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Most Innovative Companies

D2L

The World's Most Innovative Companies 2016When John Baker founded D2L in 1999, the idea of using technology in the classroom was still far off--he sometimes had to rely on old-fashioned classroom projectors to present his education software ideas to teachers. But technology has advanced since then: D2L's learning management system, Brightspace, is now used by about 50% of K-12 and higher-education institutions in Canada, and the company is increasingly focused on incorporating big data into its offerings to further improve education. In addition to features like messaging and grading, Brightspace can run a student's transcript against millions of others and, using a predictive algorithm, determine what grade that student is likely to receive in any given class with 92% accuracy. A new analytics suite uses data from a variety of sources across the "learning ecosystem," as opposed to just Brightspace data, and the company recently rolled out a gaming tool that lets teachers create games to use in their courses. With a recent funding round of $85 million and a work culture that encourages problem-solving--the company holds employee hackathons every few months--D2L sees likely to keep innovating and offering new products in its bid to change modern-day education.
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