Ancora Education launched free HVAC online courses to fight the spread of COVID-19

Ancora Education | July 18, 2020

Ancora Education, a Texas-based group of private, post-secondary career training schools, today announced the launch of free online courses that will teach Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) technicians to identify and reduce pathogen aerosol transmission. The COVID-19 pandemic and elevated safety requirements, mean HVAC Technicians are increasingly called upon to identify and make system adjustments and implement strategies to mitigate the spread of viruses, like the coronavirus and other airborne/airflow issues. "Essential workers and frontline heroes like HVAC Technicians need additional tools to keep themselves safe and combat the spread of COVID-19," said Ancora CEO, Michael Zawisky. "We hope that these courses and our investment in the professional development of participating techs will help flatten the curve and mitigate the unwanted spread of COVID-19 across the state of Texas." This free, online, and self-paced course is intended for HVAC professionals covering four important areas of focus: Understanding Pathogens, Safety & Personal Protection, Human Engineering Strategies, and Industry-Recommended Techniques. These techniques include controlling exhaust ventilation, managing temperature, and humidity, advanced air filtration, and improving airflow.

Spotlight

Technology has revolutionized corporate learning and leadership development. The number of organizations that use learning management systems is higher than ever before, and thanks to massive open online courses (MOOCs), small private online courses (SPOCS), microlearning, nanolearning, and other new media learning platforms, digital learning and training is at an all-time high.

Spotlight

Technology has revolutionized corporate learning and leadership development. The number of organizations that use learning management systems is higher than ever before, and thanks to massive open online courses (MOOCs), small private online courses (SPOCS), microlearning, nanolearning, and other new media learning platforms, digital learning and training is at an all-time high.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

CapStone Holdings Inc. Helps Expand STEM Education to Over 4,000 Students in St. Louis

CapStone Holdings | February 08, 2022

CapStone Holdings Inc, a self-funded family office business incubator and investment group – announced today their partnership with the Mr. October Foundation to bring its STEM initiative to St. Louis this spring. The collaboration includes a national leading STEM curriculum from STEM 101, the newly emerged City Foundry STL, and added funding and support from Jim Crane, CEO of Crane Worldwide Logistics. The Mr. October Foundation, led by Major League Baseball legend Reggie Jackson, and STEM 101 will kick off the program on February 9, hosting local teachers and education professionals at the City Foundry STL. "CapStone Holdings and the Stone family couldn't be more excited to support STEM education in St. Louis," said Heather Stone, co-founder of CapStone Holdings Inc. Stone and CapStone's founder and chairman, Keith J. Stone attended high school in eastern Missouri. "We have history here and it's why we've made this commitment. The younger generation will become tomorrow's engineers and innovators. Their exploration in STEM-related careers starts now, and these programs are pivotal in offering those opportunities." This latest contribution from CapStone Holdings aligns with the company's other prior and ongoing efforts to support today's youth. In recent years, CapStone's subsidiary, GameAbove, partnered with Mr. October Foundation and Eastern Michigan University on a collaborative effort to expand the university's already successful K-12 STEM education program throughout metro Detroit. The initiative included 13 elementary and middle schools, and over 1,700 students. "Students in St. Louis will have an opportunity to further develop their skills in science, technology, engineering, and math, through one of the best curriculums in the country. We are extremely grateful for the Stone family, as well as others for their support in our aspirations to inspire the younger generation through STEM education." Mr. October founder, Reggie Jackson This partnership expands on CapStone's investment in the St. Louis area. In 2020, the company invested $40 million into City Foundry STL, becoming one of the largest single-entity investors in the project and one of several engagements CapStone has in the region. About CapStone Holdings, Inc. CapStone Holdings, Inc. is a family office-structured holding company that maintains a balanced portfolio through investment strategies that maximize innovation and return with minimal risk. CapStone Holdings and its founders have invested across a wide range of industries for over 33 years and engage in focused philanthropic efforts. About The Mr. October Foundation The Mr. October Foundation is a non-profit public benefit corporation, founded by Reginald M. Jackson in 1997 with the mission of improving educational opportunities for underprivileged youth. Mr. Jackson is a retired Major League Baseball right fielder who played from 1967 to 1987 for the Oakland A's, Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels. Mr. Jackson nicknamed "Mr. October," is a 14-time All-Star, five-time World Series champion and two-time World Series MVP. He was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993. About STEM 101 The STEM Academy, Inc. (STEM 101) is a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advancing economic development by improving STEM literacy for all students. No matter where children live, they should have access to quality learning environments. A child's zip code should not determine their opportunities. STEM 101 provides 21st century STEM career minded curriculum, physical resources and professional development to inspire, engage, and prepare students for the STEM jobs of tomorrow.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Texthelp Launches New EdTech Tool, OrbitNote, to Increase Accessibility in PDF Files

Texthelp | January 25, 2022

Texthelp, a global leader in literacy and accessibility technology, today announced the premium launch of OrbitNote, a web app that makes PDFs more accessible from right inside the document, including the ability to type, highlight, and leave voice memos on documents. OrbitNote will allow users to transform and interact with digital documents in a completely different way. Users will be able to create an accessible, dynamic, and collaborative space that works for everyone. Today, Texthelp is also honoring International Day of Education, an international day of awareness to promote inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all. Texthelp is committed to helping users understand and be understood through the use of assistive technology tools and software. This past year, Texthelp released data revealing that 90% of teachers had planned to use EdTech tools in the classroom this school year. With the rise in technology use, having access to tools that create an accessible experience for all users is highly valuable. Products like OrbitNote will promote collaboration, transparency, and communication among students and educators. Key Benefits of OrbitNote: Makes PDFs More Accessible and Actionable: OrbitNote ensures that students have access to the tools they need to succeed – such as text-to-speech, highlighting, and vocabulary support – across all class content. If a PDF is image-only or unreadable, OrbitNote has a built-in scanner that will find the text and read it aloud without having to leave the PDF. Provides Multiple Ways to Demonstrate Knowledge and Give Feedback: OrbitNote allows students to express their understanding in multiple ways. Users can type or draw their thoughts on the page, or add shapes and images to their work. Users can also highlight the key points in a comprehension piece or when studying. In the classroom, both teachers and students can use their voices to share ideas and feedback. Boosts Productivity, Connections, and Collaboration: Using OrbitNote allows for seamless student-teacher collaboration. For example, teachers are able to leave a quick voice note for students, providing feedback and identifying areas for improvement mid-project, rather than waiting for students to turn in the final piece. Students can use a range of tools to ask teachers for help and garner support before problems arise. Typical pen and paper projects can become digital spaces for working together, allowing collaboration between teachers and students, as well as group projects. OrbitNote works with Google Classroom and Schoology. In the coming months, Texthelp will expand support for more LMSs like Canvas and Brightspace. OrbitNote is also compatible with Texthelp's Read&Write product, a literacy support tool, and EquatIO, a digital math tool. Users can try all of the features in OrbitNote for free for 30 days. "We have seen education change drastically in the past two years. Many subjects and tasks that relied on pen and paper are now becoming digitized. I am excited for OrbitNote as it will help educators and students continue to collaborate in this new digital space. The tool will also be very helpful in regards to accessibility and eliminate barriers that often arise while using PDF files." Martin McKay, CEO and Founder of Texthelp About Texthelp Founded in 1996, the Texthelp Group is a global technology company. On a daily basis, it helps people all over the world to understand and to be understood. For the last three decades, it has led the way in creating innovative education and workplace technology. Texthelp believes in a world where difference, disability, or language are no longer barriers. It is focused on helping all people learn, understand, and communicate through the use of digital literacy and accessibility software. With over 45 million users worldwide, the Texthelp suite of products includes Read&Write, EquatiO®, OrbitNote, WriQ®, Fluency Tutor®, ReachDeck®, and SpeechStream®. These tools work alongside existing platforms such as Microsoft Office and G-suite. This allows for its products to be quickly integrated into any classroom or workplace with ease. Texthelp is backed by Five Arrows, the private equity arm of Rothschild Group.

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CORPORATE LEARNING SYSTEMS

Rosetta Stone and HIAS Extend Partnership Providing Free Language Learning Lessons to Refugees During Global Resettlement Efforts

Rosetta Stone | December 14, 2021

Rosetta Stone, the world's leading language learning brand, and HIAS, the international Jewish humanitarian organization, have extended their partnership to provide HIAS' refugee clients with free language learning software. Through the collaboration, Rosetta Stone donated 500 subscriptions that will help newly resettled refugees acquire language skills, more easily integrate into local communities, and open pathways to economic inclusion. The UN Refugee Agency estimates that nearly 2 million people were forced to flee their homes during the first six months of 2021. Notably, forced migration is not specific to any one geographic region: Humanitarian crises around the globe are putting people at extreme risk; asylum seekers and refugees are braving unsafe conditions to start new lives; and political unrest is creating entire populations of stateless people with little emergency assistance. HIAS is uniquely qualified to address the modern refugee crisis and has helped more than 4.5 million people escape persecution. The organization facilitates application processes, resettles the most vulnerable people from all over the world, and works with U.S.-based social-service organizations to welcome refugees into local communities. HIAS first partnered with Rosetta Stone in 2019 to help refugees more easily enter into American society through language instruction. Rosetta Stone and HIAS then extended their collaboration in 2021 to continue assisting HIAS' clients with their education, social integration efforts and employment opportunities. HIAS and its clients have access to language lessons in 25 languages, including English, Arabic, Spanish, and more. "Our partnership with Rosetta Stone has given refugees additional tools to acclimate to their new lives and navigate the resettlement process with increased confidence and language skills. We are excited to continue this partnership and continue to provide opportunities to our staff and clients to communicate more easily and create welcoming communities." Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of HIAS Bahati Buzindu, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and HIAS client, shared, "Rosetta Stone is really helping me understand what other people are talking about, and I've been encouraging—and teaching—other refugees to use it, too!" "Refugees come from all walks of life: They are doctors and farmers, interpreters and caregivers; some speak multiple languages, while others were denied a formal education. Regardless of a person's skill set, adjusting to a new home is incredibly difficult, especially after being forced to flee one," said Jennifer Gu, COO of IXL Learning, Rosetta Stone's parent company. "HIAS and Rosetta Stone's partnership is an important step toward helping resettled people grow new language skills, and empowering them to ease into communities and lead independent lives." Through Rosetta Stone, learners practice new languages in an immersive environment that helps them build the fluency and confidence to speak. Lessons are filled with real-world images and audio from native speakers that accelerate language acquisition. Additionally, the TruAccent speech engine compares voices to native speakers, gives immediate feedback on pronunciation, and helps refugees feel confident participating in real-world conversations. As part of the partnership, Rosetta Stone also provides HIAS employees with training on how to effectively administer language learning to users for maximum effectiveness. Additionally, HIAS and its affiliate network staff use Rosetta Stone to learn the native languages of the refugees they support, to better understand them and serve their needs. About Rosetta Stone Rosetta Stone is dedicated to changing people's lives through the power of language education. The company's innovative digital solutions drive positive learning outcomes for the inspired learner at home or in schools and workplaces around the world. Founded in 1992, Rosetta Stone uses advanced digital technology to help all types of learners read, write, and speak 25 languages. Rosetta Stone joined the IXL Learning family of brands in 2021. About HIAS HIAS is the international Jewish humanitarian organization that provides vital services to refugees and asylum seekers in 16 countries. We advocate for the rights of all forcibly displaced people to rebuild their lives and seek to create a world in which they find welcome, safety, and opportunity.

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