A New Analysis Shows Larger K-12 Student Digital Divide, Affects Teachers, Too

Common Sense | June 30, 2020

With the prospect of another distance learning school year on the horizon due to the coronavirus pandemic, a new analysis released today finds that a full 15 to 16 million public school students across the United States live in households without adequate internet access or computing devices to facilitate distance learning. The analysis, from Common Sense and Boston Consulting Group, also finds that almost 10% of public school teachers (300,000 to 400,000) are also caught in the gap, affecting their ability to run remote classes. The 32-page report, Closing the K–12 Digital Divide in the Age of Distance Learning, fixes a one-year price tag of at least $6 billion and as much as $11 billion to connect all kids at home, and an additional $1 billion to close the divide for teachers. "This new report shows that not only is the distance learning gap larger than previously estimated but that too many teachers are caught in it, too, and it will require significant and immediate investments from Congress to close it," said James P. Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense. "This new data and analysis further highlights the urgency for policymakers, educators, and private companies to address this basic educational equity issue that affects kids in every state. Our report makes clear that during this age of distance learning, we have to act right now to close the digital divide that is leaving millions of kids behind." The new report, with state-by-state data, carefully establishes the technical requirements for adequate distance learning and examines the specific needs of different segments of the K–12 student and teacher populations with distance learning technology gaps. The report, which also highlights the need for digital literacy training for families unfamiliar with digital technology, finds that the states with the largest K–12 digital divide are largely in the south, with Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Alabama showing the largest deficit by proportion, and Texas, California, and Florida the largest gaps by population. But, as the report notes, every state has a problem. "Even among states with the smallest divides, approximately one in four students do not have an adequate internet connection," the report concludes.

Spotlight

Custom ICM solutions are built for you, not auditors, so they typically don’t offer visibility into actions performed over time. Auditors may lack confidence in your homegrown system, especially if they find errors or omissions. In fact, audit risk from errors and overpayments is often the most compelling reason we see customers switch from build to buy. New regulations place additional burdens on your commissions system.

Spotlight

Custom ICM solutions are built for you, not auditors, so they typically don’t offer visibility into actions performed over time. Auditors may lack confidence in your homegrown system, especially if they find errors or omissions. In fact, audit risk from errors and overpayments is often the most compelling reason we see customers switch from build to buy. New regulations place additional burdens on your commissions system.

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TALENT DEVELOPMENT

AMAZON AND LEADING MUSIC EDUCATION PLATFORM YOUSICIAN COLLABORATE TO CREATE THE ULTIMATE BUNDLE FOR BEGINNER MUSICIANS

amazon | November 09, 2022

Amazon and Yousician, the world's leading music education service, are collaborating to help inspire the next generation of musicians. Beginning October 24th, consumers who purchase a qualifying musical instrument in Amazon stores will receive as an added gift-with-purchase, 30-days free access to Yousician Premium+, making it easy for any beginner to get started learning an instrument. Yousician has set a new standard in music education with its gamified approach to learning how to play an instrument. Its platform offers thousands of interactive guitar, bass, piano, ukulele, and singing lessons to quickly learn to play your favorite songs from hundreds of artists across all musical spectrums: from Coldplay and Adele to Billie Eilish, Metallica, and many more. Amazon, whose Amazon's Alexa Fund invested in Yousician's $28 million Series B fund in April 2021, is collaborating for the first time with Yousician to create this special bundle. Yousician always offers new users the option to receive a 7-day free subscription, but with this collaboration, they will receive 30-days free. This is the first time Yousician has collaborated with another company for a consumer product bundle. Yousician's approach to music education uses innovative audio recognition technology that differentiates the platform from its competitors. The audio feature listens to the user play and provides real-time feedback. The gamified experience is that of an on-demand music school with world-class instructors at the helm to guide interactive learning for users at any level. "Through our collaboration with Amazon, we make it very easy for people to begin their musical hobby. Get the instrument delivered to your home, download the Yousician app and start playing. It's that simple. Customers trust Amazon's seamless retail experience, and millions trust Yousician to learn how to play an instrument. We're looking forward to being able to offer Yousician to Amazon customers and help them kickstart their musical journey." Chris Thür, Co-founder and CEO of Yousician Yousician recently partnered with Metallica, the multi-Grammy Award-winning and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band, to create 3 beginner-friendly courses with step-by-step tutorials directly from the band so users could learn the songs the way they're meant to be played directly from the band themselves. Amazon customers will receive a special code with their qualifying instrument purchase that gives them 30-days free access on Yousician Premium+. Premium+ access on Yousician includes unlimited lessons and thousands of songs to learn from. No credit card is required to redeem the offer. The promotion will kick off October 24th and run in the United States for a 1 year period. About Yousician: Yousician is the world's leading platform for learning and playing music, driven by the belief that the more people play music, the better this world will be. With a combined 20 million monthly users, the platform's groundbreaking products, Yousician and GuitarTuna, are the leaders in their field. Yousician has revolutionized how people learn and play music with innovative technology that gives players real-time feedback. It offers interactive learning for guitar, bass, ukulele, piano and singing with lessons, exercises and songs.

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ONLINE EDUCATION

Winston & Strawn Launches Free, Online Course to Help First-Generation and Diverse Law Students Succeed in Law School

Winston & Strawn LLP | October 20, 2022

Winston & Strawn LLP today announced the launch of the Winston & Strawn Law School Experience, a free, virtual course created to help first-generation and diverse pre-law and law students enhance their academic performance in law schoolThe Winston & Strawn Law School Experience addresses the fact that many first-generation and diverse law students confront inequitable access to resources (including tutoring, mentoring, and networking) that are key building blocks for success in law school and the legal profession. This program aims to correct that by providing a methodology for developing the aptitudes that law schools expect and require. The program features instructional videos on topics such as: Succeeding on law school exams; Reading and analyzing case law; and Writing a useful, thorough law school course outline. The program is self-paced and takes approximately six to seven hours to finish. Upon completion, students earn a certificate that can be added to LinkedIn profiles and resumes. "We are launching this program in an effort to tear down barriers that many first-generation and diverse law students face as they consider and enter law school in an effort to level the playing field and increase the pool of talented law students entering our profession," Bill O'Neil, litigation partner in Chicago, chair of Winston's Hiring Committee Bill continued: Law schools are fantastic at teaching students the law; in contrast, the Law School Experience teaches students how to succeed in law school. The program is designed to provide practical skills that we believe will boost students' grades and, ultimately, their employment prospects, which will, in turn, diversify and strengthen the legal profession. Nothing is more important to the future of legal education and law practice than providing equal opportunity for students to learn and excel, said Winston Chairman Tom Fitzgerald. "We encourage students to take advantage of this resource, and we look forward to engaging participants from diverse backgrounds as they pursue their legal education and their promising careers. Winston & Strawn LLP is an international law firm with 16 offices in North America, South America, Asia, and Europe.

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CORPORATE LEARNING SYSTEMS

WorkRamp Launches "WorkRamp Content" to Help Businesses Build Impactful Learning Programs that Develop Employees and Unlock Exponential Growth

WorkRamp | September 29, 2022

WorkRamp, the All-in-One Learning Platform, today announced the release of WorkRamp Content, powered by one of the world's largest corporate education content hubs, Go1. WorkRamp Content is one of the most comprehensive content solutions for organizations that are invested in developing their people to unlock exponential growth.With this product, relevant industry- and role-based content can be curated to complement the organization's learning strategy, and businesses can leverage the power of prebuilt, proven content to build impactful programs that attract, develop, and retain talent and mitigate corporate risk by maintaining compliance. "Businesses need their workforces to be highly skilled if they are to stay competitive in today's market, and that means learning cannot stop,Those that really invest in making learning a growth engine for their organizations recognize that effective content is fundamental to this strategy. Now they can find not only flexible content creation and collaboration within WorkRamp's platform but also the most relevant expertise to uplevel their people." Ted Blosser, CEO and Co-Founder of WorkRamp With over 85,000 course resources from more than 250 providers in one learning center of excellence, WorkRamp Content provides exactly what employees want, in whichever format, length, and style are effective for them. The catalog of resources from the world's top providers such as EasyLlama, ej4, The Expert Academy, Mind Tools, Pluralsight, Sandler Training, Skillsoft, and Traliant empowers learning administrators to upskill their teams for more meaningful business contributions. They also have access to complimentary content recommendations and curation in partnership with Go1's team. Customers should expect learner engagement to increase sixfold once they leverage the ability to quickly provide employees with meaningful content within their learning platform. Businesses want their learners to be able to develop and apply their skills in the flow of work and in systems they recognize. Those that invest in WorkRamp to support their development strategy and growth can now really achieve this most effective approach to learning by accessing Go1's vast training and content libraries, said Marc Havercroft, President of Go1. With WorkRamp Content, customers are now able to draw on all levels of instructional design capability and better align their learning content strategy with an overall learning strategy. The All-in-One Learning Platform provides course authoring tools out of the box for building content just the way the business wants it, customizable course templates to set teams up with solid starting points, and now prebuilt, proven content that can be rapidly deployed for immediate business impact.

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