EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Magic EdTech Extends its Leadership Team to Provide Impactful Digital Learning for Everyone

Magic EdTech | July 17, 2021

Magic EdTech, a global leader in developing and distributing digital learning products, has just added Annu Singh to its leadership team to expand its global product and technology initiatives.

Annu will head Magic's products group and drive the company's rapid development by leveraging his experience developing cutting-edge enterprise platforms in competitive markets. Magic EdTech's main product, MagicBox, now has over 5 million users.

Annu has over 20 years of experience developing customer-centric platforms that enable organizations to reach their full potential.

Annu formerly worked at Hobsons Inc (acquired by EAB), where he managed product engineering and data science groups for the Higher-Ed Student Success product line and later delivery for all Hobsons product teams. Annu is deeply committed to advancing the noble cause of human capital development and has been a part of assisting over 15 million students in achieving their goals.

About Magic EdTech

Magic EdTech, a Great Place to Work-Certified company based in New York, develops digital learning products and platforms for education companies. Over the past decade, the business has served over 200 clients worldwide and has developed long-term relationships with most of them. Magic's expertise providing learning platforms with analytics to empower students and educators manifests in MagicBox, a cloud-hosted out-of-the-box SaaS platform that serves 5MM students globally.

Spotlight

Given the upheaval the pandemic has inflicted on public education this year, school and district leaders will have their hands full as they prepare for the fall. Summer is typically the time when educators reflect on the past year and plan for the next — building schedules, establishing professional learning plans, and deciding how to monitor teaching and learning. But this summer, of course, educators will also be dealing with understanding the depths of learning loss, trauma, and the social emotional needs students face due to the COVID-19 crisis. They will also be developing teaching plans to accelerate learning trajectories and fill in the gaps.

Spotlight

Given the upheaval the pandemic has inflicted on public education this year, school and district leaders will have their hands full as they prepare for the fall. Summer is typically the time when educators reflect on the past year and plan for the next — building schedules, establishing professional learning plans, and deciding how to monitor teaching and learning. But this summer, of course, educators will also be dealing with understanding the depths of learning loss, trauma, and the social emotional needs students face due to the COVID-19 crisis. They will also be developing teaching plans to accelerate learning trajectories and fill in the gaps.

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TALENT DEVELOPMENT

Orenda Education Merges With Think Together to Create Scalable School Improvement Nonprofit

Think Together | September 13, 2022

Think Together, one of California's largest nonprofits serving K-12 schools today announced it has completed the merger with Orenda Education, a top school improvement and professional development consultancy. Upon the close, the combined organization will serve more than 200,000 students across the state with more than $150 million in annual revenue. Moreover, the organization will be better positioned to rapidly scale their impact. "We're thrilled to bring our two organizations together in our combined efforts to improve student success and close the achievement gap,This merger is the natural evolution of Orenda's existing relationship with Think Together and solidifies our joint commitment to ensuring that the more than 2 million California students that are performing far below grade level have the support they need during the school day and beyond to succeed academically." Think Together Founder and CEO Randy Barth Over the past seven years, Think Together and Orenda have had an affiliate agreement in place while the full acquisition builds the long-term financial and operational capacities for Orenda to continue to scale. Orenda's work focuses on transformingeducation systems, either across a school district or by cohorts of schools, providing professional development to all levels of district staff, around a specific data-driven but people-centric school improvement model. Think Together partners with over 60 school districts and charter management organizations to provide more than 900 direct-to-student academic and enrichment programs at more than 450 school sites across California, serving more than 100,000 youth. Orenda Education works behind-the-scenes with school district leaders and educators to identify inequities in schools and then transform their systems to ensure all students have access to a premium education. "Think Together has always been an incredible partner, infusing the infrastructure needed to provide an efficient model for changing the odds for kids," said Orenda Education Founder and CEO Dr. Robin Avelar La Salle. "Our two models have always complemented each other but now, we can efficiently scale our vision for all students to receive the premium education they deserve." The acquisition comes as both organizations experience tremendous growth due in large part to new and renewed state investments in education to accelerate learning recovery efforts and provide educators with needed support amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. "Now more than ever, teachers, school leaders and administrators need to think outside the box to address the issues impacting students including socio-economic biases, social emotional learning, and more," added Barth. "Providing these much-needed supports to educators means districts and schools can provide the skills they need to teach, lead and counsel during and following a period of great disruption during the pandemic. Recently the U.S. Department of Education reported a dramatic decline in scores from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) known as the nation's scorecard. Two decades of growth for American students in reading and math were wiped away by just two years of pandemic-disrupted learning, according to national test scores released last week. And, the declines were much larger for students at lower performance levels, widening already-huge learning disparities between the country's high- and low-achievers. Orenda's approach to school improvement has proven to accelerate student outcomes, such as mastery of grade-level standards (measured by math and English language SBAC scores), improved A-G class completion rates, and improved graduation rates. They also provide administrative coaching, teaching strategies, and leadership clinics. To expand these services, Orenda was recently awarded a $4 million Education Innovation and Research grant by the U.S. Department of Education to digitize and distribute their school improvement approach through an online platform that is effective and highly scalable to schools and districts in any geography, and to those who require less in-person support. Think Together adds Orenda to their growing list of services that support student education in and around the school day. Think Together's flagship afterschool programs support students in underserved communities with homework help, enrichment, social-emotional learning and physical well-being, all to enable students to strive for college or a fulfilling career. To provide high-quality programs, Think Together partners with philanthropic organizations like the Joseph Drown Foundation. "Breaking down the barriers to opportunity, equity and access in education by keeping students and their success as the centered focus is one of the most meaningful investments for our future generations" said Alyssa Santino, Program Director of the Joseph Drown Foundation. "Ensuring the educators, leaders and structures around students are supported and inspired and effectively trained with research-based, proven and engaging strategies is imperative for thriving students and communities. We are pleased to partner with Think Together and Orenda Education as they excel in this space and continue to transform the trajectory of students and the schools they attend." Barth sees the combination of direct services to students through expanded and early learning, coupled with equity-based professional development, as an effective combination to supporting student achievement alongside their school district and charter partners. Dr. Paul Gothold, Superintendent of County Office of Education in San Diego agrees. His former district, Lynwood Unified School District, realized astonishing improvements when partnering with both Think Together and Orenda, including increasing graduation rates from 56% to 90.8%, and A-G college eligible rates from 18% to 53%. Orenda provides the technical expertise for true district turn-around. The systems approach and professional development modules to build staff capacity ensures all leaders have the tools and resources to provide a premium education for all students, said Gothold. "With Think Together's financial and operational support, Orenda is well positioned to continue providing much-needed education innovation to schools throughout the state and beyond. About Think Together For over 25 years Think Together has partnered with schools and communities to pursue educational equity and excellence for all kids. As a nonprofit organization, Think Together innovates, implements, and scales academic solutions that change the odds for hundreds of thousands of California students. Think Together's program areas include early learning, afterschool, school support services and leadership development for teachers and school administrators.

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ONLINE EDUCATION

Online Learning Platform Springboard Selects Teletherapy Leader

Springboard | November 11, 2022

Springboard, an industry-leading online learning platform preparing students for in-demand, high-growth careers, today, announced a partnership with Uwill, the leading teletherapy solution for colleges and students, to provide mental health support for online learners. As the need for mental health support increases nationwide, Uwill's solution utilizes need and preferences to immediately match students with a diverse team of licensed and available counselors. The services will be integrated into Springboard's existing platform, and will be available to learners in addition to existing human support such as one-to-one mentorship and career counseling. "At Springboard, our ambitious vision centers around transforming lives through education and career advancement - and we know that this type of growth and transformation needs a strong foundation of mental health, In partnering with Uwill, we can meet students where they are by providing support through the same platform they're using for their education." Gautam Tambay, Co-founder and CEO at Springboard. Springboard is launching this teletherapy option at a time of increasing mental health challenges reported by education providers nationwide, where, according to HigherEdToday, nontraditional learners scored significantly higher on a number of mental health ratings than their traditional learning counterparts, specifically on depression, anxiety, and overall life stress.Uwill is uniquely suited to support the needs of Springboard learners to ensure they do not face barriers to mental health support," said Michael London, Founder and CEO of Uwill. Utilizing its proprietary technology and counselor team, Uwill pioneered the first Higher Ed therapist matching platform and wellness environment. The solution offers an immediate connection to an available licensed counselor based on student preferences, all modalities of teletherapy, a 24/7/365 crisis connection, wellness programming, detailed reporting and support. Uwill partners with more than 100 institutions worldwide including Berklee Online, Union College, Whitman College, and East Carolina University to ensure their mental health and wellness environment meets student needs. About Uwill Uwill has become the leading mental health and wellness solution for colleges and students. The most cost-effective way to complement a college's mental health offering, Uwill partners with more than 100 institutions including Boston College, University of Michigan, American Public University System, and University of Maryland, College Park. Uwill was named as one of Boston's hottest companies by BostInno, and now, more than 1 million students have access to the Uwill platform. Investors and supporters are a who's who including hip-hop legend Daryl McDaniels of Run-D.M.C. For more information, visit uwill.com. About Springboard Founded by Parul Gupta and Gautam Tambay in 2013, Springboard is on a mission to transform one million lives through education by 2030. More than 20,000 students across 100+ countries have used Springboard to advance their careers through the platform's comprehensive, mentor-led online learning programs. Graduates have landed jobs with employers like Microsoft, Google, Meta, LinkedIn, Deloitte, Intel, IBM, Salesforce and more. Springboard has also trained corporate teams at Visa, Gusto, and The North Face. Springboard was recently named one of the 2022 GSV EdTech 150 — a list of the world's most transformative growth companies in digital learning. Springboard is a 2020 Inc. 5000 company based in San Francisco, recently named a Top Workplace for Women by Elpha, and is backed by leading venture capital firms including Telstra Ventures, Vulcan Capital, SJF Ventures, Reach Capital, Pearson Ventures, International Finance Corp., Costanoa Ventures, Learn Capital, and Blue Fog Capital.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Spark Education Group wins Best Interactive Learning Experience award at EdTech Asia Summit

Spark Education Group | October 31, 2022

Spark Education Group, an innovator in global online education and the parent company of VISPARK and Allschool, won the "Best Interactive Learning Experience" award at the EdTech Asia Summit. The premiere EdTech conference took place at the Raffles Convention Centre in Singapore, discussing emerging trends in learning and innovation in education. "We are thrilled that Spark Education Group is recognized for providing interactive learning experiences through our VISPARK and Allschool platforms. We have always believed that the combination of a research-based curriculum designed by expert pedagogues, imaginative designers and technologists, provides the best learning experiences and educational outcomes for children. This award marks that achievement and celebrates the tremendous effort by our team of best-in-class educators," said Mr Xiaonan Wang, co-founder of Spark Education Group, Head of South East Asia Region. Spark Education Group was founded by parents hoping to improve learning experiences and achieve superior educational outcomes for their children by combining technology and education. Headquartered in Singapore, the company introduced two new brands, VISPARK and Allschool, this year for Singapore, US and other international markets. VISPARK VISPARK is an online education provider of enrichment learning programs. Its flagship program, Spark Math, offers online classes taught by certified teachers using innovative and interactive courseware. It aims to provide a fun and rewarding learning experience and improve student's academic outcomes.Its flagship product, Spark Math, is aligned with the Ministry of Education (MOE) Singapore's Math curriculum and the United States Common Core State Standards. The program uses technology to epitomise Singapore Math's concrete, pictorial and abstract approach to technology. Interactive hands-on learning, animated content, gamified exercises and differentiated pacing combined with live instruction by certified teachers, ensures Spark Math students are more engaged, motivated, and achieve better academic results. In the recent Gifted Education Program Screening test conducted in Singapore, 87.5% of Spark Math students passed the test, which is more than 8 times the pass rate of Singapore's national average. Allschool Allschool is an innovative online platform connecting educators and students around the world. With award-winning, purpose-built teaching and learning technologies, Allschool empowers teachers to create and deliver uniquely interactive classes across a wide variety of subjects and topics. Gamified and interactive classes such as Virtual Escape room sessions and Dinosaur explorations are amongst some of its most subscribed classes. On Allschool, parents and students can find hundreds of classes offered by teachers from around the world. With thousands of students attending Allschool classes, teachers can use Classpod, another Spark Education Group product, to easily administer and host small-group, interactive classes. With PowerCourse, our proprietary courseware creation software, educators can easily and efficiently create interactive course content that improves engagement and learning experiences for their students. The platform has received positive reviews with over 97% from users who attended interactive classes. Allschool continues to enhance learning experiences with interactive class offerings in a variety of topics and formats to enable educators and connect them with students around the world. "We are honored to give Spark Education Group this year's award for Best Interactive Learning Experience. It is apparent their products, including VISPARK and Allschool, are designed to actively engage and educate their students. By merging pedagogical expertise with imaginative design and interaction, educators are enabled to achieve quality learning outcomes. We look forward to seeing what other innovation Spark will bring to market in the years ahead." Michael Michalec, the Managing Director at EdTech Asia Spark Education Group is committed to the goal of improving learning experiences and outcomes for students. The group continues to invest in developing expertise and capabilities to stay at the forefront of educational technology development, continuing to experiment and innovate, to inspire a passion for learning and igniting lifelong growth. About Spark Education Group Headquartered in Singapore, Spark Education Group was founded in 2017 by a father who saw the challenges his son faced within a traditional learning environment. He believed that every generation should be better than the last, and that we should work to make the world a better place, especially in making education better for children in the coming generations. Spark Education aims to create the next generation of e-learning through extensive research-based curriculums designed by expert pedagogues. Our products centre around the belief that technology can improve the learning experience and achieve better educational outcomes compared to traditional classroom settings.

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