Higher ed commish: Colleges should adapt to personalized system

The Herald-Tribune | April 17, 2019

Higher ed commish: Colleges should adapt to personalized system
The one-size-fits-all system for delivering higher education should be molded to a more personalized approach, Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers said recently."The best opportunity for increasing higher education's value proposition is by building a system around the learner — both recent high school graduates and returning adults — that prepares them for a dynamic economy," she told more than 80 people gathered in the Indiana Statehouse to hear her annual State of Higher Education address."Our system of higher education must adapt to today's learners by offering more personalized, more 'just in time' and more continuous learning," she said.There shouldn't be a policy and funding tug of war between providing Hoosiers with more education and those seeking more training, Lubbers said."I'd like to make a case for why pitting these against each other, or more accurately talking about them in separate ways, is counterproductive to our need to align strategies and design career pathways," Lubbers said.She noted that her state commission has for five years focused on ways to serve working-age adults.

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Microsoft’s mission to empower every student on the planet to achieve more is a commitment to do more to support students, and educators from K-Career to be ready to innovate and create in an increasingly digital world. Our focus extends to ensure we not only grow the number of students equipped with technology skills, but also do more to grow student diversity and fuel careers in technology.

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CORPORATE EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Skillsoft to Acquire Codecademy, a Leading Platform for Learning High-Demand Technical Skills

Skillsoft | December 23, 2021

Skillsoft, a global leader in corporate digital learning, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Codecademy, a leading online learning platform for technical skills, for approximately $525 million in cash and stock. Codecademy is an innovative and popular learning platform providing high-demand technical skills to approximately 40 million registered learners in nearly every country worldwide. The platform offers interactive, self-paced courses and hands-on learning in 14 programming languages across multiple domains such as application development, data science, cloud and cybersecurity. In addition, the Codecademy platform can rapidly expand to deliver new skills at scale, making it highly adaptable to the evolving technical needs of learners and their employers. Codecademy, which was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in New York, is led by a proven entrepreneurial team that has built one of the most admired technical skills learning platforms in the industry. “Codecademy will significantly expand Skillsoft’s capabilities in the high-growth Tech & Dev segment. Strategic acquisitions are an important part of our growth strategy. We acquired virtual instructor-led training capabilities with Global Knowledge and coaching with Pluma earlier this year. With the addition of Codecademy’s innovative capabilities, we will create an even more immersive online learning experience. When we combine Skillsoft’s enterprise customer base of more than 12,000 corporate customers and over 46 million learners with Codecademy’s 40 million learners, sophisticated digital marketing capability and influential brand, we expect to unlock significant revenue synergies.” Jeffrey R. Tarr, Chief Executive Officer of Skillsoft Following the close of the transaction, the Codecademy team will join Skillsoft to help further build out the leading technical skills training solution for learners globally. “Since our founding, Codecademy has been focused on empowering our learners to build inspiring careers in technology,” said Zach Sims, founder and CEO of Codecademy. “We have helped tens of millions of people around the world learn new technology skills. Together with Skillsoft, we will have the opportunity to rapidly increase the size of our content library and scale Codecademy across the millions of learners and thousands of companies – including approximately 75% of the Fortune 1000 – that work with Skillsoft worldwide. With additional resources and opportunities to drive growth, we are excited to embark on this important next chapter.” Strategic Rationale and Benefits Creates a Leading Technology & Developer Offering. Adding Codecademy’s expertise in 14 programming languages across multiple domains to Skillsoft’s existing technical skills offering will create a leader in the high-demand, high-growth Tech & Dev segment. In addition, the capability of the Codecademy platform to rapidly add new programming languages and technical skills at scale will further enhance Skillsoft’s ability to meet the evolving demands of learners worldwide as it helps organizations address the critical technical skills gap. Expands Immersive Platform with New Ways of Learning. Skillsoft has already assembled an expansive set of learning options, including virtual instructor-led training, coaching, micro videos, audio, books, bootcamps, live events, assessments and badges. Together with Codecademy’s interactive, self-paced courses and hands-on learning, Skillsoft will be able to deliver even more immersive experiences through its AI-driven platform, Percipio. Creates Substantial Cross-Selling and Upselling Opportunities by Adding a Strong Brand and Powerful Digital Sales and Marketing Engine to Global Enterprise Sales Force. The acquisition will bring together Codecademy’s sophisticated direct-to-learner digital sales and marketing engine and Skillsoft’s enterprise sales organization, creating new opportunities to upsell and cross-sell across each company’s customer base, which is expected to drive customer growth and revenue synergies. Expected to Be Significantly Accretive to Bookings and Revenue Growth Immediately Upon Closing. Codecademy is expected to deliver approximately $47 million in bookings and approximately $42 million in revenue for the calendar year ended December 31, 2021, up 23% and 31%, respectively, over the prior year. Codecademy is entirely a SaaS business and is expected to deliver gross margins of more than 85% in 2021 and be accretive to Skillsoft’s gross margin immediately upon closing. Codecademy is investing to fuel growth and, accordingly, is expected to generate negative EBITDA of approximately $20 million in 2021. Skillsoft expects it will accelerate Codecademy’s growth in its first year of ownership and that the acquisition will be accretive to EBITDA over the long term. About Codecademy Codecademy is a leading online learning platform for technical skills, empowering approximately 40 million people worldwide to lead inspiring careers in technology. Codecademy’s innovative, scalable approach to online coding education makes it possible for anyone to master the skills needed to succeed in our tech-enabled workforce. Since 2011, learners from more than 150 countries have accessed Codecademy’s extensive course offerings on web development, data science, cybersecurity, and more, as well as in-demand programming languages like Python, CSS, and JavaScript. In addition to helping individuals unlock the full power of technology, Codecademy for Business supports companies like General Motors and Kayak as they train and upskill their teams for the future. Codecademy is headquartered in New York City. About Skillsoft Skillsoft is a global leader in corporate digital learning, focused on transforming today’s workforce for tomorrow’s economy. The Company provides enterprise learning solutions designed to prepare organizations for the future of work, overcome critical skill gaps, drive demonstrable behavior-change, and unlock the potential in their people. Skillsoft offers a comprehensive suite of premium, original, and authorized partner content, including one of the broadest and deepest libraries of leadership & business skills, technology & developer, and compliance curricula. With access to a broad spectrum of learning options (including video, audio, books, bootcamps, live events, and practice labs), organizations can meaningfully increase learner engagement and retention. Skillsoft’s offerings are delivered through Percipio, its award-winning, AI-driven, immersive learning platform purpose built to make learning easier, more accessible, and more effective.

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Georgia Power launches interactive video series to cover STEM energy topics at home

Georgia Power | July 24, 2020

For parents looking for new ways to help keep children learning while outside of the classroom this summer, Georgia Power's education team has created a series of interactive videos that allow students to discover science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through activities at home. The videos cover a variety of STEM energy topics with hands-on activities requiring only a few basic supplies, most of which can be found around the house."These videos are another way to engage students at home to explore STEM concepts," said Lisa Olens, Georgia Power Education Manager. "The activities are designed to help make it exciting and fun for students to learn about the transformation of energy by building a balloon rocket or learn about solar energy by making s'mores in a simple sun-powered oven. There are many other topics and we hope students, parents and educators will find these videos helpful as they look for fun educational activities that can be done from home."Learning Power, Georgia Power's signature education program, is proud to partner with Georgia educators to electrify classrooms with lessons on energy and energy efficiency. Since its inception in 2011, Learning Power has engaged 790,000+ students across Georgia.

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Akebia Therapeutics Launches AkebiaShares, a Peer-to-Peer Educational Program Series for the Renal Community

Akebia Therapeutics | June 22, 2020

Akebia Therapeutics®, Inc. (Nasdaq: AKBA), a biopharmaceutical company with the purpose to better the lives of people impacted by kidney disease, today announced the launch of AkebiaShares, a peer-to-peer educational program series for the kidney community to virtually connect and to support one another and patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through virtual discussions and events, AkebiaShares aims to bring together kidney professionals who can share information and best practices on topics related to providing continuous care to patients.The first AkebiaShares educational session is a virtual panel discussion for kidney professionals about CKD patient care in the COVID-19 environment. The virtual panel discussion will take place on Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. ET.The discussion will be moderated by Richard J. Lund, M.D., a nephrologist at Omaha Nephrology, P.C. and Jessianna Saville, MS, RDN, CSR, LD, CLT, a renal dietitian and founder of The Kidney RD.The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a significant public health challenge. The panel participants will share their experiences and discuss the evolving ways kidney patient care teams engage with and support patients since COVID-19 has emerged. Specifically, the participants plan to cover mitigation strategies for reducing transmission of COVID-19 between patients and providers, telehealth best practices and interest among patients in home therapies modalities.

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Spotlight

Microsoft’s mission to empower every student on the planet to achieve more is a commitment to do more to support students, and educators from K-Career to be ready to innovate and create in an increasingly digital world. Our focus extends to ensure we not only grow the number of students equipped with technology skills, but also do more to grow student diversity and fuel careers in technology.