Click here to close now.


Mobile IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Tim Fujita-Yuhas, Pat Romanski, Lori MacVittie

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 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

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
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new data-driven world, marketplaces reign supreme while interoperability, APIs and applications deliver un...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, will show how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants will get the download information, scripts, and complete end-to-end walkthrough of the analysis from start to finish. Participants will also be given the pract...
The IoT market is on track to hit $7.1 trillion in 2020. The reality is that only a handful of companies are ready for this massive demand. There are a lot of barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can we deal with these issues and challenges? The paradigm has changed. Old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways will certainly lead you to the dead end. What is mandatory is an overarching and adaptive approach to effectively handle the rapid changes and exponential growth.
Today’s connected world is moving from devices towards things, what this means is that by using increasingly low cost sensors embedded in devices we can create many new use cases. These span across use cases in cities, vehicles, home, offices, factories, retail environments, worksites, health, logistics, and health. These use cases rely on ubiquitous connectivity and generate massive amounts of data at scale. These technologies enable new business opportunities, ways to optimize and automate, along with new ways to engage with users.
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust IoT ...
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT.
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud without worrying about any lock-in fears. In fact by having standard APIs for IaaS would help PaaS expl...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated and cloud solutions through hybrid hosting – a sustainable solution for the data required to manage I...
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley. The program, to be aired during the peak viewership season of the year, will have a major impac...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk will be on IBM Cloudant, Apa...
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, will look at different existing uses of peer-to-peer data sharing and how it can become useful in a live session to...
As a company adopts a DevOps approach to software development, what are key things that both the Dev and Ops side of the business must keep in mind to ensure effective continuous delivery? In his session at DevOps Summit, Mark Hydar, Head of DevOps, Ericsson TV Platforms, will share best practices and provide helpful tips for Ops teams to adopt an open line of communication with the development side of the house to ensure success between the two sides.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.