Pearson Acquires Learning Catalytics

Pearson, the large education company, has acquired Learning Catalytics.  Learning Catalytics was founded by three friends Gary King, Brian Lukoff, Eric Mazur at Harvard University.  Learning Catalytics is able to turn laptops, smartphones, and tablets into classroom engagement tools.

Professors and K-12 educators can ask students questions during class using the tools.  Learning Catalytics competes against companies like Top Hat Monocole and GoSoapBox.  Some of the features that distinguishes Learning Catalytics from competitors is the ability for teachers to ask different types of questions, not just multiple choice.  The service also quickly shows a visual representation containing student responses.  Learning Catalytics can also be used for offline interaction between students by pairing people that gets questions right with people that gets questions wrong.

“As things get more digital, how can [we] take advantage of physical proximity?” stated Pearson’s higher education president of science, business, and technology Paul Corey in an interview with GigaOM. “This is a very powerful way to engage students effectively in the classroom.”

Pearson announced a partnership with Top Hat Monocle earlier this year for discounted subscriptions with the purchase of Pearson products.  This deal will continue despite the acquisition of a competitor.

Harvard professors Gary King and Eric Mazur will work with Pearson as consultants.  Brian Lukoff will be joining Pearson full-time to keep building out the platform.

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