Innovator of the Year: ReUp Education

educationdive | December 09, 2019

Around four in 10 students who enroll in a four-year college don't earn a bachelor's degree from that institution within six years, according to federal data. For community colleges, the outlook is even worse, with their three-year graduation rates hovering under 30%. It's costly for colleges when students drop out. In the 2010-11 academic year, roughly 1,700 institutions collectively lost out on $16.5 billion of tuition revenue due to students leaving without a credential, according to the Education Policy Institute. Stopped-out students can end up saddled with debt they must pay off without the economic benefit of a degree.

Spotlight

These middle-school students are empowered by the choices they get to make in their classrooms and the support of their teachers when they make mistakes to try again. Learn more about why personalized learning is important for today’s students.

Spotlight

These middle-school students are empowered by the choices they get to make in their classrooms and the support of their teachers when they make mistakes to try again. Learn more about why personalized learning is important for today’s students.

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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.

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CONTINUING EDUCATION

Learnfully, a Tech-Enabled Personalized Learning Service, Launches to Bring Personalized Learning to Scale

Learnfully | December 13, 2021

Learnfully, a first of its kind personalized learning platform, today announced its initial fundraising and emergence from stealth.With 1 in 5 students diagnosed with learning differences — and countless more dealing with emotional and developmental obstacles, Learnfully empowers all individuals to gain access to the most effective learning approach for them. Learnfully tailors a programming plan to their needs based on the expertise of educators and connects them with proven specialists to provide individual instruction. "For too long our system has overlooked those who learn differently and left them to fend for themselves, instead of emphasizing their strengths and catering to their unique challenges. We're proud to launch Learnfully to bring personalized learning solutions to scale for all learners and empower them to reach their potential." Letha McLaren, CEO & Co-Founder, Learnfully The launch of the Learnfully platform is especially timely given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as many learners are struggling to adapt to a digital environment. In fact, the Brookings institute found that students may make just 70% of the reading gains this year compared to the progress they'd see in a normal school year; this forecast found the gains would be less than 50% for mathematics. While other offerings only tackle tutoring services or an initial assessment, Learnfully takes a holistic approach to every learner. Its assessment includes human insights which complement its groundbreaking technology platform that analyzes information, responses, and measurable impressions to create and maintain each learner's profile and plan. Based on these inputs, Learnfully creates curated learning plans and provides access to specialized professionals, such as educational and behavioral therapists, tutoring services, insights, and instructions. Once a learner begins programming, Learnfully adjusts the educational approach on the fly through its feedback and progress engine, as behaviors and emotions can change rapidly. This helps learners, parents, and educators ensure that both short- and long-term goals are attainable. The result is the only true end-to-end solution — from assessment to instruction — available. "Learnfully seamlessly helped my two kids from assessment to tutoring plan to finding the right instructor," said Joy Leonard, a California parent of two Learnfully learners. "The highly targeted learning sessions have been invaluable, making an enormous impact on my kids' abilities in a short period of time." Learnfully is co-founded by Letha McLaren and Suchi Deshpande. McLaren has more than 20 years of diverse product management, marketing and business leadership experience in the technology and energy industries. Deshpande previously served as a product leader at MuleSoft, Edmodo, Opya and more. "During the pandemic, parents have a front-row seat to their children's education, and many are realizing that they learn differently — and yet they have nowhere to turn for guidance," says Suchi Deshpande. "As a parent of neurodiverse kids, I know firsthand how challenging it is to navigate the educational landscape. Learnfully helps parents seamlessly get the support they need to unlock all learners' potential." Learnfully raised $1.25 million in initial funding. Investors include Amol Deshpande, CEO & Co-Founder of Farmers Business Network, founder of Divergent Investments. Goodwater Capital, Incite.org, Figure Eight Investments and other investors also participated in the round. "Learnfully is a mission-driven start-up focused on providing technology and specialists to children with learning differences," said Swati Mylavarapu, Founder of Incite.org "At Incite, we’re believers in Learnfully’s mission to better outcomes for neurodivergent learners and their families by empowering them with tailored support. Keely and I are proud to support Suchi and Letha in making this important mission central to the company they’re building.” Learnfully is a win-win for educators and learners alike. “Millennial families seek bespoke, digital-first learning solutions where they can access world class experts from the comfort of their homes,” said Diana Anthony, a K-12 teacher turned education investor, and Co-founder and Managing Partner of Figure Eight Investments. “Learnfully is bringing this model to neurodiverse learners and their families, providing them with unprecedented access to the educators and behavioral specialists that can transform their educational experience.” Learnfully offers great benefits to professionals as well: they are matched with a learner that needs their skills and learns best with their teaching style. These learning sessions cater to the educator's schedule, so they can accommodate additional work. Educators, behaviorists, tutors, and therapists can all apply to join the platform. Accepted professionals gain unlimited support services, content resources, and access to an unparalleled educational community. About Learnfully Learnfully is on a mission to ignite learning and unlock the potential of every learner. Based in San Francisco, Learnfully is a tech-enabled personalized learning service, empowering all individuals to gain access to insights into the most effective learning approach and build a programming plan based on the expertise of educators. Through its groundbreaking tech platform, best-in-class learning assessment, and expert educator network, Learnfully delivers true engagement and tangible results for every learner.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

ReadSpeaker Announces Collaboration With PowerSchool to Support K-12 Literacy Through the Availability of Text to Speech Digital Learning Capabilities

ReadSpeaker | November 22, 2021

ReadSpeaker, a text to speech platform for students, today announced a collaboration with PowerSchool, the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education. Integrating ReadSpeaker with PowerSchool’s Unified Classroom™ Schoology Learning brings tools of accessibility directly into the learning management system, providing students, faculty and administrators with key tools to support reading, writing and studying while also addressing accommodations mandated in Individual Educational Plans (IEPs). ReadSpeaker promotes a Universal Design of Learning experience for ALL students and teachers. For administrators, the learning tool interoperability (LTI) is easily implemented with a key and secret, providing quick and easy access. ReadSpeaker is available directly within Schoology Learning, bringing seamless audio solutions to the digital learning landscape, and allowing schools to quickly and easily integrate audio across all platforms and content. Audio tools are a proven aid in empowering educators to help students stay motivated at any grade level. By integrating ReadSpeaker’s text-to-speech technology into Schoology Learning’s comprehensive reading, writing and studying toolsets, students can become more autonomous learners. “From day one, ReadSpeaker’s mission has been to provide top-of-the-line accessibility solutions, but we are especially excited about this opportunity as it broadens our reach within the K-12 education space. As longstanding leaders in bringing accessibility to the higher education market, we jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with the leading provider of K-12 education technology, PowerSchool. With the level of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel it is our duty to do all we can to support students of all ages and abilities as hybrid learning environments and alternative ways of learning continue to gain popularity.” Matt Muldoon, President, ReadSpeaker NA PowerSchool’s Partner Program is an exclusive collection of Independent Software Vendors (ISV partners) and Learning Application partners who are critical to our customers and the company’s mission to power the education ecosystem with unified technology that helps educators and students realize their potential, in their way. From the office to the classroom to the home, PowerSchool 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. About ReadSpeaker ReadSpeaker is the most trusted, independent digital voice partner for global brands. With more than 20 years of industry experience, ReadSpeaker offers brands sophisticated text-to-speech solutions and expert hands-on assistance to create the most engaging bespoke voice interfaces. ReadSpeaker offers both SaaS and licensed solutions to support varying channels and devices, and consistently maintains brand trust through its commitment to data privacy. To date, the company – which provides more than 30 languages and 90 voices – has created more than 10,000 digital voice interfaces for brands around the world.

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