Is our education system the right fit for American workers?

politico | January 16, 2019

Once, we all understood the bargain: Succeed in school, get a good job, and you’d laid the groundwork for a financially solid life.Now the education-jobs equation isn’t so clear, and it’s fast growing more complex. Already, two-thirds of jobs require some form of higher education, which can be expensive. And once you have a job, chances are you’ll need at least to retrain to stay on top of new technology, if not get further degrees or certifications to climb the ladder. And as costs stack up, higher education is growing out of reach for many.The U.S. educational system wasn’t built for this new world of work, and the strains are showing. This issue of The Agenda is dedicated to the question: If we care about widely shared prosperity, what should the role of education be? What are the best new career-building ideas out there, and how can policymakers in Washington help an aging system adapt?

Spotlight

In 2017, online donations to higher education institutions increased by more than 14%, with an increase in the number of online gifts and the average gift size as well. This whitepaper dives into the latest online giving trends, exploring public versus private institutions, the impact of #GivingTuesday and Days of Giving, how email is an important tool for giving conversions and more. This analysis will allow you to compare your institution's performance to other iModules clients while providing ideas on how to improve your online giving strategy.

Spotlight

In 2017, online donations to higher education institutions increased by more than 14%, with an increase in the number of online gifts and the average gift size as well. This whitepaper dives into the latest online giving trends, exploring public versus private institutions, the impact of #GivingTuesday and Days of Giving, how email is an important tool for giving conversions and more. This analysis will allow you to compare your institution's performance to other iModules clients while providing ideas on how to improve your online giving strategy.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Outschool Selects Promoted to Optimize Marketplace and Increase Profitability

Outschool | July 26, 2022

Promoted, which is the only company to unify search, feed, ads, and promotions for top marketplaces, announced today that Outschool has selected Promoted to optimize the performance and profitability of its education marketplace. Outschool wanted to better match its classes with learners to increase search conversion rates, total GMV (gross merchandise value), and profitability. Outschool chose Promoted after weighing the costs and risks of building an order-of-magnitude greater infrastructure investment versus working with the experienced Promoted team to get a proven, real-time streaming data service with ML in place. Within a quarter, Promoted optimized Outschool search to increase conversion by about +11%, with more improvements planned for H2 2022. “Promoted is able to measure and report on data in real-time on search for us and use machine learning to better match teachers and students so we can very effectively increase conversion rates and make our customers and users happy. “The founders have deep experience in search optimization as ad engineers from Facebook, Pinterest and Google, and we have found the technology extends and compounds our existing engineering investments in search and discovery to directly increase profitability at a reasonable cost.” Kejia Zhu, Lead Product Manager, from Outschool Promoted and Marketplaces Right now, most large marketplaces have separate teams for ads, merchandising, search, and recommendations. They all work in separate departments and information is siloed. Even with expensive tech savvy engineers, these businesses do not have a unified data infrastructure that is measuring performance of everything in search feed, merchandising, and ads across the marketplace. When ads, listings, promotions, and search aren’t optimized together, conversions are low, revenues decrease, and it becomes a death spiral as more ads and promotions are shown to compensate, further driving away users. Promoted is the only provider that offers a complete and comprehensive solution to fix this problem for e-commerce apps and marketplaces. Promoted’s secret sauce is its ability to provide an entire measurement solution with a data service that measures and optimizes user engagement in real-time. Other ad tech or search vendors are measuring pieces with siloed data and/or only measuring ads, not giving marketplaces the complete picture. How it Works First, Promoted measures everything in its client’s app or marketplace, then they aggregate and join the data in real-time with reporting. Next, using AI-based data optimization, Promoted creates a complete picture of the data so they can predict conversion and clicks for the client’s search and feed. Once Promoted has this complete picture of performance on a marketplace, it creates a “unified currency” for optimizing trade-offs between the optimal user experience in search and feed, seller experience using ads and promotions, and marketplace profitability versus growth. “We are very excited to be working with Outschool and to so quickly increase conversions for its business,” said Andrew Yates, Co-Founder and CEO of Promoted. “Promoted gives top marketplaces and e-commerce companies one complete picture of how search, feed, ads and promotions are performing by measuring in real-time and then optimizing them using machine learning to increase conversions. By unifying this information, the entire marketplace works properly, and CFOs and COOs can set achievable goals for revenue and profitability.” About Outschool Outschool offers live online education experiences that connect real-life teachers with learners in small-group settings to explore everything from Minecraft, Pokemon and Cooking to Chemistry, Algebra and Literature. With over 100,000 online classes offered by teachers to learners around the globe, Outschool helps supplement what is often missing from a more traditional education. Outschool’s mission is to inspire kids to love learning by making education fun, social and self-directed. Classes on Outschool range from one-time enrichment lessons to semester-long core courses and weekly social clubs. Classes are offered across all subjects, and learners range from age 3 to 18. About Promoted Promoted is the only company to unify search, feed, ads, and promotions for top marketplaces like Outschool, Hipcamp, Teachers Pay Teachers, Snackpass, and other e-commerce unicorns. Promoted works by measuring everything in the marketplace using its real-time streaming data infrastructure. Then, Promoted maximizes conversions in search and feed through machine learning. Backed by Y Combinator, the company was founded by former ad engineers from Pinterest, Facebook, and Google.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Cariloop Launches New Capabilities to Help Employees Navigate the Education System

Cariloop | July 21, 2022

Cariloop, the Caregiver Support company that pairs caregivers and their families with dedicated Care Coaches as they plan for and manage the health and well-being of their loved ones, is launching an entirely new education support offering in response to the demands from employers and employees during the pandemic. “In the early days of 2020, we began helping employees and their families with more pediatric care cases, and then COVID-19 brought this incredible need to assist with finding child care options as school closures as well as daycare and babysitter availability changed daily,” said Wendy Whittington, Chief Care Officer of Cariloop. “We realized that we had discovered an untapped need amongst employees in helping them navigate the complexities of the education system more effectively. Similar to the healthcare system, the education landscape presents its own challenges and requires a deep level of expertise in understanding it.” To provide the highest quality of service for employees navigating the education system, Cariloop assembled a Center of Excellence with Education Coaches who all have highly relevant backgrounds, credentials and experiences, including masters and doctoral level educators, guidance counselors, school social workers, school nurses, school administrators, and subject matter expertise in ESL and special education. In addition to coaching members and answering general education-related questions, the Cariloop Education Coaches will be more hands-on as they navigate the education landscape alongside the families. For example, they can attend IEP and 504 meetings as a companion to the parent; assist members with the application process and provide insight into approaching college application essays; finding available scholarship opportunities or financial options; and provide more customized support or care options for children with specific learning challenges or behavioral difficulties. This will allow working family members to stay more focused and productive at work, and relieve the burden of caregiving related to educational needs that contribute to mental stress and well-being issues. “Over the last several years, millions of working parents have been forced to become education system experts with a vast majority of them worried about the long-term development plans for their children. “With these new capabilities online, we are now equipped and stand ready to help provide that peace of mind to all parents, students and caregivers who have been trying to solve these challenges totally and completely alone. ” Michael Walsh, CEO of Cariloop In addition to its new education support offering, Cariloop can also help working caregivers navigate the healthcare system with its team of Care Coaches specializing in pediatrics, adult and elder care support. About Cariloop Cariloop provides a human-powered Caregiver Support Platform to help working caregivers and families plan for and manage the care of their loved ones. The Platform pairs caregivers with a dedicated, experienced Care Coach who guides families through the many decisions they make over the length of their caregiving journey, all while collaborating on a digital care portal that helps families securely communicate across all their devices and store important health, financial and legal documents.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Saritasa Develops Virtual Reality Training Program for Loadstar Railcar Inspecting & Loading

Saritasa Technology Solutions | September 21, 2022

Saritasa Technology Solutions, a software partner delivering innovative products and solutions to clients, has developed a new virtual reality (VR) training system for Loadstar, a provider of logistics and product handling services. The system provides a safe, interactive training environment that is faster, more efficient, and safer than previous training programs.Loadstar is the first logistics and product handling company to deploy VR for staff training. In an industry that emphasizes on-the-job training and keeping workers in the field, Loadstar has adopted a different strategy. They put safety and education at the forefront by bringing the on-site experience to trainees using VR. Saritasa developed a comprehensive general purpose railcar inspection & loading application. Trainees can practice completing all the steps required for a standard inspection without the need to travel on-site or work with trainers. Using VR, trainees get hands-on interaction, including visual quizzes and realistic animations. VR provides a more realistic experience and shortens the training process from weeks to days. We believe that our employees' overall safety and well-being start with training, said Stephen Williams, Manager of Operational Excellence.Traditionally, our industry has relied on classroom sessions and manual field training. Some employees have described it as 'death by powerpoint,' and they're not wrong. Loadstar is always looking ahead, and we wanted to bring the latest technology to our training program to create the safest environment possible. By working with Saritasa, we have designed a state-of-the-art training program that is more cost-effective and efficient. Before adopting VR for railcar inspection & loading training, Loadstar used extensive classroom training with lectures, presentations, and study materials. Once the classroom training was complete, new employees needed to apply the material they just learned to real-life field operations. This process could take several weeks as training was entirely dependent on how many and what kind of railcars came on-site on a particular day. Now, they are able to onboard and qualify operators in a fraction of the time. Using VR not only speeds up hands-on training but also standardizes training procedures. On-site, the quality of training can vary due to any number of factors; the manager on duty, the amount or type of railcars on-site, and environmental hazards. VR training eliminates any variance and provides a solid basis for every employee. It emulates field training to provide pre-site training experience, reducing the time and cost required for on-site training. "Developing a virtual training program for Loadstar is the ideal project for Saritasa's creative and skilled technologists, There are many steps in railcar inspection training, including examination around, under, and on top of different types of railcars. Our 3D design team was able to replicate a realistic environment while optimizing headset performance, and we are extremely pleased with the outcome." Aaron Franko, VP of Immersive Technology at Saritasa About Loadstar Loadstar provides product-handling services to refineries, chemical plants, barge lines, terminals, and distribution sites, loading and unloading cargo of all classifications into railcars, trucks, barges, and ships. Loadstar operates docks, tank farms, terminals, and warehouses, managing marine, rail, truck, and pipeline logistics. The company has its headquarters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. About Saritasa Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, Saritasa aims to empower global brands with innovative, customized solutions that fit their needs and support an ever-evolving technology ecosystem. Saritasa specializes in custom software development, mobile development, augmented reality and virtual reality development, IoT solutions, web, database development, and DevOps. Founded in 2005, the Saritasa team employs over 140 employees and has delivered thousands of successful software, hardware, and mobile app projects to a range of clients across multiple industries.

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