Industry News

McGraw-Hill Buys Stake in Adaptive Tech Firm

McGraw-Hill Education has invested in a company that's supplying adaptive learning technology to several of its products. The former has acquired a 20 percent stake in Denmark-based Area9 for an undisclosed amount. The two companies have worked together since at least 2007, when McGraw-Hill added Area9 functionality to LearnSmart, a program designed to help students study more effectively by testing their knowledge and pinpointing where they need additional help. Earlier this month they launched an adaptive e-book as part of a suite that includes LearnSmart. The companies said they expect to release additional new adaptive learning products for higher education and other realms.

The Danish firm is run by Ulrik Juul Christensen, a company founder who said his research in the early 1990s led him to believe that adaptive technology--programs that modify their activities based on the user's demonstrated knowledge of the topic--could improve medical training.

"Personalization is the holy grail of education," he said. "Through our work with McGraw-Hill Education, we've developed some of the most exciting technologies in the world in an effort to improve student performance by making learning more efficient. These technologies are already impacting how students learn and retain knowledge, and now, as we deepen our relationship with McGraw-Hill Education, I'm excited for the possibilities offered by building on these technologies--and creating new ones."

Added McGraw-Hill Education President Brian Kibby, "We believe that delivering personalized experiences through adaptive technology is a key ingredient to teaching and learning success."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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