration into how NWEA can better leverage external partnerships to deliver connected learning solutions that make it easier for teachers to connect MAP results to their teaching in the classroom, the organization said. (Recently, NWEA announced a partnership with Khan Academy to make these kinds of connections.)

In support of this work, NWEA is collaborating with Student Achievement Partners in an effort to ensure that MAP assessment content across subject areas and grade levels is aligned to college and career-ready standards at both the item and test levels.

MAP Growth provides a precise measure of a student’s academic performance and growth. A computer-adaptive assessment, it adjusts to each student’s responses to provide personalized results about what each student knows, is able to do, and is ready to learn next—whether on, above, or below grade level.

Soundtrap, a Spotify company, partners with listening-skills building company Listenwise to provide PD for teachers. 

Soundtrap, a Spotify company, will combine its cloud-based audio recording platform that works across operating systems with Listenwise‘s educational audio news resources to provide educators with professional development around helping students create high-quality podcasts, the companies announced.

Listenwise curates National Public Radio programming and podcasts for use in the classroom to expose students to stories and current events that can be applied across academic subjects. The collaboration between Listenwise and Soundtrap will allow students to create their own podcasts. The two companies will also provide a podcasting professional development model to guide teachers in designing and integrating podcasts into their classrooms.

“Listening is a skill that gets overlooked in today’s classrooms, but it’s essential for building a productive, responsive 21st century workforce,” said Monica Brady-Myerov, Listenwise CEO and host of the Listenwise podcast The Student Podcast PODCAST. “Offering both Soundtrap and Listenwise together gives teachers a way to extend the student learning process further beyond a news item and give voice to their ideas by creating podcasts around any subject they want to talk about.”

Bracy-Myerov has also been a regular contributor to EdWeek Market Brief‘s The Startup Blog.

The project-based podcasting PD model is being offered for $3,500 for a cohort of six educators and additional participants at $575 each, or on a subscription basis.

The two companies together “provide simple tools that support STEAM education initiatives while amplifying student voices and developing essential skills such as creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration,” said Per Emanuelsson, managing director of Soundtrap at Spotify. “We hear from teachers that they sometimes feel daunted by new technology. Now, with Professional Development it’s as if there was someone there in the classroom to guide them through the whole process.”

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