CORPORATE EDUCATION AND TRAINING
From The Future | August 20, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new need for virtual learning. CEO of From the Future, Mike Christian, has written an educational eBook about the solutions and benefits that Virtual Reality can provide to students and educators. Christian goes into detail about the potential impact of immersive learning from the digitization of formal approaches to education, such as learning by doing, to gifting students and instructors with virtual superpowers.
How Virtual Reality Will Revolutionize Training and Education was written from a futurist's perspective. Christian draws on decades of experience creating virtual worlds and developing VR applications for training, therapy, and rehabilitation to clearly communicate the potential of this new medium. You will not only learn how VR will enhance training and education but also how it might hold the key to developing heightened intelligence.
"It takes quite a while, and quite a lot of iterations to create a mental model when you are trying to learn," says author and CEO Mike Christian. "In virtual reality, all of that is done for you. Education that takes weeks could take days, education that takes days could take hours, or even minutes."
According to Pew Research Center, the amount of individuals that were working from home before the COVID-19 outbreak was approximately 20%. That metric is now at 70%, with 36% of them reporting that they are choosing to not return to their place of work. This ever evolving environment around employment is just one example of why this eBook has become an invaluable tool.
About From The Future
From the Future creates custom, next generation VR applications with unlimited possibilities for sales, training, education, therapy, and more. FTF is a leader in developing highly engaging and interactive virtual reality software, and has been creating virtual environments for decades. Their latest experience is the DRIVE (Distributed Real-time Interactive Virtual Environment) platform and the Hololab Training system designed to deliver revolutionary efficiency and effectiveness in learning.
Infosys Foundation USA | August 18, 2021
Infosys Foundation USA, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to computer science (CS) and maker education across the U.S., announced today that it is adding four additional computer science modules for K-12 teachers to its digital learning platform, the Pathfinders Online Institute. Educators can now choose from over 30 unique courses and trainings geared to meet different skill-levels, grades and programming interests. The new offerings are meant to help ease teachers back into the classroom and STEM computer science learning loss after a year of remote and hybrid instruction.
According to the 2020 State of CS Report, 28 states recently passed new laws to promote computer science education but not all mandated funding for professional development for teachers. Additionally, a recent study by the Kapor Center that surveyed over 3,500 PreK-12 CS teachers found that over a quarter of respondents felt limited by their own subject matter expertise and expressed a need for low-cost computer science professional development. The Pathfinders Online Institute addresses these challenges by providing educators with access to computer science curricula, innovative professional development and first-of-its-kind streamable K-5 lessons for educators with no computer science background at no cost.
"Teachers have overcome insurmountable instructional challenges over this past pandemic year," said Kate Maloney, Executive Director, Infosys Foundation USA. "As they return to the classroom and seek to capture their students' imaginations, the Foundation is providing creative resources. This will help them bring leading edge computer science and making curricula to their classroom, so their students are equipped with the fundamental digital literacy required to succeed in a tech-driven world."
Infosys Foundation USA is partnering with CS is Elementary, Raspberry Pi and BirdBrain Technologies to offer these innovative learning modules that will help educators enhance their computational fluency. The modules include:
Kode5 with CS is Elementary (Grades K-5): Kode5 consists of a baseline computer science program for any school: a set of five on-demand courses that provide 20+ hours per grade of computer science education. Virtual co-teachers provide the instruction, while classroom teachersmeven those without experience, training, budget or special facilities manage and support students' experience.
Programming Essentials in Scratch in partnership with Raspberry Pi (Grades 4-8): In this six-part course, educators will receive an introduction to block-based programming within the Scratch environment.
Python and Robotics with the Finch Robot in partnership with BirdBrain Technologies (Grades 6-12): In this course, educators will be introduced to physical computing and learn how to use the Finch Robot across a variety of computer science concepts. The first 100 U.S. public and charter school teachers to apply will also receive one free Finch Robot 2.0.
Design, Build and Code a Rover with Raspberry Pi (Grades 8-12): In this six-part course, educators will learn to build a physical project using the Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller. The first 1,000 U.S. public and charter school teachers to apply will also receive a free Raspberry Pi Pico hardware kit.
"The Covid education crisis showed that we can teach K-5 computer science via distance learning if we keep students continuously engaged and provide expert virtual co-teachers," said John Pearce, Executive Director, CS is Elementary. "Kode5 courses are built upon this concept, enabling scalable baseline K-5 CS instruction for any child in any school, grade, classroom, or family."
"Robots are powerfully motivating CS learning tools that bring computer code to life, but they are most effectively used by teachers who are well-supported," said Tom Lauwers, Founder and CEO, BirdBrain Technologies LLC. "That is why we are so excited by this opportunity to offer educators a free course and robot with Infosys Foundation USA, to help teachers spark deep and joyful CS learning in their classrooms."
"Supporting computer science and maker educators is a critical part of our work," said Matt Richardson, Executive Director, Raspberry Pi Foundation North America. "We're delighted to collaborate with Infosys Foundation USA on these free courses and to help students use newly-acquired skills in order to solve problems that matter to them."
About Infosys Foundation USA
Infosys Foundation USA was established in 2015 with the mission of expanding computer science and maker education to K-12 students and teachers across the United States, with a specific focus on increasing access to underrepresented communities. The Foundation achieves impact through delivering professional development programs for teachers, partnering with leading nonprofits, and delivering innovative media campaigns that inspire everyone to be creators, not just consumers, of technology.
Bark Technologies | September 06, 2021
Online safety company Bark Technologies today announced the addition of Microsoft Teams to the list of platforms it monitors at schools nationwide. Bark is the latest company to offer this level of protection on the popular Teams platform.
Currently, Bark monitors more than 30 of today's most popular social media platforms and apps, as well as text messages, chats, emails, and Microsoft OneDrive files. Bark also monitors images, text within images, audio, and video that can be attached to Teams channels and chat messages as part of its suite of safety solutions. The addition of Teams monitoring in schools reinforces Bark's commitment to protecting more than 5.6 million children across the U.S.
Throughout the pandemic, Teams has been one of the most heavily relied-upon platforms for educational institutions, growing exponentially as schools switched to distance and hybrid learning. Even as students return to the classroom this fall, more than 230,000 educational institutions rely on Teams to communicate and collaborate online.
Using highly sophisticated AI, Bark detects and alerts families of concerning behaviors in a variety of categories, including cyberbullying, depression, suicidal ideation, violence, and online predation. Throughout the challenging months of 2020 — the hardest year for families in recent memory — Bark analyzed more than 2 billion online activities from teens and tweens across the U.S., noting a significant uptick in behaviors including self-harm and suicidal ideation. Kids faced a pandemic, social unrest, and virtual learning, and through it all, they relied heavily on online communication to stay connected with family and friends.
"With more than 100 million students currently using Microsoft Teams, there has never been a greater need to ensure their safety when communicating and collaborating on school platforms," said Brian Bason, CEO of Bark. "We are thrilled to add this extra layer of protection by adding Bark's monitoring services to Teams."
"We're happy to see companies like Bark joining the Microsoft Teams ecosystem and adding value by integrating their safety solutions with Teams Graph APIs," said
Yaron Hezroni, principal program manager for Teams Ecosystem at Microsoft. "The added safety measures Bark brings to Teams helps ensure that students are protected and in the best position to succeed."
Bark helps families manage and protect their children's digital lives. The award-winning service monitors 30+ of the most popular apps and social media platforms for signs of issues like cyberbullying, suicidal ideation, online predators, threats of violence, and more. Bark's web filtering and screen time management tools empower families to set healthy limits around the websites and apps their kids can access and when they can visit them.