Businesswire | May 10, 2023
XPRIZE, the world’s leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges, hosts a virtual event today to celebrate the grand prize winner of the $1M Digital Learning Challenge, Adaptive Experimentation Accelerator from Raleigh, North Carolina, and showcase the technology developed by the challenge’s three finalist teams, including team Terracotta from Indiana University and team UpGrade by Carnegie Learning.
Launched in 2021, the Digital Learning Challenge incentivized teams to modernize, accelerate, and improve the technology and processes for evaluating and measuring effective learning and education. Using tools like AI methods, big data, and machine learning, teams sought to better understand the effectiveness of specific teaching techniques and practices, with the goal of providing substantial benefit for educators, parents, policymakers, researchers, and the tens of millions of Americans enrolled in formal education every year. The challenge is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the independent and nonpartisan statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education.
The three finalist teams participating in the Accelerate & Modernize: New Methods to Assess Student Learning Outcomes closing event include:
• Grand Prize Winner: Adaptive Experimentation Accelerator – Raleigh, North Carolina (Partnership between Intelligent Adaptive Interventions lab at University of Toronto, Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon, & North Carolina State University) o The Adaptive Experimentation Accelerator network aims to involve everyone in using experiments to enhance and personalize education. Our 'MOOClet' toolkit democratizes the contribution of ideas from many teachers, students, and scientists, then experimentally tests which ideas work for which students. Artificial Intelligence algorithms analyze data to adapt experiments in days vs months. This aims to test more ideas more quickly, and to use promising data to more rapidly get better approaches to students.
• Finalist: Terracotta – Bloomington, Indiana (Indiana University)
o Terracotta is an open source plugin to the Canvas learning management system, enabling researchers and teachers to conduct rigorous and responsible experimental studies on learning activities within a course site. Using Terracotta, the team was able to conduct over two-dozen mini-experiments across a variety of courses, ranging from 6th grade to college seniors, where each experiment used local materials and authentic teacher-created assessments.
• Finalist: UpGrade by Carnegie Learning – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
o UpGrade is a free, open-source platform that enables iterative experimental design and deployment of new learning experiences that compare the efficacy of different tools and resources—such as lesson content, interactive elements, videos, algorithms and more—during active student learning. Each experiment measures what works best for whom, advancing the way we understand student learning and engagement and enabling the rapid design, deployment and analysis of large scale studies, including but not limited to complex K-12 school environments.
The final round or demonstration phase of the competition required teams to replicate their experiments at least five times with three or more distinct learner demographics. Based on their demonstration performance, Adaptive Experimentation Accelerator receives the grand prize designation and $500,000, while runners-up Terracotta and UpGrade will each receive $125,000 prizes. The three teams previously shared a $250,000 prize when they were announced as finalists in September 2022.
During the closing event, each of the three teams will present their technology and how it works, followed by a discussion of lessons learned from the Digital Learning Challenge. With the Challenge now concluded, the teams will seek to work with partners across the education and technology sectors to scale the impact and implementation of their solutions.“Through their participation and success in the Digital Learning Challenge, each of these teams has helped make advancements in technology to improve the ways that educators teach and that students learn,” said IES director Dr. Mark Schneider. “These teams have laid the groundwork for a new phase of experiments of frequency, scope and scale not possible through traditional methods of education research, which will ultimately lead to better experiences and outcomes for all learners.”
In the initial pilot phase of the competition, 10 teams had six months to demonstrate the capabilities of their rapid, reproducible experiments in an accredited education institutional setting and then 30 days to launch a replication study with at least one unique learner demographic. A judging panel of education and technology experts reviewed the pilot study technical submissions and selected three teams to move on to the final round and ultimately designated the winner.“We are deeply proud of the achievements of the Digital Learning Challenge finalist teams, whose creativity and commitment to improving education outcomes through technology and experimentation will resonate far beyond the conclusion of the competition,” said XPRIZE Digital Learning Challenge Technical Lead Dr. Monique Golden.“We look forward to working with these teams to forge new partnerships that will ensure they can continue developing and refining their technologies and scale the impact of their solutions.”
The Digital Learning Challenge is part of XPRIZE’s Learning and Society domain which is committed to achieving a future where everyone, regardless of income, race, age, identity, gender, or geography, has access to learning experiences to reflect their unique capabilities, disposition, and aspirations.
XPRIZE is a global future-positive movement delivering truly radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. XPRIZE inspires and empowers a global community of problem-solvers to positively impact our world by crowdsourcing solutions through large-scale competitions, tackling the world’s grandest challenges in exploration, environment, and human equity.
Businesswire | May 11, 2023
PowerSchool ,the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education in North America, announced the Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) has selected PowerSchool Student Information System (SIS), as part of a tailored suite of solutions that also includes Ecollect Forms, as a critical component of PRDE’s efforts to modernize their legacy SIS across the entire territory.
“The incorporation of platforms such as PowerSchool will be a great step forward for our Department of Education,” said Eliezer Ramos Parés, Puerto Rico Secretary of Education. “It will be an efficient way to have visibility into issues related to our schools and the performance of our students. At the same time, it brings us closer to the school communities, giving parents and guardians access to data that will be of benefit to helping their children in matters related to school performance. It is a very helpful investment in public education.”
Through the implementation of PowerSchool SIS, PowerSchool will support PRDE with a solution that addresses their immediate needs, including scheduling, attendance, compliance reporting, data management, registration, grade management, and more.
PRDE’s adoption of the PowerSchool SIS is a key example of how districts, territories and states are utilizing available Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) and Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds to provide their students with the robust support needed to address opportunity and achievement gaps exacerbated by the global pandemic.
This new functionality will provide PRDE with more reliable and accurate information to gain a full picture of their students. PowerSchool and PRDE are striving to have implementation completed for the 2023/24 school year.
“We are proud to provide a modern and secure SIS solution for the Puerto Rico Department of Education that will play a critical role in the digital transformation of their K-12 infrastructure,” said Hardeep Gulati, CEO of PowerSchool. “We are confident that this implementation will meaningfully impact the educators and over 250,000 students in Puerto Rico.”
PowerSchool is the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education in North America. Its mission is to power the education ecosystem with unified technology that helps educators and students realize their full potential, in their way. PowerSchool connects students, teachers, administrators, and parents, with the shared goal of improving student outcomes. From the office to the classroom to the home, it helps schools and districts efficiently manage state reporting and related compliance, special education, finance, human resources, talent, registration, attendance, funding, learning, instruction, grading, assessments and analytics in one unified platform. PowerSchool supports over 50 million students globally and more than 15,000 customers, including more than 90 of the top 100 districts by student enrollment in the United States, and sells solutions in more than 90 countries.
PRnewswire | May 08, 2023
Anthology, a leading provider of education solutions that support the entire learner lifecycle, today announced its fourth annual Fix Your Content Day to highlight the need for more inclusive digital learning content. Anthology is inviting higher education institutions that use Anthology Ally to participate.
The objective of Fix Your Content Day is to engage colleges and universities globally to make meaningful change in the lives of all students and create more inclusive learning environments. By participating in the competition, higher ed institutions and instructors are doing their part to improve the accessibility of course materials and demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity.
"We look forward to participating in the 24-hour global competition each year, which challenges us to continue our journey in creating more inclusive digital learning content," said Coastal Pines Technical College Executive Vice President, Amanda Morris, the 2022 First Place Fix Your Content Day Global Winner. "While Fix Your Content Day is only once a year, our college and the Technical College System of Georgia collectively strives to improve the accessibility of course materials and serve as a champion for accessibility every day. Additionally, we enjoy the friendly competition with other colleges and encourage our faculty and staff to get involved. The challenge is a fun way to review our course content for quality and accessibility."
More than 1,500 institutions around the world use Anthology Ally to enhance digital content on their learning management systems (LMS). The result is better learning outcomes for students by improving the usability, readability, and quality of the digital materials in their courses.
"An estimated one billion people across the globe experience some sort of physical, visual, hearing, or cognitive disability. Employing solutions to create more accessible learning environments is imperative," said Anthology Chairman and CEO Jim Milton. "However, making content more accessible and providing alternative formats isn't just for a select group of students. Alternative formats generated by solutions like Anthology Ally provide greater opportunities for everyone to access the information they need in the way they want it. We are thrilled to see the enthusiasm of institutions and faculty participating in this global effort."
Anthology Ally empowers learners with the flexibility of choosing the most effective way to interact with digital content. By dynamically enhancing learning materials for student preferences and needs, it automatically provides alternative formats for course content, like audio files, translations, PDFs better formatted for mobile devices and more, all without manual intervention from the institution or instructor.
"While we've been actively supporting faculty and staff in centering inclusivity in their online courses for years, this will be our first year participating in Fix Your Content Day," said Dr. Hannah Digges Elliott, Senior Instructional Designer at Western Kentucky University. "We're excited about the opportunity to encourage a little competition among our faculty and staff and ultimately continue to highlight the importance of more accessible content."
"We're thrilled to be a part of such a global initiative that unites the higher education community around a friendly competition and highlights the critical need for accessible, inclusive, and equitable online learning environments," said Dr. Chris Campbell, Sub Dean of Learning Technology at Charles Sturt University in Australia.
"Fix Your Content Day highlights the importance of building equitable learning experiences," said Dr. Margaret Korosec, Dean of Online and Digital Education at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. "It's also a reminder to reflect on how learning experiences are received by students and how choice of access supports their requirements. Equitable access starts with our own awareness of what's possible and working to push the boundaries of what can be done in an accessible way."
Anthology offers the largest EdTech ecosystem on a global scale for education, recently combining with Blackboard to support more than 150 million users in 80 countries. With a mission to provide dynamic, data-informed experiences to the global education community, Anthology helps learners, leaders and educators achieve their goals through over 60 SaaS products and services designed to advance learning.