Blackboard to sell open-source LMS platform for $32M

educationdive | March 12, 2020

Blackboard announced Tuesday it plans to sell its Open LMS business to the London-based Learning Technologies Group Plc (LTG) for $31.7 million. As part of the deal, Blackboard's chief learning and innovation officer, Phillip Miller, will lead the Open LMS business at LTG.  The sale will help Blackboard "simplify its business" and move customers to its Blackboard Learn and Ultra learning management system (LMS) offerings, according to a statement from the company. Open LMS is a software-as-a-service platform based on Moodle, an open-source LMS. By offloading the unit, Blackboard is shifting away from the open-source LMS market it once sought to serve. Meanwhile, for LTG, the acquisition is "a significant step" toward growing its position in the Moodle marketplace, the company said in a statement.

Spotlight

Rapid eLearning is not just a quick fix to plug training gaps. There's more to rapid learning. Here are some facts revealed. IDs design courses in accordance with Instructional Design principles, keeping the learner profile and training requirements in mind. Rapid eLearning does not mean course quality is compromised. An agile, iterative process is followed for rapid eLearning development, and this includes quality checks at each stage of the project. Templates are used in rapid eLearning for different screen layouts, interactivities, assessments, etc. But these templates do not have to be rigid, they can be customized according to the requirements of the course.

Spotlight

Rapid eLearning is not just a quick fix to plug training gaps. There's more to rapid learning. Here are some facts revealed. IDs design courses in accordance with Instructional Design principles, keeping the learner profile and training requirements in mind. Rapid eLearning does not mean course quality is compromised. An agile, iterative process is followed for rapid eLearning development, and this includes quality checks at each stage of the project. Templates are used in rapid eLearning for different screen layouts, interactivities, assessments, etc. But these templates do not have to be rigid, they can be customized according to the requirements of the course.

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ONLINE EDUCATION

Intellum Unveils Community, The Third Experience In The Platform's Complete Social Learning Suite

Intellum | July 29, 2022

Intellum, the leader in EdTech for Business, today announced Community, the third component in the Intellum social learning suite and the first in-platform community experience built specifically for corporate education initiatives. Intellum offers all of the features and functionality associated with an LMS and an LXP and is the only education solution to include content authoring, live event management, and social learning in a single platform. The introduction of Community rounds out Intellum's social learning suite, which also includes group activity streams and both one-to-one and group chat to help organizations engage and educate users through social learning. Social learning research shows that employees learn largely through observing and imitating the behavior modeled by experienced and successful co-workers and peers. Intellum's new Community offering provides learners with a dedicated space to search for answers, identify experts, and demonstrate their own expertise by asking and responding to questions and voting on the answers associated with concepts and topics of interest. This empowers learners to do two distinct things: quickly and easily find "just-in-time" answers to pressing questions and author "user-generated content" that is meaningful and increases the learner's visibility among her/his peers. Because Community lives within the Intellum Platform as part of the broader social experience, administrators can easily embed communities directly into learning initiatives, encouraging users to present questions to a specific group of peers while consuming the curriculum. This presents a compelling reason for learners to stay engaged and to come back to the learning environment more frequently. "We have been helping clients drive significant learner engagement for years by allowing users to comment on learning content and support each other through cohort-focused activity streams and group chat experiences. But over time we recognized that something was missing. "Social experiences can be fleeting. Clients need to capture their learners' questions and answers in a way that provides long-term value to the education initiative, so we decided to build our own Q&A community into the platform. By integrating formalized curriculum, informal learning, live events and social learning, we make the whole much more valuable than the pieces." Chip Ramsey, CEO of Intellum Intellum has a rich history of facilitating social learning. In 2009, the company created Tribe Social (now known as Intellum Social), the first social collaboration tool purpose-built for education. Intellum Social has evolved to include three core social learning components: Groups are modern vertical activity streams that encourage learners to share links, videos, images, files, and polls to kickstart conversation, collaboration, and engagement with educational content. Chat allows users to engage in 1:1 or group chats and can be embedded into any experience on the platform, including live events like instructor-led training and Webinars to drive real-time user engagement. Community gives learners a dedicated space to search for answers, identify experts, and demonstrate their own expertise by asking and responding to questions and voting on the answers associated with concepts and topics they are interested in. When utilized together, the three components in the Intellum Social suite provide organizations with everything needed to introduce, improve and capitalize on the science of social learning. About Intellum Intellum provides the #1 customer, partner, and employee education platform that large brands and fast-moving companies rely on to engage audiences and improve product knowledge, utilization, retention, and revenue. Intellum's scientific, data-driven approach is based on 20+ years of industry experience and the Intellum Platform includes all of the tools an organization needs to create, deploy, manage, track, and continuously improve highly personalized, engaging educational experiences.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Vector Solutions Wins SmartBrief EdTech Readers’ Choice Awards

Vector Solutions | July 04, 2022

The 2022 SmartBrief EdTech Readers' Choice Awards, which honor the best educational technology products based on reader voting, have chosen Vector Training from Vector Solutions as a winner. For professional development, the online training management system for schools was chosen as the winner. “We are honored to have been selected as a winner by SmartBrief’s audience of industry professionals, including educators and administrators. It's not an easy time to work in schools, and we're proud to offer engaging and effective training that builds the skills of our nation's educators to help them create safer, smarter, better communities.” -Vector Solutions Head of Product for Education, Rob Buelow The SmartBrief EdTech Readers' Choice Awards were created by SmartBrief, a digital news service for K–12 education professionals, to recognize businesses and innovations that have had a significant influence on the education sector. In addition to giving staff and students access to hundreds of expert-authored online training courses, Vector Training—previously known as SafeSchools—also makes it simple for administrators to track and administer those trainings on a flexible, easy web-based platform. Additionally, districts are able to design and deliver unique courses through the system using Vector Training. Vector Solutions, a top provider of software and training to assist schools in making their operations and communities safer, smarter, and better, has just won another education award. The company's educational solutions have also won recognition in the past year from THE Journal, Campus Technology, and Tech & Learning.

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CONTINUING EDUCATION

PowerSchool Releases Education Focus Report Highlighting Top District Priorities and Shifts in PK-12 Education

PowerSchool | September 01, 2022

PowerSchool the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education in North America, has released its key findings from the Education Focus Report for the 2022-2023 school year. The report represents the findings from a national survey of more than 3,500 educators, in-depth conversations with over 75 education practitioners and leaders, and a comprehensive scan of over 25 mid-to-large U.S. school districts’ strategic plans. “We are excited about the valuable insights this report will bring to educators and district leaders, “Our goal is to recenter PK-12 conversations starting with what’s most important to school districts their priorities to better support students.” Ryan Imbriale, former district leader, and Vice President of Education Solutions at PowerSchool. The report found seven common strategic priorities across U.S. districts: high-quality, tiered instruction; whole-child supports; exceptional workforce; robust family engagement; expanded early childhood learning; graduates prepared for life, college, and career; and organizational excellence and efficiency. The report also highlights two grounding concepts: data-informed decision-making and equitable student supports. These common district priorities reflect schooling both before and during the continuing pandemic. In the report, educators reveal that technology led to an increase in student engagement, strengthened family involvement, and prioritized modern professional learning needs. Key findings include the emergence of whole-child support as tantamount to students’ academic success. “We have to account for our students’ mental, social, and emotional health needs before we can think about learning,” said Chris Cromwell, Instructional Technology Coordinator for West Chester Area School District in Pennsylvania. “Not long ago, when working with teachers, I felt I was driving down the road in my academic lane, and then there was an SEL lane, and those were two separate lanes headed down the highway. But they’re actually not—SEL and academic learning are on the same path and intertwined.” Additionally, as the education industry continues to navigate digital transformation, school leaders are finding technology solutions beneficial to achieving organizational excellence and efficiency. This includes designing data systems, protecting student information, ensuring budget transparency, and achieving a modern technology infrastructure, which have shifted from the back of the office to front and center. This speaks to the power of data and the necessity of equitable resource allocation in meeting student needs. About PowerSchool PowerSchool (NYSE: PWSC) is the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education in North America. Its mission is to power the education ecosystem with unified technology that helps educators and students realize their full potential, in their way. PowerSchool connects students, teachers, administrators, and parents, with the shared goal of improving student outcomes. From the office to the classroom to the home, it helps schools and districts efficiently manage state reporting and related compliance, special education, finance, human resources, talent, registration, attendance, funding, learning, instruction, grading, assessments and analytics in one unified platform. PowerSchool supports over 45 million students globally and more than 15,000 customers, including over 90 of the top 100 districts by student enrollment in the United States, and sells solutions in over 90 countries.

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