Ed Dept ends competency-based education experiments

educationdive | December 17, 2019

The U.S. Department of Education is ending experiments that allowed participating colleges with competency-based education (CBE) programs to receive federal aid, according to an agency letter obtained by Education Dive. Launched in 2014, the experiments waived federal aid rules for some colleges with CBE programs, which allow students to complete coursework mostly at their own pace instead of on a fixed schedule. The aim was to collect data to inform policy decisions on CBE. Inside Higher Ed first reported the Ed Department was halting the experiments.

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K to 12 graduates will be ready to be employed in various industries. Education Secretary Armin Luistro earlier said that "the K to 12 program would like to ensure that even if they don't choose to go to college, they finish studying what is basic."

Spotlight

K to 12 graduates will be ready to be employed in various industries. Education Secretary Armin Luistro earlier said that "the K to 12 program would like to ensure that even if they don't choose to go to college, they finish studying what is basic."

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Spark Education Group wins Best Interactive Learning Experience award at EdTech Asia Summit

Spark Education Group | October 31, 2022

Spark Education Group, an innovator in global online education and the parent company of VISPARK and Allschool, won the "Best Interactive Learning Experience" award at the EdTech Asia Summit. The premiere EdTech conference took place at the Raffles Convention Centre in Singapore, discussing emerging trends in learning and innovation in education. "We are thrilled that Spark Education Group is recognized for providing interactive learning experiences through our VISPARK and Allschool platforms. We have always believed that the combination of a research-based curriculum designed by expert pedagogues, imaginative designers and technologists, provides the best learning experiences and educational outcomes for children. This award marks that achievement and celebrates the tremendous effort by our team of best-in-class educators," said Mr Xiaonan Wang, co-founder of Spark Education Group, Head of South East Asia Region. Spark Education Group was founded by parents hoping to improve learning experiences and achieve superior educational outcomes for their children by combining technology and education. Headquartered in Singapore, the company introduced two new brands, VISPARK and Allschool, this year for Singapore, US and other international markets. VISPARK VISPARK is an online education provider of enrichment learning programs. Its flagship program, Spark Math, offers online classes taught by certified teachers using innovative and interactive courseware. It aims to provide a fun and rewarding learning experience and improve student's academic outcomes.Its flagship product, Spark Math, is aligned with the Ministry of Education (MOE) Singapore's Math curriculum and the United States Common Core State Standards. The program uses technology to epitomise Singapore Math's concrete, pictorial and abstract approach to technology. Interactive hands-on learning, animated content, gamified exercises and differentiated pacing combined with live instruction by certified teachers, ensures Spark Math students are more engaged, motivated, and achieve better academic results. In the recent Gifted Education Program Screening test conducted in Singapore, 87.5% of Spark Math students passed the test, which is more than 8 times the pass rate of Singapore's national average. Allschool Allschool is an innovative online platform connecting educators and students around the world. With award-winning, purpose-built teaching and learning technologies, Allschool empowers teachers to create and deliver uniquely interactive classes across a wide variety of subjects and topics. Gamified and interactive classes such as Virtual Escape room sessions and Dinosaur explorations are amongst some of its most subscribed classes. On Allschool, parents and students can find hundreds of classes offered by teachers from around the world. With thousands of students attending Allschool classes, teachers can use Classpod, another Spark Education Group product, to easily administer and host small-group, interactive classes. With PowerCourse, our proprietary courseware creation software, educators can easily and efficiently create interactive course content that improves engagement and learning experiences for their students. The platform has received positive reviews with over 97% from users who attended interactive classes. Allschool continues to enhance learning experiences with interactive class offerings in a variety of topics and formats to enable educators and connect them with students around the world. "We are honored to give Spark Education Group this year's award for Best Interactive Learning Experience. It is apparent their products, including VISPARK and Allschool, are designed to actively engage and educate their students. By merging pedagogical expertise with imaginative design and interaction, educators are enabled to achieve quality learning outcomes. We look forward to seeing what other innovation Spark will bring to market in the years ahead." Michael Michalec, the Managing Director at EdTech Asia Spark Education Group is committed to the goal of improving learning experiences and outcomes for students. The group continues to invest in developing expertise and capabilities to stay at the forefront of educational technology development, continuing to experiment and innovate, to inspire a passion for learning and igniting lifelong growth. About Spark Education Group Headquartered in Singapore, Spark Education Group was founded in 2017 by a father who saw the challenges his son faced within a traditional learning environment. He believed that every generation should be better than the last, and that we should work to make the world a better place, especially in making education better for children in the coming generations. Spark Education aims to create the next generation of e-learning through extensive research-based curriculums designed by expert pedagogues. Our products centre around the belief that technology can improve the learning experience and achieve better educational outcomes compared to traditional classroom settings.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Penda Learning Poised to Expand Its Game-Based, Standards-Aligned Science Assessments

Penda Learning | November 16, 2022

Penda Learning, a Learning 2020 company, announced today that it has finalized an agreement with Scantron for the use of more than 14,500 assessment items in 11 assessment banks that span all science disciplines. These items will be used to expand the assessments currently available with Penda Science — a game-based science curriculum for grades 3–8, physical science, environmental science, and biology. — to include all NGSS performance expectations and state-specific science standards. Unlike traditional assessments, Penda Science interactive assessments challenge students to achieve high scores that earn them points to unlock virtual worlds, customize their avatars, and more. Teachers and administrators can use the line item analysis data to pinpoint learning gaps and personalize instruction within the Penda Science platform for small groups and individuals to help students achieve science mastery. "This agreement will dramatically accelerate the development of comprehensive assessments within Penda Science. High-quality, validated assessments are critical for teachers to make informed decisions about instruction and intervention in order to support science learning success for all students. We are excited to be able to offer students a more interactive and engaging assessment experience and educators the reliable data they need." Brad Baird, President/CEO of Learning 2020 The new assessment development is slated to be completed by April 2023. Assessments will be available for diagnostic, formative, and summative purposes. Also new to the Penda assessment suite will be a "quick check" assessment for teachers to use before, during, or after a unit to gauge student learning in order to plan or modify instruction to align with student knowledge. About Learning 2020 Learning 2020, parent company to Penda Learning, is dedicated to identifying pressing, unfilled needs within the K-12 education market and developing technology solutions that solve these challenges in innovative and cost-effective ways that will positively impact teaching and learning. Formed in early 2019 by Brad Baird and Bill Tudor, experienced education technology entrepreneurs, Learning 2020's current focus is on ensuring all students have access to high-quality STEM instruction whether learning at home or in school.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Learning Pool Introduces Global AI-Based Skills Solution

Learning Pool | October 17, 2022

Learning Pool, the award-winning learning technologies company, has announced the launch of a major new product ahead of its 14th annual Learning Pool Live user conference.The release will leverage the know-how of People-Analytix, a Switzerland-based pioneer in AI-powered skills technology that was recently acquired by Learning Pool. The shift to put skills at the center of Learning Pool's technology offering is a wider reflection of the most profound change we've seen in learning technologies in recent times. "Every global enterprise is struggling to attract and retain skilled employees, and the widening skills gaps that are stopping businesses from growing at the pace they desire are apparent in every boardroom conversation,Learning Pool's acquisition of People-Analytix, and the subsequent advancements it will bring to our platform, means that we can now give customers the power to automatically address skills gaps as they appear. It is a tremendously exciting technology and a fundamental component in our wider mission to support talent development in creating extraordinary performers." Ben Betts, Learning Pool CEO Learning Pool notes that analysts and market commentators are keen to point out that the pivot to skills is not a temporary fad but rather a fundamental shift in the way we think about talent and development.According to Gartner, "Skills are fast becoming the main talent-related currency in terms of hiring, workforce planning and optimization, career development, talent marketplaces and learning." The World Economic Forum predicts that, by 2025, as many as 50% of all workers will need reskilling.[2] To address this global issue, skills development can no longer be satisfied by being simply reactive. Fosway research shows that skills are a critical strategic priority for organizations. However, only 20% of learning professionals say they are very effective at upskilling and reskilling," Fiona Leteney, senior analyst at Fosway Group, said. Both organizational agility and resilience are dependent on developing the right skills at pace, Learning Pool's acquisition of People-Analytix significantly strengthens its skills capabilities to address those needs. The latest release will form a key part of the Learning Pool platform; customers will use it to assess the current skills within their organization, plan for the future and close the gap through Learning Pool's platform and content libraries all in a single solution. Our latest release is powered by the incredible AI that People-Analytix and their partners have been developing over the better part of the past decade," Betts said. "The work the team have done has been lauded as one of the smartest 'skill cloud' executions available in the market today, and that's been backed up with real-world success stories. Taking a highly user-centric approach that is unique in the marketplace, the product announcement includes: A unique personal skills profile. From the outset, each user will have a unique and personal skills profile, fully capable of recommending the next best step for their development, based on up-to-date market data summarized into a seamless and automated experience. A market-leading skills ontology, providing a categorization of skills that creates a common language, defining the aspects of a specific job rather than relying on blanket terms and descriptions. Other providers in the industry use more limited methods of taxonomy, essentially hardcoding a hierarchy of jobs or competencies into their products, putting additional pressure on learning and development teams while inevitably becoming an outdated, poor reflection of how people do their jobs. External employment marketplace data updated daily to help both workers and administrators understand the skills that are in highest demand/shortest supply and to keep pace with the rapidly changing demands of global workplaces. A range of new learning experience types, including gig projects, internal mobility, mentorships and social learning opportunities, to broaden the methods by which employees can enhance their skill profiles. Updated and personalized learning recommendations, giving learners the best resources, social interactions and learning experiences to improve the most in-demand skills. Users can reskill or upskill using different pathways and different methods of learning. A comprehensive skills gap analysis tool, allowing managers to view the current skills within their team, plus the potential for staff members to upskill to fill new or emerging needs. In addition to benefiting from People-Analytix technology, Learning Pool will be strengthening its ranks of skills and data experts, led by Christoph Küffer, co-founder and CEO of People-Analytix, who joins the Learning Pool management team. We are excited to take our shared passion for innovation and customer centricity forward to build the future of enterprise learning, Küffer said. Current skills solutions in the market use relatively basic taxonomy not reflecting the current market developments. At the heart of our solution is a unique AI-powered ontology built over 10 years with human guidance. This sets us apart and is why it has the power to revolutionize how organizations manage their approach. Reporting around skills and skills progress can be used for organizational planning and developing and measuring learning and development strategies, making a powerful impact on business goals. Participants at Learning Pool Live will be able to share in the announcement, get hands-on with the technology and speak to the wider team. Last-minute tickets are available to join industry pioneers and hundreds of peers for a day of innovation, idea sharing and best practice. About Learning Pool Learning Pool creates learning experiences that deliver extraordinary outcomes for workplaces investing in the performance and skills of their people. Global organizations across dozens of industries choose Learning Pool for its innovative learning platform, which combines integrated technology and adaptive content to produce actionable insight into every learner's performance readiness. The company's passion for learning and commitment to data-driven outcomes is why they stay.Learning Pool is used in more than 40 languages by learners around the world. Its solutions easily integrate with the most used enterprise technology stacks. And its world-class customer experience ensures that L&D, HR and compliance teams can move beyond discussing learning as a cost center to harnessing its unique ability to produce a highly skilled workforce, new competitive advantages and an organization prepared for whatever the future might bring. Wherever you find ambitious workplaces investing in their people, you'll find Learning Pool.

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