What can early career researchers gain from External Examiner training?

August 17, 2020 | 77 views

In early May 2020, Advance HE sent out a call for academics to participate in 'external examiner training' which is certificated as continued professional development. For me, it was astounding that within forty-five minutes of sending the initial call for participants the workshop sessions had all been filled, and a second email was issued advising that interested participants were now being wait-listed. This surge of interest was intriguing as it seemed to either suggest that academics in HE were quite eager for CPD opportunities, or that any training regarding the process and diligences of 'external examining' had much to be desired. I considered myself fortunate to make the cut and found the five-units of training spread over four-weeks of participation to be informative, though not quite what I had initially expected.

Spotlight

Mathspace

Mathspace is a global technology leader in personalised maths education.What makes Mathspace so unique is that it can tailor maths programs in real-time based on a student’s strengths and weaknesses. We are the only maths platform using step-by-step adaptive learning technology. As a student works on Mathspace, the questions and topics adjust to their level and pace. For a student Mathspace feels just like a personal tutor. You get coached through every line of working. You can get hints and lessons as you work through each question. That’s why we avoid multiple choice questions all together - because we know that you can’t understand the answer without understanding the process.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Online Schooling: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Article | July 20, 2022

In the past couple of years, online schooling has proved its advantages for students in a number of ways. Experts have already highlighted its prospects in the years to come. As India’s online education market is expected to grow to USD 1.96 billion at a CAGR of 52% (over the next five years), online schooling can extend better educational opportunities for all – students, teachers, and parents. Let’s understand the structure and functionality of this schooling choice to help you understand how it works! WHAT IS ONLINE SCHOOLING? An online schooling platform allows students to study through the internet. Students make use of home computers and access the study material through an online portal. Just like a traditional school, an online school must have a trained teaching staff, specialized in teaching online. These teachers conduct online classes and supervise the student’s performance. The digital schooling option is highly flexible and convenient for the students as it allows the handholding of educators through online classes (synchronous learning) while simultaneously allowing self-paced independent study duration (asynchronous learning).

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

The Art and Science of Balancing Screen Time for Online Learners

Article | July 15, 2022

In 2021, Class, a virtual classroom app that combines with Zoom, neared unicorn status after receiving funding from SoftBank Vision Fund II. But, with just 10 months and a string of top edtech U.S. investors to back it up, the app’s spectacular rise only speaks to the boom in online education in the past two years. Online learning has changed. It went from centering around accessibility to becoming the primary delivery method almost overnight. So when it comes to screen time, this newest addition to our already screen-filled lives is uninvited. Especially for children, it only meant that screen time was highly monitored during lockdown. And that change came with struggles. Between configuring the technicalities of accessing online classrooms and figuring out how to engage students, teachers have faced an uphill battle all along. There is plenty of research to suggest that too much screen time has negative health implications, but education has to continue at all costs. 2021 was full of stories of students finding creative ways of avoiding classes or not attending them. One 8-year-old found a loophole in Zoom’s app last year that locked her out of her Zoom class. Even Zoom’s technical team failed to find the issue. It led to a goose chase into discovering that the child was locking herself out by inputting the wrong password over 20 times. Screen Time Vs Screen-Tied Screen time has five types: television, video games, social media, music, and reading. The key is not just to regulate screen time but also the content that is being consumed. Technology may have evolved, but our ability to use it for long durations and to conduct sensory tasks like learning over the internet hasn’t. Between education, video-games, social media and TV, distribution meant calibrating what type of content should be consumed in order to reduce the negative impact. Approximately 75% of all teenagers own a smartphone today. In addition, a majority of young adults report video games as their go-to activity in their free time. While research on the use of video games may be inconclusive, prolonged exposure is nevertheless known to rewire developing brains. There’s also a high risk to susceptible minds with regards to unfiltered and harmful messages from social media, which is a massive source of increased screen time for children and teenagers. All these issues call for a meaningful control of screen time. But in a sea of endless information and uninterrupted content, how do you identify the right balance? Culling Unnecessary Content For educators, the aim is clear: to balance screen time so precariously that children do not lose their will to learn or play. Parents and educational institutions must identify the following objectives through the content they are letting their families consume: Developing digital skills to prepare children for higher education and digital careers Raising digital citizens that use online mediums to contribute to their communities Exposing learners to new ideas and concepts in a safe context Acquiring creative skills, interpersonal expression, and etiquette for engagement online There is no dearth of educational content online, but it is important to achieve a balance between the educational and the entertainment consumption of learners. On occasion, both can be combined through interactive shows and programs that do not expose learners to addictive behaviors. Designating screen-free times, activities, and even locations like meals, traveling, or bedrooms can help learners build a habit of controlling their screen time. To Wrap It Up There is no doubt that the pandemic provided online learning with a much-needed shot in the arm. This also means that screen time has exponentially increased. Thanks to both virtual schools and a complete lockdown on going outside, young learners were left with no option but to turn to their screens. Whether to connect to their peers, attend classes, or spend their free time, learners are faced with a barrage of screen time that can affect their ability to navigate a post-pandemic world. Parents and educators must take it upon themselves to lay down the guidelines that drive the harmonious use of electronics without encouraging total dependence on them.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

3 Inclusive Classroom Strategies to Use for Higher Student Enrollment

Article | July 14, 2022

In 2021, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reported that student enrollments were at an all-time low. Community college enrollment dipped by 11% while post-secondary enrollment saw a dip of 4.2% year-on-year. The impact of the last two years’ events clearly demonstrates the strain faced by all levels of educational institutions. The shift to the virtual classroom setup also saw parents and students recognize the importance of teaching and learning online. The significance of a virtual classroom is emphasized more than ever. It has forced schools to improve their online teaching infrastructure so that they can keep growing. But this has also affected inclusivity. According to UNESCO, school closures during the pandemic affected 1.2 billion children in 186 countries. In this article, we discuss why virtual learning is in dire need of inclusivity and inclusive learning practices. Why Does Inclusive Learning Matter in the Era of Zoom Classes? Edtech is a booming industry. In 2019, edtech investments reached a whopping US $18 billion. Further, the online education market is estimated to cross the $350 billion mark by 2025. There is no doubt that learning institutions are investing heavily in online learning. But inclusivity is still lagging far behind. The OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) found that 25% of secondary school-aged students from underprivileged backgrounds lack a computer. The writing on the wall is clear. Virtual learning is bound to widen the divide, and its impact will be felt most by underprivileged students. For educational institutions, delivering a positively inclusive learning experience online is essential to attracting students who do have access to educational technology. “In the higher education space, most schools were, and still are, predominantly focused on that in-person campus visit to do all those same things, but it’s expensive and it means only students and parents who travel to campus can get that real-life feel and experience.” - Matthew Pellish, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at CampusReel Bringing Personalization to the Virtual Classroom Although virtual learning has stripped away the human touch that accompanies a classroom setting, there are ways to make it more engaging and meaningful. Engage students even before the class starts. This can be done by setting an agenda for the session beforehand and asking students to send in their queries and expectations from the session. Turning the greeting into a short discussion is a great way to engage everyone right off the bat. Tools like Zoom make it simpler to personalize every class with features like backgrounds and notes. Use the chat feature generously. Teaching and learning online has to be a one-sided flow of information for it to be effective. However, the chat feature empowers teachers to break the monotony. The best way to keep students attentive is through personalization. Attentiveness can be achieved by asking many questions, even if they are simply yes-or-no questions. It enables teachers to keep a check on engagement and pivot when needed. Simulating a Sense of Community A discussion on an inclusive learning environment is incomplete without mentioning student community building. Online teaching and learning is limited in its ability to provide a sense of community. Since students are physically separated from their peers, one-on-one connections are lacking. Despite the distance, there are a few solutions you can use to reduce the distance virtually. Identify the type of community you want to develop. Whether you’re offering synchronous or asynchronous courses, it is crucial to keep the student-peer-instructor link active. Create a loop of feedback between teachers and students to enable community building. Modern tools offer a number of ways to seek feedback that provides insight on teaching style and the general classroom environment. Create a classroom forum online. Forums offer the best of two-way interactions with a platform outside of the online class. This ensures constancy and inclusive learning even after the class is over. For those who weren’t able to attend due to technical difficulties or poor connectivity, they never lose track of what’s going on. Cultivating Two-Way Interaction Two-way interactions are an integral part of engaging learning experiences. Inclusive classroom activities online may not completely replace them, but much can be done to build a more involved form of communication. One way to design such activities is to use the Kanevsky and Keighly framework to engage students with the five Cs: choice, challenge, control, complexity, and care. Use screen sharing and remote access tools. Physical classrooms offer avenues for students to present to their peers. In a virtual classroom setting, this can be achieved with screen sharing. Empower students to retain better by making them present their perspective and understanding of different concepts. This gives other students the impetus to do the same. Initiate group discussions through your course management system. Inviting students to design the resources and collaborate on group projects will jumpstart in-depth discussions. Many course management systems allow students to share their notes with each other. This creates inclusive learning environment. Finally: Why Will the Online University Experience Will Attract More Students Although learning institutions are beginning to open up for the in-person learning experience, the effectiveness of a virtual classroom is undeniable. Like remote working, remote learning is gaining ground, and inclusive online teaching is inevitably important. A Cengage survey revealed that 68% of students prefer hybrid learning: a combination of online and offline course delivery. In addition, the Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) found that the number of students who enrolled in online-only programs rose from 3.5 million during the fall to 5.8 million. Fostering meaningful, hands-on learning similar to that in a classroom is difficult. Even though student enrollment in online courses is rising, learning institutions are facing the challenge of delivering a highly engaging learning experience. But with an understanding of the learning outcome and the right tools, institutions can develop robust, inclusive classroom activities that every student will want to benefit from. Frequently Asked Questions Do students and teachers prefer online teaching and learning? According to a recent survey by Cengage, about 73% of students prefer some courses to be delivered fully online. In addition, 57% of teachers said they prefer teaching hybrid courses over online-only courses. Is online teaching and learning a growing trend? Yes. Online learning platform Coursera experienced a huge spike in enrollments. In 2021, enrollment increased by 32% and peaked at 189 million. What are the principles of inclusive education? The principles of inclusive education are: Togetherness Participation Acceptance Equality

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Remote Working is Shaping the Future of Schooling

Article | May 11, 2022

For so long, we have deeply embedded technology in our everyday lives. Working and learning from home complement each other, creating an ecosystem of solutions. Even as organizations continue to lean towards remote offices and hybrid working, the same may not be possible with learning. Businesses worldwide have blazed the trail for remote working. The past two years have seen both, formal education, and work taking a big virtual leap. While virtual learning has been around for some time, we have thrust it into the mainstream only because of the events following the pandemic. Remote work is no longer a trend or the domain of freelancers and tech workers. While organizations learned to maintain their productivity even as their workforce was scattered, schools and learning centers weren’t far behind. Schools could shift learning online using the principles and technology businesses were using to stay productive. Working and Learning from Home, Together Zoom classrooms are no match for the physical learning environment provided by a school.Although online education existed as a part-time alternative, traditional schooling has always been a holistic, on-premise experience. Virtual schooling cannot be dismissed, as proven by the last two years. It is especially significant in today’s remote work era and as a precursor to it. While there were mixed feelings about accepting the new normal, families enjoyed several benefits including lowered education costs, zero travel time, children’s safety, and a newfound work-life balance. Virtual schooling has become the norm. It worked only because parents could also stay back and help create a learning environment at home while they worked. They have now become integral to their kids’ learning and growth. “In the higher education space, most schools were, and still are, predominantly focused on that in-person campus visit to do all those same things, but it’s expensive and it means only students and parents who travel to campus can get that real-life feel and experience.” - Matthew Pellish, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at CampusReel Cultivating the Workforce of the Future Virtual learning will provide children with the bandwidth they need to become competent in a world where remote working is the standard. They will have already conquered the learning curve. Remote learning will equip learners with the technical understanding, attitude, and collaborative spirit needed to excel in a technology-driven world. In addition, it will prepare them not just for hybrid workplaces but for a hybrid life that promotes work-life balance. Just as remote work enables easy access to talent worldwide, remote learning will help students access elusive academic programs and high-quality education in a flexible setting. Final Word The future has been transformed forever, and virtual schooling is gaining traction. It also looks set to follow the footsteps of remote working, a concept that is now solidifying in the form of hybrid workplace policies. Higher education institutes are realizing the advantages of virtual learning. They are incorporating a remote angle into their course delivery to make it faster, efficient, and more accessible. Will hybrid learning be the future of schooling? Looking at the course that online learning is set upon, it will.

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Spotlight

Mathspace

Mathspace is a global technology leader in personalised maths education.What makes Mathspace so unique is that it can tailor maths programs in real-time based on a student’s strengths and weaknesses. We are the only maths platform using step-by-step adaptive learning technology. As a student works on Mathspace, the questions and topics adjust to their level and pace. For a student Mathspace feels just like a personal tutor. You get coached through every line of working. You can get hints and lessons as you work through each question. That’s why we avoid multiple choice questions all together - because we know that you can’t understand the answer without understanding the process.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

The University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC) Partners with the National Sheriffs' Association to Provide Tuition Benefits to its Members

Zovio | December 24, 2021

The University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC) proudly announced today a new education partnership with the National Sheriffs' Association. The new partnership offers 35% off tuition for bachelor's and master's programs for qualifying members of the National Sheriffs' Association and their immediate family members. The program is open to its 22,000 members nationwide, and selection is subject to terms and conditions. "We are extremely pleased to welcome the National Sheriffs' Association to the UAGC family. There is no greater power than the power of education, and we take great pride in helping people strive to learn more. We look forward to watching sheriff department members from across the country discover new opportunities by choosing to continue their lifelong learning journey." University President Paul Pastorek Sheriffs' departments work to serve and protect citizens all around this country every day. The new partnership with UAGC provides a flexible online model and class format conducive to the scheduling demands that go along with working in this vital profession. Coursework can be completed from any location and students are afforded the opportunity to take classes that accommodate their lifestyle and schedule. Students can leverage their employer-sponsored tuition program to start or complete a degree through courses that, depending on the degree level, last five or six weeks which enable them to study at the times that work best for them. The program is managed by Zovio Employer Solutions (ZES), which is an important service provided by Zovio. Zovio Employer Solutions helps more than 1,300 companies and organizations across the country optimize usage of their corporate tuition assistance programs in partnership with the University of Arizona Global Campus. This includes full tuition grants and reduced tuition programs through the University of Arizona Global Campus. "Zovio has and will continue to work strategically with UAGC to explore new pathways to support student success," said Zovio's CEO Randy Hendricks. "In partnership with the University of Arizona Global Campus, Zovio Employer Solutions looks to educate and serve more students, including adult learners seeking to reskill and upskill. We look forward to serving the National Sheriffs' Association." About University of Arizona Global Campus The University of Arizona Global Campus ("Global Campus" or "UAGC") is an independent university that is operated in affiliation with the University of Arizona. Global Campus is designed to provide flexible opportunities for working students from diverse backgrounds who seek to gain knowledge and skills that will help them to achieve their life and career goals. Global Campus is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and is one of the nation's most innovative online universities with approximately 35,000 students. UAGC offers more than 50 degrees at the associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. About Zovio Zovio is an education technology services company that partners with higher education institutions and employers to deliver innovative, personalized solutions to help learners and leaders achieve their aspirations. The Zovio network, including Fullstack Academy and TutorMe, leverages its core strengths to solve priority market needs through education technology services. Using proprietary advanced data analytics, Zovio identifies the most meaningful ways to enhance the learner experience and deliver strong outcomes for higher education institutions, employers, and learners. Zovio's purpose is to help everyone be in a class of their own.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

EdTech Leader VIPKid Expands its Global Education Platform

VIPKid | December 20, 2021

Today, VIPKid, a leading global education technology company, officially released an updated global platform, which will be accessible to students around the world. The global platform represents the company's commitment to achieving its mission to inspire and empower every child for the future. "This is an exciting day for the VIPKid community. Our new global platform will enable us to connect more students around the world with dedicated teachers for immersive and engaging online learning." Cindy Mi, VIPKid Founder and CEO For nearly a decade, VIPKid, which Cindy founded in 2013 and formally launched in 2014, has inspired millions of children through engaging instruction and created enduring human connections spanning vast distances. Now, as the company looks to the future, learnings gleaned over the past eight years uniquely position VIPKid for continued global success. The company's passionate community of online teachers, and experience delivering over 200 million live online classes to over 1 million students, has proven the platform's depth of capabilities and opens up new opportunities for VIPKid to partner with other edtech platforms that offer world-class learning instruction. The new global platform can be accessed in multiple languages, will enable far more students to benefit from VIPKid's award-winning curriculum, and aims to provide online educators with more opportunities to inspire students around the world. Developed by VIPKid's Research Institute and perfected over 8 years, the company's curriculum was meticulously crafted based on in-depth research to personalize learning for each student and has now been updated to serve both global and regional audiences. "Over the last few months, VIPKid's team has worked diligently to expand our global platform and update our curriculum for new audiences," explains Cindy of the company's new transition. "I want to thank all of our internal teams and vast teacher community for sticking with us as we embark on a new journey, and I want to thank them for their commitment to continue achieving VIPKid's mission as we launch our global platform." About VIPKid VIPKid is a global education technology company and a leader in children's online education. Since its founding in 2013 and formal launch in 2014, VIPKid has connected students with experienced online educators for real-time learning. VIPKid's mission is to inspire and empower every child for the future and is committed to unleashing the power of the world's best educators by bringing their world-class learning product to a global audience. VIPKid envisions a global classroom that empowers students and teachers through personalized learning, connects cultures across the world, and ignites a passion for lifelong learning.

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CONTINUING EDUCATION

Learnfully, a Tech-Enabled Personalized Learning Service, Launches to Bring Personalized Learning to Scale

Learnfully | December 13, 2021

Learnfully, a first of its kind personalized learning platform, today announced its initial fundraising and emergence from stealth.With 1 in 5 students diagnosed with learning differences — and countless more dealing with emotional and developmental obstacles, Learnfully empowers all individuals to gain access to the most effective learning approach for them. Learnfully tailors a programming plan to their needs based on the expertise of educators and connects them with proven specialists to provide individual instruction. "For too long our system has overlooked those who learn differently and left them to fend for themselves, instead of emphasizing their strengths and catering to their unique challenges. We're proud to launch Learnfully to bring personalized learning solutions to scale for all learners and empower them to reach their potential." Letha McLaren, CEO & Co-Founder, Learnfully The launch of the Learnfully platform is especially timely given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as many learners are struggling to adapt to a digital environment. In fact, the Brookings institute found that students may make just 70% of the reading gains this year compared to the progress they'd see in a normal school year; this forecast found the gains would be less than 50% for mathematics. While other offerings only tackle tutoring services or an initial assessment, Learnfully takes a holistic approach to every learner. Its assessment includes human insights which complement its groundbreaking technology platform that analyzes information, responses, and measurable impressions to create and maintain each learner's profile and plan. Based on these inputs, Learnfully creates curated learning plans and provides access to specialized professionals, such as educational and behavioral therapists, tutoring services, insights, and instructions. Once a learner begins programming, Learnfully adjusts the educational approach on the fly through its feedback and progress engine, as behaviors and emotions can change rapidly. This helps learners, parents, and educators ensure that both short- and long-term goals are attainable. The result is the only true end-to-end solution — from assessment to instruction — available. "Learnfully seamlessly helped my two kids from assessment to tutoring plan to finding the right instructor," said Joy Leonard, a California parent of two Learnfully learners. "The highly targeted learning sessions have been invaluable, making an enormous impact on my kids' abilities in a short period of time." Learnfully is co-founded by Letha McLaren and Suchi Deshpande. McLaren has more than 20 years of diverse product management, marketing and business leadership experience in the technology and energy industries. Deshpande previously served as a product leader at MuleSoft, Edmodo, Opya and more. "During the pandemic, parents have a front-row seat to their children's education, and many are realizing that they learn differently — and yet they have nowhere to turn for guidance," says Suchi Deshpande. "As a parent of neurodiverse kids, I know firsthand how challenging it is to navigate the educational landscape. Learnfully helps parents seamlessly get the support they need to unlock all learners' potential." Learnfully raised $1.25 million in initial funding. Investors include Amol Deshpande, CEO & Co-Founder of Farmers Business Network, founder of Divergent Investments. Goodwater Capital, Incite.org, Figure Eight Investments and other investors also participated in the round. "Learnfully is a mission-driven start-up focused on providing technology and specialists to children with learning differences," said Swati Mylavarapu, Founder of Incite.org "At Incite, we’re believers in Learnfully’s mission to better outcomes for neurodivergent learners and their families by empowering them with tailored support. Keely and I are proud to support Suchi and Letha in making this important mission central to the company they’re building.” Learnfully is a win-win for educators and learners alike. “Millennial families seek bespoke, digital-first learning solutions where they can access world class experts from the comfort of their homes,” said Diana Anthony, a K-12 teacher turned education investor, and Co-founder and Managing Partner of Figure Eight Investments. “Learnfully is bringing this model to neurodiverse learners and their families, providing them with unprecedented access to the educators and behavioral specialists that can transform their educational experience.” Learnfully offers great benefits to professionals as well: they are matched with a learner that needs their skills and learns best with their teaching style. These learning sessions cater to the educator's schedule, so they can accommodate additional work. Educators, behaviorists, tutors, and therapists can all apply to join the platform. Accepted professionals gain unlimited support services, content resources, and access to an unparalleled educational community. About Learnfully Learnfully is on a mission to ignite learning and unlock the potential of every learner. Based in San Francisco, Learnfully is a tech-enabled personalized learning service, empowering all individuals to gain access to insights into the most effective learning approach and build a programming plan based on the expertise of educators. Through its groundbreaking tech platform, best-in-class learning assessment, and expert educator network, Learnfully delivers true engagement and tangible results for every learner.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

The University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC) Partners with the National Sheriffs' Association to Provide Tuition Benefits to its Members

Zovio | December 24, 2021

The University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC) proudly announced today a new education partnership with the National Sheriffs' Association. The new partnership offers 35% off tuition for bachelor's and master's programs for qualifying members of the National Sheriffs' Association and their immediate family members. The program is open to its 22,000 members nationwide, and selection is subject to terms and conditions. "We are extremely pleased to welcome the National Sheriffs' Association to the UAGC family. There is no greater power than the power of education, and we take great pride in helping people strive to learn more. We look forward to watching sheriff department members from across the country discover new opportunities by choosing to continue their lifelong learning journey." University President Paul Pastorek Sheriffs' departments work to serve and protect citizens all around this country every day. The new partnership with UAGC provides a flexible online model and class format conducive to the scheduling demands that go along with working in this vital profession. Coursework can be completed from any location and students are afforded the opportunity to take classes that accommodate their lifestyle and schedule. Students can leverage their employer-sponsored tuition program to start or complete a degree through courses that, depending on the degree level, last five or six weeks which enable them to study at the times that work best for them. The program is managed by Zovio Employer Solutions (ZES), which is an important service provided by Zovio. Zovio Employer Solutions helps more than 1,300 companies and organizations across the country optimize usage of their corporate tuition assistance programs in partnership with the University of Arizona Global Campus. This includes full tuition grants and reduced tuition programs through the University of Arizona Global Campus. "Zovio has and will continue to work strategically with UAGC to explore new pathways to support student success," said Zovio's CEO Randy Hendricks. "In partnership with the University of Arizona Global Campus, Zovio Employer Solutions looks to educate and serve more students, including adult learners seeking to reskill and upskill. We look forward to serving the National Sheriffs' Association." About University of Arizona Global Campus The University of Arizona Global Campus ("Global Campus" or "UAGC") is an independent university that is operated in affiliation with the University of Arizona. Global Campus is designed to provide flexible opportunities for working students from diverse backgrounds who seek to gain knowledge and skills that will help them to achieve their life and career goals. Global Campus is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and is one of the nation's most innovative online universities with approximately 35,000 students. UAGC offers more than 50 degrees at the associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. About Zovio Zovio is an education technology services company that partners with higher education institutions and employers to deliver innovative, personalized solutions to help learners and leaders achieve their aspirations. The Zovio network, including Fullstack Academy and TutorMe, leverages its core strengths to solve priority market needs through education technology services. Using proprietary advanced data analytics, Zovio identifies the most meaningful ways to enhance the learner experience and deliver strong outcomes for higher education institutions, employers, and learners. Zovio's purpose is to help everyone be in a class of their own.

Read More

EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

EdTech Leader VIPKid Expands its Global Education Platform

VIPKid | December 20, 2021

Today, VIPKid, a leading global education technology company, officially released an updated global platform, which will be accessible to students around the world. The global platform represents the company's commitment to achieving its mission to inspire and empower every child for the future. "This is an exciting day for the VIPKid community. Our new global platform will enable us to connect more students around the world with dedicated teachers for immersive and engaging online learning." Cindy Mi, VIPKid Founder and CEO For nearly a decade, VIPKid, which Cindy founded in 2013 and formally launched in 2014, has inspired millions of children through engaging instruction and created enduring human connections spanning vast distances. Now, as the company looks to the future, learnings gleaned over the past eight years uniquely position VIPKid for continued global success. The company's passionate community of online teachers, and experience delivering over 200 million live online classes to over 1 million students, has proven the platform's depth of capabilities and opens up new opportunities for VIPKid to partner with other edtech platforms that offer world-class learning instruction. The new global platform can be accessed in multiple languages, will enable far more students to benefit from VIPKid's award-winning curriculum, and aims to provide online educators with more opportunities to inspire students around the world. Developed by VIPKid's Research Institute and perfected over 8 years, the company's curriculum was meticulously crafted based on in-depth research to personalize learning for each student and has now been updated to serve both global and regional audiences. "Over the last few months, VIPKid's team has worked diligently to expand our global platform and update our curriculum for new audiences," explains Cindy of the company's new transition. "I want to thank all of our internal teams and vast teacher community for sticking with us as we embark on a new journey, and I want to thank them for their commitment to continue achieving VIPKid's mission as we launch our global platform." About VIPKid VIPKid is a global education technology company and a leader in children's online education. Since its founding in 2013 and formal launch in 2014, VIPKid has connected students with experienced online educators for real-time learning. VIPKid's mission is to inspire and empower every child for the future and is committed to unleashing the power of the world's best educators by bringing their world-class learning product to a global audience. VIPKid envisions a global classroom that empowers students and teachers through personalized learning, connects cultures across the world, and ignites a passion for lifelong learning.

Read More

CONTINUING EDUCATION

Learnfully, a Tech-Enabled Personalized Learning Service, Launches to Bring Personalized Learning to Scale

Learnfully | December 13, 2021

Learnfully, a first of its kind personalized learning platform, today announced its initial fundraising and emergence from stealth.With 1 in 5 students diagnosed with learning differences — and countless more dealing with emotional and developmental obstacles, Learnfully empowers all individuals to gain access to the most effective learning approach for them. Learnfully tailors a programming plan to their needs based on the expertise of educators and connects them with proven specialists to provide individual instruction. "For too long our system has overlooked those who learn differently and left them to fend for themselves, instead of emphasizing their strengths and catering to their unique challenges. We're proud to launch Learnfully to bring personalized learning solutions to scale for all learners and empower them to reach their potential." Letha McLaren, CEO & Co-Founder, Learnfully The launch of the Learnfully platform is especially timely given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as many learners are struggling to adapt to a digital environment. In fact, the Brookings institute found that students may make just 70% of the reading gains this year compared to the progress they'd see in a normal school year; this forecast found the gains would be less than 50% for mathematics. While other offerings only tackle tutoring services or an initial assessment, Learnfully takes a holistic approach to every learner. Its assessment includes human insights which complement its groundbreaking technology platform that analyzes information, responses, and measurable impressions to create and maintain each learner's profile and plan. Based on these inputs, Learnfully creates curated learning plans and provides access to specialized professionals, such as educational and behavioral therapists, tutoring services, insights, and instructions. Once a learner begins programming, Learnfully adjusts the educational approach on the fly through its feedback and progress engine, as behaviors and emotions can change rapidly. This helps learners, parents, and educators ensure that both short- and long-term goals are attainable. The result is the only true end-to-end solution — from assessment to instruction — available. "Learnfully seamlessly helped my two kids from assessment to tutoring plan to finding the right instructor," said Joy Leonard, a California parent of two Learnfully learners. "The highly targeted learning sessions have been invaluable, making an enormous impact on my kids' abilities in a short period of time." Learnfully is co-founded by Letha McLaren and Suchi Deshpande. McLaren has more than 20 years of diverse product management, marketing and business leadership experience in the technology and energy industries. Deshpande previously served as a product leader at MuleSoft, Edmodo, Opya and more. "During the pandemic, parents have a front-row seat to their children's education, and many are realizing that they learn differently — and yet they have nowhere to turn for guidance," says Suchi Deshpande. "As a parent of neurodiverse kids, I know firsthand how challenging it is to navigate the educational landscape. Learnfully helps parents seamlessly get the support they need to unlock all learners' potential." Learnfully raised $1.25 million in initial funding. Investors include Amol Deshpande, CEO & Co-Founder of Farmers Business Network, founder of Divergent Investments. Goodwater Capital, Incite.org, Figure Eight Investments and other investors also participated in the round. "Learnfully is a mission-driven start-up focused on providing technology and specialists to children with learning differences," said Swati Mylavarapu, Founder of Incite.org "At Incite, we’re believers in Learnfully’s mission to better outcomes for neurodivergent learners and their families by empowering them with tailored support. Keely and I are proud to support Suchi and Letha in making this important mission central to the company they’re building.” Learnfully is a win-win for educators and learners alike. “Millennial families seek bespoke, digital-first learning solutions where they can access world class experts from the comfort of their homes,” said Diana Anthony, a K-12 teacher turned education investor, and Co-founder and Managing Partner of Figure Eight Investments. “Learnfully is bringing this model to neurodiverse learners and their families, providing them with unprecedented access to the educators and behavioral specialists that can transform their educational experience.” Learnfully offers great benefits to professionals as well: they are matched with a learner that needs their skills and learns best with their teaching style. These learning sessions cater to the educator's schedule, so they can accommodate additional work. Educators, behaviorists, tutors, and therapists can all apply to join the platform. Accepted professionals gain unlimited support services, content resources, and access to an unparalleled educational community. About Learnfully Learnfully is on a mission to ignite learning and unlock the potential of every learner. Based in San Francisco, Learnfully is a tech-enabled personalized learning service, empowering all individuals to gain access to insights into the most effective learning approach and build a programming plan based on the expertise of educators. Through its groundbreaking tech platform, best-in-class learning assessment, and expert educator network, Learnfully delivers true engagement and tangible results for every learner.

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