How to make school affordable for struggling families

TES | October 16, 2019

The “cost of the school day” – the impact that financial struggles can have on pupils and their families – is an idea that has moved to the forefront of many educators’ minds in recent years.
Today, Fife Council, one of Scotland’s biggest local authorities, revealed the advice it is giving to schools “to address these costs and help ease the burden on families”. Almost a quarter of children in Fife live in poverty, said education and children’s services committee convener Fay Sinclair, and it was “well documented that poverty can have a huge impact on children’s attainment in school”. The new advice, which Fife schools have helped to shape, includes the following:

Spotlight

Laziness is really an indicator of a student who is either disengaged or unmotivated or disconnected in some way. So how do we motivate or engage a student in the classroom so they don't present as lazy?

Spotlight

Laziness is really an indicator of a student who is either disengaged or unmotivated or disconnected in some way. So how do we motivate or engage a student in the classroom so they don't present as lazy?

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Verizon Explores the 5G Future of Learning at Arizona State University 5G Innovation Hub

Verizon | January 14, 2022

Verizon and Arizona State University are exploring how 5G can enable immersive educational experiences and transform the future of learning. To do this, Verizon has launched a 5G Innovation Hub at the University's Learning Futures Collaboratory, Studios and Emporium. Students, faculty, entrepreneurs, and corporate partners can now work together at the Hub to test and create 5G-powered educational experiences that are more inclusive, equitable and accessible. Digital equity is on the national agenda as leaders aim to address the digital divide, deepened during the pandemic. And in Arizona where as many as one million residents, including more than 200,000 students, do not have regular access to the internet, ASU has been instrumental in leading a series of initiatives aimed at surfacing solutions to help further close the digital divide. The first program to launch out of the 5G Innovation Hub at ASU will be “The Digital Equity Jam” sponsored by Verizon, AWS and Inseego. This program kicks off in early February 2022. Competing teams will develop use cases showcasing how Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband and mobile edge compute can be used to help bridge the digital divide. Focus areas will include health, climate, poverty, human rights and education. The winning team will receive project seed funding, access to intensive summer entrepreneurship training in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and VentureWell, and the opportunity to pitch their venture to CGI in fall 2022. “Working with ASU, we have an extraordinary opportunity to research and develop new 5G-enabled experiences that can improve remote learning and help bridge the digital divide. Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband’s super-fast speeds, high bandwidth and low latency can enhance applications ranging from immersive education to connected communities. By collaborating with ASU’s researchers, we hope to accelerate the innovation process and develop technology that will harness the full potential of 5G and edge compute.” Tami Erwin, Verizon Business CEO “We are in the most transformative technological moment since the early stages of the industrial revolution. And even with the social, political, and economic impacts that we are still learning to navigate as a society, there have been incredibly meaningful results from this use of technology,” said ASU President Michael Crow this morning during a keynote with Erwin at the Smart Region Summit. “Who gets educated is no longer socially stratified, we are able to unleash human creativity in ways not possible before…and so what these technologies that leverage broadband at the fastest speeds and most advanced level imaginable allow us to create is an environment in which the person, the learner, becomes emotionally connected in the story around the learning process itself. At ASU, we’ve become, with this next phase of our partnership with Verizon, the furthest at the tip of the spear to be empowered with technology and continue to improve the ways in which we learn, work and live.” Additionally, ASU plans to continue testing and deploying a variety of immersive educational experiences, powered by Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband and mobile edge compute. Students will be able to enter a Dreamscape pod where they can experience a Biology class in virtual reality (VR). Remote students will have access to a VR and web browser version. 5G use cases being explored will also include a career arcade using VR, where students can experience a day in the life of certain careers. 5G applications are also being tested for athlete performance analytics applications and virtual fighter pilot training. This engagement is part of Verizon’s broader strategy to partner with enterprises, startups, universities, national labs and government/military to explore how 5G can disrupt and transform nearly every industry. Verizon operates five 5G Labs in the U.S. and one in London that specialize in developing use cases in industries ranging from healthcare to public safety to entertainment. In addition, Verizon is collaborating with several customers to establish 5G Innovation Hubs on-premises as part of an ongoing initiative to co-innovate and create new 5G applications. Verizon's long-standing relationship with ASU includes collaboration and support for Verizon Innovative Learning, Verizon's award-winning education initiative addressing barriers to digital inclusion and a key program under Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement. The initiative includes bringing 5G to schools, enabling more robust, immersive learning experiences via technologies like artificial intelligence, 3D printing, augmented and virtual reality. Students leverage technology, social innovation and design thinking through a project-based online curriculum, developed by the J.Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at ASU, to positively impact their communities. Verizon's partnership with ASU also extends to Verizon Innovative Learning HQ, a free next-gen online education portal that includes content curated by ASU, among other academic institutions, that provides immersive AR and VR experiences paired with lesson plans. Through Citizen Verizon, the company is committed to providing 10 million youths with digital skills training by 2030, among other goals. About Verizon: Verizon Communications Inc. was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $128.3 billion in 2020. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

CYPHER LEARNING Releases New Features for LMS Products, Designed to Increase Learner Engagement

CYPHER LEARNING | October 08, 2021

CYPHER LEARNING, a leading provider of learning platforms for schools, universities and organizations around the world, today announced the release of several new features for its suite of learning management systems (LMSs). These additions are designed to make e-learning content even easier to track and consume increasing learner engagement and retention, and optimizing the learning experience. Relied on by millions of users across more than 20,000 organizations, CYPHER LEARNING is the only company offering platforms in all major e-learning sectors: with NEO LMS for schools and universities, MATRIX LMS for businesses and INDIE LMS for entrepreneurs. The award-winning platforms — recognized for their intuitive interface and user-friendly experience — support more than 40 languages. Newly released features include: New graphical dashboards for administrators, teachers and students. The dashboards prominently display the most important information for each user type. For example, teachers can instantly see a news widget so they won't miss important class announcements. The dashboards can be customized with welcome banners to give students important information about the course, such as special announcements and instructions. Graphical widgets also make it easy to visualize site and course activity. Users can easily see relevant statistics related to students, grades, course mastery and more — helping them identify, at a glance, who's on track and who may need assistance. Dark mode, which allows all users to switch between "light" and "dark" as the main design style. This addition helps users reduce eye strain, enabling them to use a low-light setting and limit the amount of blue light emitted from their devices whenever they engage with the platforms. Site-wide surveys, enabling administrators to create surveys for a targeted user audience and deploy them to those groups. With this capability, organizations and academic institutions can send surveys that work outside of the scope of a course and gather useful information and feedback from learners and instructors. In addition, other recently released features for CYPHER LEARNING products include a new learner course dashboard, hotspot question type for assessments and integration with the popular payment service YooMoney. In order for e-learning content to be effective, it needs to be easy to consume,At CYPHER LEARNING, we're committed to ongoing product innovation — blending cutting-edge capabilities with ease of use, and making our platforms destinations that users want to engage with. As we help companies and educational institutions worldwide improve participation in their online courses, we know that a more appealing interface drives greater engagement. Graham Glass, CEO of CYPHER LEARNING About CYPHER LEARNING CYPHER LEARNING provides award-winning learning platforms to organizations around the world. Blending ease of use, an engaging user experience and cutting-edge technology, CYPHER LEARNING supplies comprehensive solutions for all major e-learning sectors: with NEO LMS for schools and universities, MATRIX LMS for businesses and INDIE LMS for entrepreneurs. Relied on by millions of users at more than 20,000 organizations, CYPHER LEARNING supports 40+ languages and has offices worldwide, with global headquarters in San Francisco.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

LearnPlatform Releases Evidence-as-a-Service Subscription to Help Solution Providers Lower Costs

LearnPlatform | February 11, 2022

Today, LearnPlatform announces the release of Evidence-as-a-Service, a subscription model to support all edtech solution providers and their partners with the necessary evidence to meet market demands, demonstrate compliance with Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and efficiently serve all students and educators. LearnPlatform, known for its innovative edtech effectiveness system trusted by districts, state agencies and their partners serving millions of students, worked closely with partners for over a year to test different service offerings to help edtech providers quickly and cost effectively develop the necessary evidence base to inform their product plans and comply with Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA requires federal funding and stimulus dollars to be used for "evidence-based interventions." "The adoption of technology is here to stay. Districts manage an average of over 1,400 edtech products, and the numbers are not dropping this year," said Mary Styers, Ph.D., LearnPlatform's Director of Research. "Knowing how these tools are working, in which situations, and for which students and teachers is a critical question every district leader is asking." LearnPlatform offers three subscription packages to support any size and type of education solution provider and their partners. The packages are curated to help all providers meet ESSA compliance and build evidence-based interventions that empower districts and states to buy and use their products to drive student outcomes. Furthermore, given the influx of stimulus funds for nearly two years, this type of evaluation will provide districts with valuable evidence about the effectiveness of their education technology investments. Administrators can apply this evidence to inform their decisions and establish a solid foundation for sustainable, long-range financial planning. "As the country modernizes learning during and after the pandemic, everyone needs rigorous, practical evaluation to provide evidence at the speed of decision-making," said Karl Rectanus, CEO and Co-founder of LearnPlarform. "Our technology, team and model equips providers to work with their state and district partners quickly, safely, cost-effectively and, most importantly, towards the shared goals of better outcomes for students and teachers, no matter their size, solution, or context." In the face of massive change for schools, Evidence-as-a-Service offers providers at any stage – early, growth and established – to build an evidence base for their product(s) to better partner with districts and states to equip them with the ability to modernize their learning environments with ESSA-aligned evidence. Each subscription aligns with one or more of the four levels of evidence outlined in ESSA to demonstrate rationale and identify and show promising, moderate, or strong evidence that their product positively impacts student outcomes. Age of Learning®, creator of the ABCmouse® online learning program, leveraged LearnPlatform's services to validate and evaluate research for My Math Academy™, the company's personalized, adaptive math program that helps young learners master essential math concepts and skills. "We developed My Math Academy and My Reading Academy™ to support educators in providing equitable instruction and addressing the varying needs of young learners in order to ensure all students achieve proficiency in math and reading," said Sunil Gunderia, Chief Innovation Officer and Head of Mastery & Adaptive Products, Age of Learning. "We are partnering with LearnPlatform to develop a modernized approach to gathering evidence as it is an important element in validating the learning gains that our programs are designed to help students achieve. This evidence is essential to assisting schools and districts in identifying solutions that will work in their specific contexts to deliver learning outcomes." Whether a solution is for core curriculum, tutoring, learning loss, or another educational purpose, the Evidence-as-a-Service model provides a path to ESSA compliance in weeks, at a fraction of the cost of traditional models. "We work every day to fundamentally change outcomes for students through reimagining the role of assessments in the learning process. As soon as we spoke to LearnPlatform's team, we knew they were the right partner to run an independent study to examine just that," said Craig Jones, CEO and Co-founder of Formative, a web app for classrooms that allow teachers to give live assignments to students, enabling instant feedback and long-term student growth tracking. "The results found promising evidence and also confirms what we already know: the more visibility educators have into student learning, the stronger the learning outcomes can be." Nepris, an edtech platform that virtually connects working professionals to students, is another early adopter using this offering to work with district and state partners. "We have always known our platform increases student engagement in school and prepares students for the future of work, but outside third-party research was too expensive and no one read it. With LearnPlatform, we found a fast, practical approach that helps our state and district partners have confidence in what we do – and what we will do together – to reach their goals." Sabari Raja, CEO and Co-founder of Nepris About LearnPlatform LearnPlatform is a comprehensive edtech effectiveness system used by educators, leaders, and their partners to modernize their learning environments and ensure academic and financial return on their investments. The research-driven technology, central office automation, data-rich insights, and evidence services equip school districts, states, and providers to organize, streamline and analyze their edtech interventions to ensure they are safe, equitable, cost-efficient, and effective for all students.

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