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Zuckerberg and Chan Put $5M into Utah Learning Software Company

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have invested $5 million dollars into a Salt Lake City-based learning software company. MasteryConnect distributes their systems worldwide.MasteryConnect CEO Cory Reid says the investment in competency-based learning technology helps teachers improve learning outcomes.

“Software simply makes things less difficult than they were, right? Or provides opportunity in areas where it was more difficult to create it in the past,” says Reid. “But it’s teachers who are in the classrooms every day that are impacting the students in America and we’re just helping out.”

Reid says learning based on competency bridges gaps between students’ thirst for personalized knowledge and educators ability to fill that need.

“Measuring what students know, when they know it, and then taking that, what we call ‘real-time evidence of learning,’ and making it actionable,” says Reid.

He says the technology also helps adjust for the differences in how each student learns. The $5 million dollars from Zuckerberg and Chan brings the Utah company’s total private funding to $29 million dollars. The number of employees at MasteryConnect has tripled in the past year and a half to 140. Reid says it’s gratifying to get the support of two prominent innovators.

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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