ONLINE EDUCATION

Esme Learning Solutions Launches Free Online Class to Coach Educators on Delivering Better Online Learning

prnewswire | October 29, 2020

Online learning pioneers, Esme Learning Solutions, has today launched a new, free online course designed to help education professionals deliver effective, more engaging online teaching. This course is designed for instructors and professors in primary through higher education, or those in corporate learning who are tasked with teaching their courses in a live, virtual environment.

The new "Driving Engagement in Virtual Courses" offers educators a peek behind the curtain of Esme Learning's powerful cognitive science-based learning approach. While it is only a portion of the full digitally native Esme Learning experience, this course will offer advice for people teaching live sessions via video conferencing platforms who are looking for tools and techniques to make their sessions more engaging for students. Attendees will benefit from experiencing the optimized digital learning approach pioneered by Esme Learning and practical guidance about driving student engagement, implementing remote learning models, and designing lesson-planning templates for courses of various lengths. The course will also cover topics such as the effect of cognitive load in virtual learning and understanding the challenges and benefits for students learning online.
Beth Porter, managing director of Esme Learning Solutions said:
"The COVID pandemic has accelerated the need for high-quality online teaching and learning. We appreciate that the teaching profession has had to adapt quickly under tremendous pressure, and we want to help. Our goal is to support educators as they navigate this new world by sharing a little of our secret playbook of cognitive science techniques to help improve the digital learning experience for all."
Esme Learning, formed in 2019 by digital learning pioneers Beth Porter (edX, Pearson) and David Shrier (Oxford, MIT), delivers career transforming online executive education in partnership with leading universities.

Esme Learning uses an AI-enabled digital learning system, and leverages dozens of lessons from cognitive and neuroscience, to deliver an immersive and highly applied collaborative learning experience.

Through Esme Learning courses, executives gain technical skills and learn business best practices from leading experts on wide-ranging topics, such as cybersecurity and fintech. By harnessing the collective intelligence of teams who engage in online simulations of real-world scenarios, Esme Learning prepares executives for the skills needed to drive a culture of innovation. 
In April 2020 Esme Learning launched Oxford Cyber Futures with the University of Oxford and Mastercard—an online educational programme that incorporated a novel cyberdefence simulation as part of a globally delivered pilot.

Spotlight

Newer technology like Virtual Reality (VR) has the potential of becoming the next big enabler in the Learning & Development and eLearning industry.Due to the growing use cases and applications of VR for numerous industries. Following the trend, the scenario of education and learning technology has changed.The synergy of learning and Virtual reality will create a better experience by providing a simulated environment through visuals.Organizations from various industries are always looking to improve standard methods of training and development for their workforces; ensuring minimum errors resulting in improved efficiency and productivity. Virtual reality enables institutions and organization with different requirements to create content and attract the learner’s attention.

Spotlight

Newer technology like Virtual Reality (VR) has the potential of becoming the next big enabler in the Learning & Development and eLearning industry.Due to the growing use cases and applications of VR for numerous industries. Following the trend, the scenario of education and learning technology has changed.The synergy of learning and Virtual reality will create a better experience by providing a simulated environment through visuals.Organizations from various industries are always looking to improve standard methods of training and development for their workforces; ensuring minimum errors resulting in improved efficiency and productivity. Virtual reality enables institutions and organization with different requirements to create content and attract the learner’s attention.

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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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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science Executive Education and TalentSprint to create global DevOps experts

TalentSprint | July 25, 2022

TalentSprint, a global edtech company and a market leader in transformational deeptech programs, today announced a multi-year and multi-program partnership with Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) School of Computer Science (SCS), Executive & Professional Education – World’s #1 Computer Science School. The Advanced Certificate Program in DevOps, first to be launched under this partnership, aims at fulfilling a growing need for new-age DevOps professionals in the APAC region. Most impacted by digital transformation, industries like BFSI, IT, Healthcare, Retail, Media and Entertainment are creating enormous opportunities for DevOps specialists globally. These market dynamics positions CMU’s well-researched Advanced Certificate Program in DevOps as a significant addition in the upskilling journey of the aspirants. “This partnership has further strengthened our presence in the United States. CMU’s School of Computer Science is iconic and this association is a validation of our success in path-breaking programs with leading institutes and global tech organizations in India and the US. Our first program with CMU aims at creating world-class DevOps specialists.” Santanu Paul, CEO of TalentSprint. Commenting on the launch, Ram Konduru, Director of Executive Education at the CMU-SCS said, “We were exploring international markets like India, Middle East and Southeast Asian markets that have a growing demand for tech professionals. We wanted to collaborate with a serious edtech company that could align with our core competencies and help us reach out to new geographies. We are happy to announce our association with TalentSprint and launch our first program in DevOps.” The Advanced Certificate Program in DevOps will help participants with in-depth knowledge of various new-age DevOps tools. The 6-month high-impact program, designed and taught by the expert faculty of CMU-SCS, who are globally renowned thought leaders in DevOps such as Professor Len Bass, and research scientists Hasan Yassar and Joseph Yankel. On successful completion, participants will receive CMU’s globally recognized certificate. The program will be delivered on TalentSprint’s digital platform ipearl.ai. Applications for this program are open.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY, ONLINE EDUCATION

Google for Education Partners with Instructure to Simplify Integration and Extend Digital Classroom Capabilities

Instructure | September 22, 2022

Instructure, the maker of Elevate Data Sync, has entered into an agreement with their partner, Google, that bridges the integration gap for Google Classroom users with a robust and comprehensive solution. With the integration, educational institutions can now keep course data and rosters synchronized between their student information systems (SIS or MIS) and Google Classroom. This means that educators no longer must set up their courses manually or have students use a join code. Teachers can now simply click "accept" when their course is automatically created.Instructure, the maker of Elevate Data Sync, has entered into an agreement with their partner, Google, that bridges the integration gap for Google Classroom users with a robust and comprehensive solution. With the integration, educational institutions can now keep course data and rosters synchronized between their student information systems (SIS or MIS) and Google Classroom. This means that educators no longer must set up their courses manually or have students use a join code. Teachers can now simply click "accept" when their course is automatically created. Elevate Data Sync, Instructure's standards-based interoperability solution that enables secure sharing of student, staff and learning data, will create classes with all the right students ahead of the first day of school and keep them updated if a student changes classes. This automated and adaptable integration can hopefully save teachers, students and the professionals who support them significant amounts of time. Through our partnership with Elevate Data Sync by Instructure, we have added the ability to sync the rosters from your student information system to Classroom, so classes can be automatically created and updated, launching in 15 countries," said Alisa Sommer, head of edtech partnerships at Google. "Education data integration is a complex problem, so we wanted an enterprise-class partner with deep expertise and a cloud-based platform that supports multiple standards and integration methods. "This partnership with Google Classroom is an ideal example of how Instructure's Learning Platform empowers partners and institutions to innovate and integrate faster,We're proud to be able to work with Google to find a solution that makes the job of educators easier while maintaining the highest level of privacy and security for student data." Kevin Turco, vice president of product management at Instructure Schools with Google Workspace for Education Plus that are interested in trying out the integration can sign up for the beta and can find onboarding help on Instructure's Community page. Schools can request more information about Google Workspace for Education Plus if they don't have a subscription already. Once signed up for the beta, admins will be able to integrate class lists and timetables (rosters) directly with most major student information systems or can opt to connect using OneRoster or CSV files. The solution is available and localized in Australia, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. ABOUT INSTRUCTURE Instructure ( NYSE: INST) is an education technology company dedicated to elevating student success, amplifying the power of teaching, and inspiring everyone to learn together. Today the Instructure Learning Platform supports tens of millions of educators and learners around the world.

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