Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Glenn Rossman, Janakiram MSV, Steven Mandel

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 has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
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 lea...
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, will discuss how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy ap...
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure...
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...