Apple Buys Education Analytics Startup

Perhaps taking aim at the well-entrenched presence of other tech giants in the education market, Apple confirmed Thursday that it has acquired LearnSprout, a San Francisco-based startup that specializes in education analytics and used for tracking the performance of students.

The purchase of LearnSprout should give Apple some ammunition as it tries to challenge the existence of Microsoft?EU?s software programs and Google?EU?s Chromebook in the classroom.

Apple didn?EU?t comment on the reasons for the purchase in a statement to Bloomberg, which first reported the acquisition. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," said Colin Johnson, a spokesman for Apple, in the statement. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Student Data

More than 2,500 schools use LearnSprout?EU?s software across 400 districts in 42 states. The company?EU?s products track students?EU? grades, as well as patterns in other categories such as health and attendance.

The LearnSprout enterprise reporting platform is used by schools and districts to analyze the data they collect within their student information systems (SIS). This is facilitated by a secure data synchronization process that?EU?s set up between the SIS and LearnSprout as a read-only connection that effectively lets schools take snapshot of their data that they can use to analyze performance.

The data that?EU?s gathered ranges from basic information such as the school?EU?s location to more granular data such as student gender, letter grades each student receives in each course, scores in standardized tests and even the room number where tests are given.

Apple has made pronounced efforts to get more educational institutions to use iPads. Apple?EU?s mobile operating system, iOS 9.3, is helping make that happen by introducing features that, for instance, will make it possible for several students to share a single iPad. iOS 9.3 also accommodates multi-user accounts, has...

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