Care-experienced students to be guaranteed university offers

STV | July 25, 2019

Potential students who have spent any time in care - regardless of how short - will be guaranteed an offer of an undergraduate place at all of Scotland's 18 universities if they achieve the entry qualifications under the new initiative to significantly increase the number of care-experienced people going onto higher education. Competition for university places means that many would-be students are not given offers to study even if applicants would meet standard entry requirements. However, the pledge agreed by all of Scotland's higher education institutions and announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will guarantee offers for care-experienced people, starting for those applying to start in 2020.Ms Sturgeon said: "I warmly welcome this commitment to guarantee a place at university for care-experienced students who meet the new entry requirements."Education is by far the most effective means we have of improving the life chances of our young people. I am firmly committed to widening access to higher education and ensuring that all learners, regardless of their background, have an equal chance of entering university.

Spotlight

According to a national survey conducted for North¬eastern Uni¬ver¬sity, although the majority of Americans think higher education is critical to success, 83% believe the country’s current system must innovate in order for it to remain competitive in a global leadership position.

Spotlight

According to a national survey conducted for North¬eastern Uni¬ver¬sity, although the majority of Americans think higher education is critical to success, 83% believe the country’s current system must innovate in order for it to remain competitive in a global leadership position.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

New Zealand Based EdTech Company WuKong Education Announced the Upgrade for Its Technological Interactive Exercise Product

WuKong Education | August 12, 2022

WuKong Education, a New Zealand based EdTech company, announced a new round of upgrades for its technological teaching assistant product "WuKong Interactive Exercise". Fully embodying WuKong's "7-step Learning Method", namely the seven key steps of "Previewing - Learning - Reviewing - Consolidating - Reflecting - Examing - Applying", the upgraded product effectively combines the process of "learning" and "practising" to strengthen students' learning effects with diversified, interesting and scientific learning forms, so that learners can firmly grasp what has been learnt and really enjoy the learning process. WuKong has initiated the research and development of its interactive exercise product in July 2021. In September 2021, the product was put into use in the graded reading courses of WuKong Chinese, a famous Chinese curriculum product under WuKong Education. In October 2021, it was applied to WuKong Math as well. Since the launch of the product, its functions experienced several rounds of upgrades and have been continuously optimized according to various learning and teaching needs. This round of upgrades further enriched the contents in the question bank. Furthermore, based on AI interaction, voice recognition and other technologies, in-class knowledge can be integrated into the lively and interesting interactive homework display page, so as to effectively satisfy students' personalised learning needs and after-class reviewing needs. The product can also meet the demands of 1-on-1 class, small class, large class and other classroom types, as well as students at different learning levels. On the other hand, the upgrade of interactive exercise product also provides convenience for teachers. Teachers from WuKong can leave feedback on the homework submitted by students in real time through the product's voice interaction function, which improves the efficiency of online teaching, shortens the process of homework feedback, and enables teachers and students to communicate more effectively after class. "Since 2019, our IT team has invested millions of funds in the research and development of technological platforms and data platforms. We have built the industry's leading teaching quality management system and intelligent learning situation tracking and analysing system. Based on the continuous expansion of the market and the increasing needs of our learners, we have developed a set of relatively mature teaching content systems and technology platforms to meet users' personalised learning needs." - Cicy, Chief Education Officer of WuKong, said during the London EdTech Week We believe that for the majority of parents today, the most precious thing is to nurture their children's interest in learning. WuKong hopes to fully stimulate their children's interest and thinking in learning by means of technological empowerment. As one of the world's most popular education technology companies, our expectation is to help children grow happily and wisely, and to be a trusted companion in the learning process for families around the world said Cicy. Mrs. Zhang, a Tsinghua University graduate who is currently teaching in WuKong Education, expressed her reflections on the upgraded product: the WuKong Interactive Exercise can customize the exercise layout, automatically distribute homework in the system. Once the students submitted their exercises, I can also receive instant notifications and provide them with real time voice with feedback, which is really convenient and makes me feel like I'm getting closer to my students! Practical cases of the integration of technology and education are not rare in recent years, and technological innovations have brought more possibilities to the online education industry. Under this background, more and more EdTech enterprises are injecting investments in their scientific and technological research and development, hoping to bring more intelligent education products and services to learners. WuKong Education is among this marching army as well.

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TALENT DEVELOPMENT

Orenda Education Merges With Think Together to Create Scalable School Improvement Nonprofit

Think Together | September 13, 2022

Think Together, one of California's largest nonprofits serving K-12 schools today announced it has completed the merger with Orenda Education, a top school improvement and professional development consultancy. Upon the close, the combined organization will serve more than 200,000 students across the state with more than $150 million in annual revenue. Moreover, the organization will be better positioned to rapidly scale their impact. "We're thrilled to bring our two organizations together in our combined efforts to improve student success and close the achievement gap,This merger is the natural evolution of Orenda's existing relationship with Think Together and solidifies our joint commitment to ensuring that the more than 2 million California students that are performing far below grade level have the support they need during the school day and beyond to succeed academically." Think Together Founder and CEO Randy Barth Over the past seven years, Think Together and Orenda have had an affiliate agreement in place while the full acquisition builds the long-term financial and operational capacities for Orenda to continue to scale. Orenda's work focuses on transformingeducation systems, either across a school district or by cohorts of schools, providing professional development to all levels of district staff, around a specific data-driven but people-centric school improvement model. Think Together partners with over 60 school districts and charter management organizations to provide more than 900 direct-to-student academic and enrichment programs at more than 450 school sites across California, serving more than 100,000 youth. Orenda Education works behind-the-scenes with school district leaders and educators to identify inequities in schools and then transform their systems to ensure all students have access to a premium education. "Think Together has always been an incredible partner, infusing the infrastructure needed to provide an efficient model for changing the odds for kids," said Orenda Education Founder and CEO Dr. Robin Avelar La Salle. "Our two models have always complemented each other but now, we can efficiently scale our vision for all students to receive the premium education they deserve." The acquisition comes as both organizations experience tremendous growth due in large part to new and renewed state investments in education to accelerate learning recovery efforts and provide educators with needed support amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. "Now more than ever, teachers, school leaders and administrators need to think outside the box to address the issues impacting students including socio-economic biases, social emotional learning, and more," added Barth. "Providing these much-needed supports to educators means districts and schools can provide the skills they need to teach, lead and counsel during and following a period of great disruption during the pandemic. Recently the U.S. Department of Education reported a dramatic decline in scores from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) known as the nation's scorecard. Two decades of growth for American students in reading and math were wiped away by just two years of pandemic-disrupted learning, according to national test scores released last week. And, the declines were much larger for students at lower performance levels, widening already-huge learning disparities between the country's high- and low-achievers. Orenda's approach to school improvement has proven to accelerate student outcomes, such as mastery of grade-level standards (measured by math and English language SBAC scores), improved A-G class completion rates, and improved graduation rates. They also provide administrative coaching, teaching strategies, and leadership clinics. To expand these services, Orenda was recently awarded a $4 million Education Innovation and Research grant by the U.S. Department of Education to digitize and distribute their school improvement approach through an online platform that is effective and highly scalable to schools and districts in any geography, and to those who require less in-person support. Think Together adds Orenda to their growing list of services that support student education in and around the school day. Think Together's flagship afterschool programs support students in underserved communities with homework help, enrichment, social-emotional learning and physical well-being, all to enable students to strive for college or a fulfilling career. To provide high-quality programs, Think Together partners with philanthropic organizations like the Joseph Drown Foundation. "Breaking down the barriers to opportunity, equity and access in education by keeping students and their success as the centered focus is one of the most meaningful investments for our future generations" said Alyssa Santino, Program Director of the Joseph Drown Foundation. "Ensuring the educators, leaders and structures around students are supported and inspired and effectively trained with research-based, proven and engaging strategies is imperative for thriving students and communities. We are pleased to partner with Think Together and Orenda Education as they excel in this space and continue to transform the trajectory of students and the schools they attend." Barth sees the combination of direct services to students through expanded and early learning, coupled with equity-based professional development, as an effective combination to supporting student achievement alongside their school district and charter partners. Dr. Paul Gothold, Superintendent of County Office of Education in San Diego agrees. His former district, Lynwood Unified School District, realized astonishing improvements when partnering with both Think Together and Orenda, including increasing graduation rates from 56% to 90.8%, and A-G college eligible rates from 18% to 53%. Orenda provides the technical expertise for true district turn-around. The systems approach and professional development modules to build staff capacity ensures all leaders have the tools and resources to provide a premium education for all students, said Gothold. "With Think Together's financial and operational support, Orenda is well positioned to continue providing much-needed education innovation to schools throughout the state and beyond. About Think Together For over 25 years Think Together has partnered with schools and communities to pursue educational equity and excellence for all kids. As a nonprofit organization, Think Together innovates, implements, and scales academic solutions that change the odds for hundreds of thousands of California students. Think Together's program areas include early learning, afterschool, school support services and leadership development for teachers and school administrators.

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ONLINE EDUCATION

Gurobi Launches Expert-Led Training to Help Users Get the Most from Mathematical Optimization

Gurobi Optimization | July 27, 2022

Gurobi Optimization, LLC, creator of the world’s fastest mathematical optimization solver, announced the launch of Gurobi Compass, its new expert-led training program designed to make the power of optimization more accessible to all.Because Gurobi’s user base now extends far beyond Operations Research professionals, Gurobi Compass aims to help every role have a successful and seamless user experience—across product owners, project managers, software developers, and IT professionals. The program utilizes hands-on workshops, live instruction, and on-demand videos to teach students in the format that best suits their needs. Dr. Kostja Siefen, head of Gurobi’s Technical Account Management team, explains, Every product and every project team is unique. That's why training can never be a one-size-fits-all program. And indeed, Gurobi Compass offers highly customized training packages, which are compiled after a complimentary listen-and-learn session where clients can express their specific needs and challenges. The following are just a few examples of topics Gurobi Compass covers to help all members of a team successfully navigate Gurobi’s products: Integration and deployment: The program’s trainers can teach users about the wide variety of options available for integrating Gurobi software components into their optimization solutions. Users will explore APIs, client/server separation, and flexible cloud and container deployments. Modeling techniques: Gurobi Compass can help users translate business problems and dilemmas into proper mathematical representations, which Gurobi can then quickly and easily solve. This training draws on a range of techniques to help modelers develop high-performance model generators that are less error-prone and use fewer lines of code. Performance tuning: For those who already have a working knowledge of mathematical modeling, Gurobi Compass’s performance tuning module can help users discover new approaches to improving model performance, so they can get the most out of Gurobi’s technology in the least amount of time. Each of these training modules is customizable, but Gurobi can also go a step further by creating bespoke models on the specific topics that matter most to a team. “Our Gurobi Compass course was the perfect mix of optimization theory and hands-on exercises. Attendees are now more able to think about our day-to-day work through the lens of optimization. The Gurobi trainers were knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly. We had a lot of fun!” -Members of Gambit Research tested out the program and said of the experience Each Gurobi Compass training module is designed for up to 150 participants, takes two to three hours to complete, and includes take-home exercises that allow users to immediately practice and apply what they’ve learned. Gurobi can even combine self-paced training on their learning platform with on-site, hands-on lessons for the most complete learning experience possible. To learn more about how Gurobi Compass can help your team get acquainted with the world’s most powerful solver, visit www.gurobi.com/products/gurobi-compass/. About Gurobi Optimization With Gurobi’s decision intelligence technology, you can make optimal business decisions in seconds. From workforce scheduling, portfolio management, and marketing optimization, to supply chain design, and everything in between, Gurobi identifies your optimal solution, out of trillions of possibilities. As the leader in decision intelligence, Gurobi delivers easy-to-integrate, full-featured software and best-in-class support, with an industry-leading 97% customer satisfaction rating. Founded in 2008, Gurobi has operations across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Over 2,500 global customers across 40+ industries run on Gurobi, including SAP, Air France, and the National Football League, as well as half of the Fortune 10 and 70% of top global tech companies

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