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The Los Angeles Unified School District spent millions on equipment and virtual learning tools during the pandemic. The spending, according to records obtained by dot.LA, included $23.4 million on several licenses for edtech apps, including Edgenuity, Discovery, Rosetta Stone, Blackboard and Edpuzzle. But while many of the edtech apps the district purchased helped students learn, some parents said others were boring and caused frustration. Read more...
Here's what else we're reading in the news:
- Aura, a digital security company backed by Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, has raised $200 million in funding.
- L.A. filmmaker Haley Johnson funded her thesis film, 12:34, with cryptocurrency.
- Facebook will pay $14.25 million to settle a federal lawsuit accusing the social media giant of worker discrimination.
- Emjay, a California cannabis delivery app, has announced a massive expansion in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas.
- Disney is delaying several Marvel Cinematic Universe movies due to production-related issues.
- Social Cipher, an L.A.-based company that makes emotional learning games, has launched its first game.
Among the edtech tools that LAUSD paid for a license, Edgenuity seemed to cause a fair amount of frustration for students and parents. LAUSD has been using Edgenuity for years for students to make up courses they didn't pass, known as credit recovery. But during the pandemic, teachers turned to it as an online teaching platform.
Deborah Rayow, Edgenuity's vice president for instructional design and learning science, told NBC News that its software wasn't designed for the pandemic and it's up to schools to give live instruction.
Netflix is calling "Squid Game" its "biggest series launch ever" and is crediting the dystopian drama for bringing in millions of new subscribers to the service. The growth helped Netflix rake in $7.5 billion in revenue during the third quarter of 2021, up 16% from the prior year, the company revealed in an investor call on Tuesday.
Pasadena-based firm CarbonCapture has a bold plan to help humans remove emissions from the air -- and, in doing so, innovate a way out of climate change. On Tuesday, it announced a $35 million Series A raise to grow its team and begin deploying a network of machines that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using renewable energy.
Activision Blizzard has been dealing with ongoing employee concerns over an allegedly toxic workplace culture. In a letter to staff Tuesday, and said it disciplined 40 employees for inappropriate workplace behavior. Read the full letter here.