California district creates remote learning team to give overwhelmed teachers some relief

Education Dive | July 14, 2020

A virtual learning team of six to eight teachers in California's Mountain View Whisman School District will produce online lessons for all subjects and grade levels for the coming school year in an effort to alleviate pressure in remote learning environments, District Administration reports. The district plans to run a hybrid schedule that includes both fully remote learning and part-time in-person instruction through an A/B schedule. Without the task of developing virtual lessons, teachers will have more time to do remediation with students who have fallen behind, the district's superintendent said. The district expects some families to keep students home and continue remote learning throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and if more students stay home than expected, more teachers will be shifted to the remote learning team.

Spotlight

Over the past decade, online and technology-driven education have increasingly dominated educational discourse by circumventing the challenges of classroom-based education, be it cost, accessibility, time or convenience factors. Students are now able to increase their skill-set by opting for courses taught by the best professors and universities in the world.

Spotlight

Over the past decade, online and technology-driven education have increasingly dominated educational discourse by circumventing the challenges of classroom-based education, be it cost, accessibility, time or convenience factors. Students are now able to increase their skill-set by opting for courses taught by the best professors and universities in the world.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

LISC teams up with HBCUs on talent development program for students, expanded capacity for CDFIs

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) | November 25, 2022

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has launched a new internship program for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to help bridge the opportunity gap for students of color—offering community development mentorship and experience that gives young people a leg up when entering the workforce. Over the next two years, LISC's National HBCU Talent Development program is placing 40 students in part-time intern positions with local LISC offices and other community development financial institutions (CDFIs). Interns will support a range of initiatives, from marketing to finance to community engagement, while also participating in leadership and national networking events. The program is funded by the Citi Foundation and is specifically designed to address national disparities in internships, with White students significantly more likely to gain paid versus unpaid positions than Black students. The LISC internship pays $25/hour up to $15,000 for the academic year. Talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not," noted Denise Scott, LISC president, who held a virtual "fireside" chat with the initial cohort of interns last month. This program is part of our work to address systemic racial barriers that keep young people from gaining the experience and connections they need to compete for good jobs," she explained. "Through this program, students can earn a strong wage, gain hands-on experience, work with mentors and build a network of contacts and supporters all while supporting valuable community investment activity," she continued. "It's a win for all of us. At the outset, eight HBCUs are participating in the program, with young people from varied backgrounds and experiences applying to participate. Eryn Glover, for instance, is a sophomore marketing major at Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) in Charlotte, N.C., and one of LISC's first HBCU interns. She is working with the staff at LISC Charlotte to support fundraising, social media and community outreach, helping extend LISC's engagement with the region's philanthropic leaders and supporting valuable collaborations with local partners. I've always known that I wanted to do nonprofit work and put my skills to work to help people," said Glover, a South Jersey native who has spent recent summer breaks working at community-based organizations. She chose JCSU for her education because she wanted to attend an HBCU, benefit from a smaller university, and be close to family that had moved to North Carolina. I feel like I have opportunities here, like the LISC internship, that offer the chance to really get to know professors and mentors, and to also make a difference. I want to work in marketing within the nonprofit space, so this internship really aligns with that," she said. In Washington, D.C., Howard University senior Marsi Hailu is interning with the LISC policy team. Her early projects include mapping gaps in broadband access especially in rural communities and researching the disproportionate impact of climate events on low-income communities of color.I already knew that there is a lack of intergenerational wealth in Black and Brown communities because of historical discrimination," she said of her initial research. "But I guess I didn't realize how much that intersects with geography. It's a lot easier to recover from a disaster if you aren't already living paycheck to paycheck," she added. Hailu, a finance major from Northern Virginia, hopes to pursue a graduate degree in urban development after graduation, with a concentration in affordable housing. She said the LISC internship offers the opportunity to try her hand at different aspects of community development, going well beyond what she might learn in her finance classes. In a lot of places, housing is at the root of inequality," she said, explaining her passion for the work. "As someone who grew up in the area, I see the disparities facing low-income folks. I want to do something about that," she said. In addition to Howard and JCSU, initial HBCU supporters of the program include Edward Waters University (Florida), LeMoyne-Owen College (Tennessee), Lincoln University (Pennsylvania), Morehouse College (Georgia), Simmons College (Kentucky), and Virginia State University (Virginia). Additional HBCUs will be referring students in the months to come. LISC's Scott said the universities are eager to help students identify new opportunities for advancement—particularly given that many of the schools already have existing relationships with LISC, collaborating on local efforts related housing and economic development. "Here at Johnson C. Smith University, we strive to graduate global citizens who develop a compelling sense of social and civic responsibility for leadership and service,. "LISC's internship program is an excellent way for JCSU students to put this possibility into perspective outside of the classroom. Just as we strive to develop a better world by graduating the best and brightest, LISC does the same by investing in its community to make economic equality a reality," he said. JCSU President Clarence D. Armbrister The National HBCU Talent Development program draws on the experience of LISC's nearly three decades of work with AmeriCorps, including the Economic Mobility Corps (EMC) launched in 2020. Through EMC, LISC places national service members in positions that help build the capacity of CDFIs. We have long seen the value in connecting people to community development positions in places that they know and care about," Scott said. "Our HBCU internship program takes that a step further, focusing on gaps in opportunity for students of color, injecting equity into CDFI recruitment efforts and building a community development workforce that reflects the people and places it serves. About LISC LISC is one of the country's largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America. We work with residents and partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth and opportunity and advance racial equity so that people and places can thrive. Since our founding in 1979, LISC has invested $26.7 billion to create more than 463,000 affordable homes and apartments, develop 78.5 million square feet of retail, community and educational space and help tens of thousands of people find employment and improve their finances.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Edtech leader Otus adds CenterPoint Education Solutions’ High-Quality Assessments to Platform

Otus | November 10, 2022

Otus, a leader in K-12 student-growth edtech, today announced that CenterPoint Education Solutions’ Illustrative Math (IM) certified and EL Education aligned interim assessments, along with state standards assessments will now be available on the Otus integrated learning platform. With these assessments available on the Otus platform, educators and students will have instant access to high-quality assessments aligned with their curriculum or their state’s standards Since its launch in 2016, Otus has been used by educators to optimize learning and help accelerate student growth for over 1 million students nationwide. Otus provides educators with one place to gather, visualize and act on data to maximize student outcomes. The all-in-one platform saves educators time by integrating traditional and standards-based grading, assessments, progress monitoring, data-informed instruction, and more. “CenterPoint is excited to bring our aligned assessments to Otus; we hope more districts look toward incorporating assessments that are aligned with their curriculum and (state) standards, Aligned assessments allow educators to gauge both student understandings and misunderstandings paramount information to guide instructional planning. Otus’ learning platform gathers student-growth data and visualizations in one place, which models CenterPoint’s larger mission of monitoring student achievement around assessments.” LJ Sylvester, Vice President of Growth at CenterPoint. Interim assessments are administered throughout a school year and are key to supporting learning. They empower educators to measure student learning, identify where students are on their path to grade-level expectations, and provide data to drive instructional strategy. With Otus now hosting CenterPoint’s IM-certified, EL Education, and standards-aligned interim assessments, students and educators are provided with expanded access to high-quality curriculum-aligned assessments. Via Otus’ platform, CenterPoint’s assessments will make use of the existing assessment functionality, including technology-enhanced question types to heighten student engagement and real-time standards-aligned data reporting for teachers to inform instructional strategy. Otus is thrilled to add CenterPoint Education Solutions to its ever-growing network of partners and to be able to offer their top-notch, curriculum-aligned assessments to Otus users,” said Phil Collins, Ed.D., SVP of Client Success. “As Otus continues to expand its offerings of partner assessments available to users on the platform, we aim to provide high-quality, diverse options, and ultimately empower educators to make data-driven decisions that improve their schools. By integrating CenterPoint Education Solutions’ assessments into Otus, we are taking a huge step in that direction. Both the Illustrative Math and EL Education curricula are green rated by EdReports and have shown consistent results for student achievement. CenterPoint was the first organization to develop interim assessments aligned to these curricula to support the important work of teaching and learning at the ground level. The following grades and content areas are licensed for use on Otus’ platform: Illustrative Mathematics Aligned Interims Assessments: Grades 3-8, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry EL Education Aligned Interim Assessments: Grades K-8 Eureka Math Topic Items: Grades K-8 CenterPoint Standards Aligned Interim Assessments in ELA: Grades K-11 CenterPoint Standards Aligned Interim Assessments in Mathematics: Grades K-8, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry About Otus Otus significantly improves the way we support students by providing an all-in-one platform for educators to gather, visualize, and act on student data to ensure every child – no matter their learning level or background – is on a trajectory to achieve their true potential. Otus was created and built for teachers, by teachers. It saves educators time through the streamlined integration of assessment, performance tracking, and third-party data, while its gradebook and dashboard reports make it easy for teachers, administrators, and families to understand each student’s growth. Otus has delivered improved results for more than 1 million learners.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Spark Education Group Partners with Everest Education to Bring World-Class Online Learning to Vietnam

Spark Education | November 22, 2022

Spark Education Group (Spark Education), a world leader and innovator in interactive live small-class learning, announced a joint venture with Everest Education (Everest), a leading provider of premium offline and online education services in Vietnam, to bring world-class online learning to Vietnam. Since 2018, Spark Education's portfolio of brands have enrolled over half a million students in its programs. The company is backed by top investors including Sequoia, KKR, IDG Capital, GGV Capital, TrustBridge, Carlyle, and more. Everest helps students in Vietnam to gain entrance and succeed in international academic environments, offering Math and English enrichment courses, test prep, college admissions consulting, and private tutoring to students from Grade 1 to Grade 12. This collaboration merges Everest's online business with Spark Education's proprietary technology platform and courseware, localized for the Vietnamese market. The joint venture localizes VISPARK (www.vispark.edu.vn), and launches with its math program based on Singapore Math concepts taught in Vietnamese. This partnership leverages the competitive strengths of both Spark Education and Everest to bring an innovative learning experience to the Vietnamese market, improving the learning experience of local students.Don Le, CEO of Everest Education, shares his vision for the partnership, "Spark Education has invested over $100M into research and development of the VISPARK curriculum, including high-quality animations, interactive courseware, and a proven technology system that has served more than 500,000 students worldwide. We believe that Spark Education's R&D budget is more than the total amount invested by the entire Vietnamese edtech market. By partnering with Spark Education, Everest gains access to the most engaging learning platform with a track record of scaling successfully." "We are proud to enter into this partnership with Everest Education, who has already established a strong reputation among Vietnamese families for amazing international learning outcomes through their learning centers and online small classes. They will help us localize our global offering for the unique needs of Vietnamese students, and we look forward to empowering K12 students throughout the country together." Wilson Li, CSO & CFO of Spark Education Group About Spark Education Group Founded in 2017, Spark Education Group is headquartered in Singapore. Its portfolio of education brands aims to combine research-based pedagogy with technology to improve the learning experience and outcomes for students. It was recently awarded "Best Interactive Learning Experience" at EdTech Asia in 2022.

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