Pearson acquires adaptive learning technology startup Smart Sparrow

Pearson says the new technology will be used to help educators develop more personalized course instruction and feedback for students.
(Getty Images)

Pearson, the British-owned education publishing and assessment firm, last week announced it’s acquired the Sydney, Australia-based edtech company Smart Sparrow for $25 million.

Smart Sparrow’s technology, a course-authoring tool that allows educators to use data to develop personalized course instruction and feedback for students, will enhance Pearson’s current capabilities in adaptive learning and support the company’s digital infrastructure for future educational resources, according to Pearson’s announcement. Most of Smart Sparrow’s staff will join Pearson as part of the deal, EdSurge reported.

“This acquisition aligns with our strategy and affirms Pearson’s commitment to accelerating our digital transformation for the benefit of students, educators and authors,” Tim Bozik, president of global product and North America courseware at Pearson, said in a press release. “The Smart Sparrow technology will help build more personalized and effective learning experiences that engage students whenever and wherever they need it. We believe this has the potential to drive better learning outcomes that in turn will lead to improved employability prospects.”

With the newly acquired technology, Pearson said it will also be able to expand its e-book offerings and develop a new generation of e-books that are more immersive, interactive and engaging.


The acquisition of Smart Sparrow marks the latest move by education companies to strengthen their digital courseware offerings, as students and teachers increasingly demand more personalized edtech. In 2018, an adaptive learning platform from Acrobatiq was acquired by education company VitalSource, and in 2019, Knewton, a digital courseware provider, was bought by publishing company Wiley.

Betsy Foresman

Written by Betsy Foresman

Betsy Foresman was an education reporter for EdScoop from 2018 through early 2021, where she wrote about the virtues and challenges of innovative technology solutions used in higher education and K-12 spaces. Foresman also covered local government IT for StateScoop, on occasion. Foresman graduated from Texas Christian University in 2018 — go Frogs! — with a BA in journalism and psychology. During her senior year, she worked as an intern at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., and moved back to the capital after completing her degree because, like Shrek, she feels most at home in the swamp. Foresman previously worked at Scoop News Group as an editorial fellow.

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