Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Janakiram MSV, Yeshim Deniz, David H Deans, Andreas Grabner, Stackify Blog

News Feed Item

New Service to Help U.S. Students Improve Math Scores, Better Compete in Global Job Market

Japan's largest educational company enters the U.S. market with a game-like mobile app for mathematically challenged middle-school students

NEW YORK, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- With about two-thirds of U.S. eighth-graders below proficiency in math according to the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), most parents, teachers and employers agree that improving math scores is vital to the success of students and the nation's economic future.  

Now Benesse America wants to give U.S. students the kind of help with their math studies that has made its parent company famous among children and parents in Japan, this time with a new mobile technology twist.

Today Benesse launches a new self-tutoring service called StraightAce, designed for struggling middle-school math students. StraightAce makes a game out of math, increasing student motivation for learning.

"Parents see their children falling behind in math and don't know how to help them. With StraightAce, kids spend just 15 minutes a day on a smartphone or tablet collecting in-game rewards for their study achievements, all the while gaining a better grasp of vital math concepts," explains Shigeki Matsuo, president of Benesse America.

The service is designed for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. Each StraightAce session includes a lesson and 10 math problems, with further explanations offered for each question. Every grade level includes over 150 different math topics, which are all aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The new standards, adopted by 45 states and now being implemented by teachers nationwide, reflect the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in college and the workplace.

StraightAce received praise from students and parents in focus groups: "I thought it was a good review and it matched up with what I was learning in school," said Matthew Sypa, 13, of Brooklyn, N.Y. "When I went back and read the explanations, I knew I could do the problems."

Makes Parental Involvement Easier  
As children complete math problems on the StraightAce mobile app, parents can follow and encourage their progress online through a cloud-based dashboard. The display includes snapshots of work completed by the student on the mobile app's virtual scratchpad and an inbox where students can send their parents messages if they need extra help. Parents can access all lessons, problems and explanations online.

Developmental Years Targeted
The middle-school years are a crucial time for math skills development. Since math concepts are cumulative, students who miss fundamentals during this period often fail to catch up as advanced concepts needed for high school and college are introduced.

StraightAce keeps middle-schoolers engaged by making math studies fun and easier to fit into the day. As students learn and answer math questions correctly, they earn virtual stars that are exchangeable for in-game rewards. Such features embrace the current popular tech trend of gamification. Making the content accessible through a mobile app means that the material goes with students wherever they are, so they can be learning even when they're away from textbooks.

Help for U.S. Students from a Famous Name in Japan
Benesse is a well-known name in Japan, so much so that 1 in 5 children there currently use a Benesse product of some kind.  

"Much like in America, parents in Japan have varying opinions of the educational system," Matsuo said. "It is therefore very common for parents in Japan to pay for additional products and services to supplement the learning that their children receive in the classroom. Helping students to more easily grasp what they are taught in school is part of what has made Benesse famous in Japan, and we can help students here in America as well."

StraightAce is available on the company's website at straightace.com and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and Android platforms. Subscription prices for the service start from $14.99 per month. StraightAce is the result of a joint development effort between Benesse America and Quipper, a learning platform developer.

About Benesse America
Based in New York, Benesse America Inc. is the operating entity of the Benesse Group in the United States. Its parent Benesse Holdings Inc. holds the largest education company in Japan and third largest in the world, with over $5 billion in net sales. Benesse Holdings Inc. is also the parent company of Berlitz Corporation, which offers language instruction through more than 550 locations in more than 70 countries.

About Quipper
Quipper was founded in 2010 by Masayuki Watanabe, co-founder of DeNA, and is based in London. Quipper has over 3.7 million learners around the world studying on its platform.

— For more information on StraightAce, go to straightace.com.

SOURCE Benesse

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
Amazon is pursuing new markets and disrupting industries at an incredible pace. Almost every industry seems to be in its crosshairs. Companies and industries that once thought they were safe are now worried about being “Amazoned.”. The new watch word should be “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” In his session 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Kocher, a co-founder of Grey Heron, will address questions such as: What new areas is Amazon disrupting? How are they doing this? Where are they likely to go? What are th...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp emp...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, will discuss how given the magnitude of today's applicati...
As popularity of the smart home is growing and continues to go mainstream, technological factors play a greater role. The IoT protocol houses the interoperability battery consumption, security, and configuration of a smart home device, and it can be difficult for companies to choose the right kind for their product. For both DIY and professionally installed smart homes, developers need to consider each of these elements for their product to be successful in the market and current smart homes.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of hybrid cloud enablement solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere Systems was created by file systems experts determined to reinvent storage by changing the way enterprises thought about and bought storage resources. With decades of experience behind the company’s founders, Avere got its ...
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, will discuss how by using...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CAST Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CAST was founded more than 25 years ago to make the invisible visible. Built around the idea that even the best analytics on the market still leave blind spots for technical teams looking to deliver better software and prevent outages, CAST provides the software intelligence that matter ...