COVID-19 Is Accelerating the Digital Blending of Working and Learning

edsurge | June 20, 2020

In the last few months the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world and triggered an economic plunge in the U.S. that is now officially a recession. Even before this crisis, concerns were rising about a potential loss of jobs and the rising demand for digital skills due to technologies such as automation and AI. Now that potential is even greater, since historically recessions tend to accelerate automation and the long-term loss of jobs in routine occupations. And because of social distancing, we find ourselves living in world that is even more digital–and the evidence of that shift is all around us. Knowledge work has moved online as professionals work remotely. E-commerce purchases of all types have surged. Restaurants have rapidly shifted to online and mobile ordering, and are speeding up the deployment of digital kiosks that replace human workers. Retailers such as The Gap are accelerating the adoption of robots in their warehouses.

Spotlight

New Virtual Reality solution for the Special Education Classroom, Inclusive Technology Introduces Inclusive ClassVR.Inclusive ClassVR includes four headsets housed in a bespoke storage and charging case, together with an easy to use Teacher Portal. With access to hundreds of curriculum aligned, virtual and augmented reality resources, Inclusive ClassVR has been specifically designed to educate, motivate and raise engagement for students of all ages and abilities. It's affordable, too.

Spotlight

New Virtual Reality solution for the Special Education Classroom, Inclusive Technology Introduces Inclusive ClassVR.Inclusive ClassVR includes four headsets housed in a bespoke storage and charging case, together with an easy to use Teacher Portal. With access to hundreds of curriculum aligned, virtual and augmented reality resources, Inclusive ClassVR has been specifically designed to educate, motivate and raise engagement for students of all ages and abilities. It's affordable, too.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Optii Solutions Launches New Learning Center Experience

Optii Solutions | October 27, 2022

Optii Solutions, the leading cloud-based hotel operations software, announced today that it has launched a learning center with enhanced usability, improved search, and content designed for on-the-job learning. Almost every department and member of the operations team comes in contact with some aspect of Optii’s hotel operations platform. It was therefore important to ensure that educational content and accessibility works for a range of roles, cultures, and working environments. Optii’s Learning Center puts search at the forefront to allow users to access information quickly and on any device. Browsable content is organized to be user-centric and mirror common tasks and functions of any given role within a hotel operations team. Optii prioritizes recruitment from hospitality, and specifically housekeeping and operations. This ensures that the company maintains a close connection and understanding of all levels of hotel operations. While this knowledge is critical to creating a user-centric technology experience, it also serves to ensure that educational information is developed and presented in a quick and effective manner. Shelley Snyman, Director of Operations, Optii Solutions,“In developing learning content for our customers, I always start from a point of putting myself in their shoes. Many of the questions or challenges that operations and housekeeping professionals have, I have experienced at some point during my time in housekeeping. This knowledge helps me develop and structure training material in a way that will help team members get their answers, get back to their task, and be successful.” “Customer success has always been a top priority for Optii. While critical, the impact of our solution goes beyond productivity gains, guest experience, and cost savings. Optii has become an indispensable tool for housekeeping and maintenance staff in their daily operation, and we are focused on ensuring their success. A lot of the value of Optii is downstream to that.” Katherine Grass, CEO, Optii Solutions About Optii Solutions Optii Solutions is a hotel operations solution that leverages smarter technologies such as artificial intelligence, analytics, messaging and mobility to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of housekeeping and service delivery departments.

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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. 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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

DetectedX Introduces ImageDx to Transform Image-Based Education at RSNA

DetectedX | November 29, 2022

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