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Student Dept and Leadership Pay – ENT #14 05-18-2012

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Tech & Startups

Pearson Buys Certiport For $140M To Beef Up Its IT Testing Business Globally

Pearson made a move to beef up its international professional IT testing business: it announced that it is buying Certiport, a developer, marketer and distributor of certification exams and practice tests for IT and digital literacy skills, for $140 million in cash from the private equity firm Spire Capital Partners.

The deal will give Pearson’s VUE unit, where Certiport will sit, much further reach into the retail distribution of testing services in markets outside of the U.S. and UK: Certiport currently sells its certifications and assessments through a network of 12,000 testing centers operated by 70 partners in 150 countries, serving the range of skills in the world of IT. In all, it delivers 225,000 exams in 27 languages every month, and generated revenues of $48 million in 2011.

Source: TechCrunch


Backed By Mark Cuban, WhiteyBoard Launches v2 Of Its Paint That Turns Walls Into Whiteboards

Two years ago, WhiteyBoard founders Saachi Cywinski, Sherwin Kim and Jason Wilk set out to re-think those clunky, inflexible whiteboards found in classrooms and offices around the country. They developed a portable, flexible alternative: An inexpensive, “instant” plastic board that weighs less than two pounds and adheres to any surface without screws.

A new product called WhiteyPaint has since found an eager audience, leading to the fortunate problem of demand quickly outpacing supply. Struggling to finance demand on a bootstrapped budget, the founders reached out to Dallas Mavericks owner, Shark Tank investor, and HDNet Co-founder Mark Cuban. The startup officially announced that it has raised an undisclosed round of seed financing from the billionaire entrepreneur.

Source: TechCrunch


Teachers Are Making Money On The Web

Udemy, a web platform that allows anyone to host and take online classes, this morning announced that its top ten instructors earned a combined $1.6 million over the last 12 months.
Of the top ten, all made over $50K in the last year, with highest earner at over $200K.

TeacherspayTeachers passed $7 million in earnings last week, with the highest earner (a kindergarten teacher from Georgia named Deanna Jump) having made a total of $700K on the platform. She’s currently earning $60K per month.

Source: TechCrunch


K12 & Higher Ed

Wiping Out $90,000 in Student Loans in 7 Months

Faced with $90,000 in student debt from his days at Harvard Business School, Joe Mihalic vowed last August to eliminate every penny by this summer. He did — three months early.
The 29-year-old from Austin, Texas, is now becoming an Internet celebrity of sorts as financial advisers and young Americans link to his blog,NoMoreHarvardDebt.com, which had 180,000 hits as of Thursday morning. His story is touching a nerve at a time when young Americans are more indebted than ever.

So how did he cut through $90,000 in seven months? It helps to have a low-six-figure salary, as Mihalic does working for Dell Inc. But he also recommends getting roommates, a second job (in his case, landscaping), forgoing all restaurant dining (even McDonald’s), selling all unnecessary items around the house — and getting a flask. Mihalic said he spent months taking a flask of liquor to bars so he could continue to go out drinking with friends without running up a tab.

Source: WSJ


As student loans grow, so does university leadership pay

While students languish in debt, many university presidents enjoy lofty paychecks. Since 1991, salaries of university presidents at at public and private universities have roughly doubled, says Andrew Hacker, co-author of Higher Education? How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids – and What We can Do About It.

At public universities, the median compensation for presidents was $375,442 in 2009-2010, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education’s latest figures. The top 10 highest paid boasted compensation ranging from $1.8 million to $728,350.

Source: Fortune


Study & Research

Text messaging is a surprisingly good way to get accurate answers to sensitive questions

Text messaging is a surprisingly good way to get candid responses to sensitive questions, according to a new study to be presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Association for Public Opinion Research.

“The preliminary results of our study suggest that people are more likely to disclose sensitive information via text messages than in voice interviews,” says Fred Conrad, a cognitive psychologist and Director of the Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR).

“This is sort of surprising,” says Conrad, “since many people thought that texting would decrease the likelihood of disclosing sensitive information because it creates a persistent, visual record of questions and answers that others might see on your phone and in the cloud.”

Source: Science Daily

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Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She also writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at KirstenWinkler.com.