Wednesday, November 16, 2016

IBM picks Blackboard and Pearson to bring Watson computer technologies to colleges and universities - Carl Straumsheim, Inside higher education

IBM is at the moment working with Blackboard and Pearson on student retention and tutoring, respectively. Both education companies are this fall beginning to test a handful of early prototypes, exploring potential use cases and working with clients to learn what sort of software they are interested in. “This is about augmenting human intelligence,” Neti said. For example, Pearson is testing what Angie McAllister, senior vice president says is how Watson technology could power a virtual assistant similar to Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, which students could chat with if they need help while studying. Blackboard is working on tools for advisers and faculty members, said Katie Blot, chief strategy officer. “We’re very focused on student pathways, support and persistence.” She highlighted Planner, a student planning tool, as one product that could benefit from Watson technology.

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