Making Education Better Via a Blockbuster New Partnership

prnewswire | February 20, 2020

"The PISA program, and the related OECD Test for Schools, is known as the premier assessment tool to measure educational outcomes and student satisfaction across the world," said Matthew New, the CEO of The Better Education Company. "We want to greatly expand usage of this test in the United States, as part of our effort to improve American education, and Janison is the ideal partner for this effort." In 2019, Janison signed a cooperation agreement with the OECD to develop the international digital platform for this unique school assessment tool based on PISA, and to deliver it in a secure, scalable, robust environment to schools in the U.S. "We are very pleased to be partnering with The Better Education Company to promote the OECD Test for Schools in the United States," said Wayne Houlden, Founder of Janison. "Together, we aim to build a collaborative data sharing community around this effort in the hopes of improving educational outcomes."

Spotlight

AI-based education is still developing and not yet fully mature. While AI is a hot topic, application of this technology in education industry requires longterm efforts. The initial stage of AI application in education focuses on planning and tentative exploration. Since Allen Newell and Herbert Simon from Carnegie Mellon University invented Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the 1950s, it has evolved to address problems of probabilistic and numeric nature, leading to the incorporation of approaches from mathematics.

Spotlight

AI-based education is still developing and not yet fully mature. While AI is a hot topic, application of this technology in education industry requires longterm efforts. The initial stage of AI application in education focuses on planning and tentative exploration. Since Allen Newell and Herbert Simon from Carnegie Mellon University invented Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the 1950s, it has evolved to address problems of probabilistic and numeric nature, leading to the incorporation of approaches from mathematics.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

University of California, Riverside Partners with edX to Launch its First Free and Open Courses

edX | November 07, 2022

The University of California, Riverside Extension and edX, a leading global online learning platform from 2U, Inc., today announced a partnership to develop UCRX's first Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on the edX platform. The courses, featuring content in mental health, well-being and world languages, will be free-to-audit for edX learners.The five courses UCRX will be offering include a mental health and well-being course focused on the dynamic power of the brain, Arabic language for business, and English-Spanish language interpretation and translation. The three interpretation and translation courses will include concentrations in medical, legal and education settings. "The launch of our first MOOC courses on edX introduces UCR University Extension's mission of preparing a new generation of innovative thinkers to become lifelong learners around the globe.We look forward to collaborating with the edX team to provide these affordable, accessible education opportunities." Dr. Kevin J. Vaughn, Dean of University Extension and Professor of Anthropology at UCR In addition to the new MOOCs, UCRX will continue to offer its boot camp programs in coding and cybersecurity in partnership with edX. Since launching in 2018, over 300 learners have graduated from UCRX's boot camp programs. Graduates have been hired by nearly 40 companies, including JP Morgan and Infosys. With this expansion of our partnership, UCR Extension is furthering its commitment to provide accessible and affordable education opportunities from a world-renowned university system, said Andrew Hermalyn, President of Partnerships at 2U. "MOOCs establish an accessible entry point for people to begin their learning journeys and discover complementary programs, from additional MOOCs to MicroMasters® programs, on the edX platform. About University of California Riverside Extension The University of California (UC) is the world's leading public research university system. UCR is one of ten UC campuses. Nine of the ten UC campuses have University Extensions, which are designated as the professional, continuing and online education division for the campuses. For more than 65 years, the mission of UCR Extension has been to provide professional development, academic advancement and personal achievement programs for international and domestic learners. Many of these programs ground their practical components in evidence-based research. UCR Extension offers a welcoming and diverse environment in which learners can advance their existing careers or embark on new ones, to continue in lifelong learning, or set and achieve new scholastic goals. UCR Extension provides academic programming for a variety of industries, including the fields of Education, Health and Wellness, Business and Management, Law and Criminal Justice, Engineering and Technology, and others. The organization currently offers 75+ certificates and academic pathway programs to 4,000 students and 7,000+ enrollments per year including international students from 45+ countries. About edX edX is the education movement for restless learners and a leading global online learning platform from 2U, Inc.Together with the majority of the world's top-ranked universities and industry-leading companies, we bring our community of over 45 million learners world-class education to support them at every stage of their lives and careers, from free courses to full degrees. And we're not stopping there — we're relentlessly pursuing our vision of a world where every learner can access education to unlock their potential, without the barriers of cost or location. Learn more at edX.org.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

LISC teams up with HBCUs on talent development program for students, expanded capacity for CDFIs

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) | November 25, 2022

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has launched a new internship program for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to help bridge the opportunity gap for students of color—offering community development mentorship and experience that gives young people a leg up when entering the workforce. Over the next two years, LISC's National HBCU Talent Development program is placing 40 students in part-time intern positions with local LISC offices and other community development financial institutions (CDFIs). Interns will support a range of initiatives, from marketing to finance to community engagement, while also participating in leadership and national networking events. The program is funded by the Citi Foundation and is specifically designed to address national disparities in internships, with White students significantly more likely to gain paid versus unpaid positions than Black students. The LISC internship pays $25/hour up to $15,000 for the academic year. Talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not," noted Denise Scott, LISC president, who held a virtual "fireside" chat with the initial cohort of interns last month. This program is part of our work to address systemic racial barriers that keep young people from gaining the experience and connections they need to compete for good jobs," she explained. "Through this program, students can earn a strong wage, gain hands-on experience, work with mentors and build a network of contacts and supporters all while supporting valuable community investment activity," she continued. "It's a win for all of us. At the outset, eight HBCUs are participating in the program, with young people from varied backgrounds and experiences applying to participate. Eryn Glover, for instance, is a sophomore marketing major at Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) in Charlotte, N.C., and one of LISC's first HBCU interns. She is working with the staff at LISC Charlotte to support fundraising, social media and community outreach, helping extend LISC's engagement with the region's philanthropic leaders and supporting valuable collaborations with local partners. I've always known that I wanted to do nonprofit work and put my skills to work to help people," said Glover, a South Jersey native who has spent recent summer breaks working at community-based organizations. She chose JCSU for her education because she wanted to attend an HBCU, benefit from a smaller university, and be close to family that had moved to North Carolina. I feel like I have opportunities here, like the LISC internship, that offer the chance to really get to know professors and mentors, and to also make a difference. I want to work in marketing within the nonprofit space, so this internship really aligns with that," she said. In Washington, D.C., Howard University senior Marsi Hailu is interning with the LISC policy team. Her early projects include mapping gaps in broadband access especially in rural communities and researching the disproportionate impact of climate events on low-income communities of color.I already knew that there is a lack of intergenerational wealth in Black and Brown communities because of historical discrimination," she said of her initial research. "But I guess I didn't realize how much that intersects with geography. It's a lot easier to recover from a disaster if you aren't already living paycheck to paycheck," she added. Hailu, a finance major from Northern Virginia, hopes to pursue a graduate degree in urban development after graduation, with a concentration in affordable housing. She said the LISC internship offers the opportunity to try her hand at different aspects of community development, going well beyond what she might learn in her finance classes. In a lot of places, housing is at the root of inequality," she said, explaining her passion for the work. "As someone who grew up in the area, I see the disparities facing low-income folks. I want to do something about that," she said. In addition to Howard and JCSU, initial HBCU supporters of the program include Edward Waters University (Florida), LeMoyne-Owen College (Tennessee), Lincoln University (Pennsylvania), Morehouse College (Georgia), Simmons College (Kentucky), and Virginia State University (Virginia). Additional HBCUs will be referring students in the months to come. LISC's Scott said the universities are eager to help students identify new opportunities for advancement—particularly given that many of the schools already have existing relationships with LISC, collaborating on local efforts related housing and economic development. "Here at Johnson C. Smith University, we strive to graduate global citizens who develop a compelling sense of social and civic responsibility for leadership and service,. "LISC's internship program is an excellent way for JCSU students to put this possibility into perspective outside of the classroom. Just as we strive to develop a better world by graduating the best and brightest, LISC does the same by investing in its community to make economic equality a reality," he said. JCSU President Clarence D. Armbrister The National HBCU Talent Development program draws on the experience of LISC's nearly three decades of work with AmeriCorps, including the Economic Mobility Corps (EMC) launched in 2020. Through EMC, LISC places national service members in positions that help build the capacity of CDFIs. We have long seen the value in connecting people to community development positions in places that they know and care about," Scott said. "Our HBCU internship program takes that a step further, focusing on gaps in opportunity for students of color, injecting equity into CDFI recruitment efforts and building a community development workforce that reflects the people and places it serves. About LISC LISC is one of the country's largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America. We work with residents and partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth and opportunity and advance racial equity so that people and places can thrive. Since our founding in 1979, LISC has invested $26.7 billion to create more than 463,000 affordable homes and apartments, develop 78.5 million square feet of retail, community and educational space and help tens of thousands of people find employment and improve their finances.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Learning Pool Introduces Global AI-Based Skills Solution

Learning Pool | October 17, 2022

Learning Pool, the award-winning learning technologies company, has announced the launch of a major new product ahead of its 14th annual Learning Pool Live user conference.The release will leverage the know-how of People-Analytix, a Switzerland-based pioneer in AI-powered skills technology that was recently acquired by Learning Pool. The shift to put skills at the center of Learning Pool's technology offering is a wider reflection of the most profound change we've seen in learning technologies in recent times. "Every global enterprise is struggling to attract and retain skilled employees, and the widening skills gaps that are stopping businesses from growing at the pace they desire are apparent in every boardroom conversation,Learning Pool's acquisition of People-Analytix, and the subsequent advancements it will bring to our platform, means that we can now give customers the power to automatically address skills gaps as they appear. It is a tremendously exciting technology and a fundamental component in our wider mission to support talent development in creating extraordinary performers." Ben Betts, Learning Pool CEO Learning Pool notes that analysts and market commentators are keen to point out that the pivot to skills is not a temporary fad but rather a fundamental shift in the way we think about talent and development.According to Gartner, "Skills are fast becoming the main talent-related currency in terms of hiring, workforce planning and optimization, career development, talent marketplaces and learning." The World Economic Forum predicts that, by 2025, as many as 50% of all workers will need reskilling.[2] To address this global issue, skills development can no longer be satisfied by being simply reactive. Fosway research shows that skills are a critical strategic priority for organizations. However, only 20% of learning professionals say they are very effective at upskilling and reskilling," Fiona Leteney, senior analyst at Fosway Group, said. Both organizational agility and resilience are dependent on developing the right skills at pace, Learning Pool's acquisition of People-Analytix significantly strengthens its skills capabilities to address those needs. The latest release will form a key part of the Learning Pool platform; customers will use it to assess the current skills within their organization, plan for the future and close the gap through Learning Pool's platform and content libraries all in a single solution. Our latest release is powered by the incredible AI that People-Analytix and their partners have been developing over the better part of the past decade," Betts said. "The work the team have done has been lauded as one of the smartest 'skill cloud' executions available in the market today, and that's been backed up with real-world success stories. Taking a highly user-centric approach that is unique in the marketplace, the product announcement includes: A unique personal skills profile. From the outset, each user will have a unique and personal skills profile, fully capable of recommending the next best step for their development, based on up-to-date market data summarized into a seamless and automated experience. A market-leading skills ontology, providing a categorization of skills that creates a common language, defining the aspects of a specific job rather than relying on blanket terms and descriptions. Other providers in the industry use more limited methods of taxonomy, essentially hardcoding a hierarchy of jobs or competencies into their products, putting additional pressure on learning and development teams while inevitably becoming an outdated, poor reflection of how people do their jobs. External employment marketplace data updated daily to help both workers and administrators understand the skills that are in highest demand/shortest supply and to keep pace with the rapidly changing demands of global workplaces. A range of new learning experience types, including gig projects, internal mobility, mentorships and social learning opportunities, to broaden the methods by which employees can enhance their skill profiles. Updated and personalized learning recommendations, giving learners the best resources, social interactions and learning experiences to improve the most in-demand skills. Users can reskill or upskill using different pathways and different methods of learning. A comprehensive skills gap analysis tool, allowing managers to view the current skills within their team, plus the potential for staff members to upskill to fill new or emerging needs. In addition to benefiting from People-Analytix technology, Learning Pool will be strengthening its ranks of skills and data experts, led by Christoph Küffer, co-founder and CEO of People-Analytix, who joins the Learning Pool management team. We are excited to take our shared passion for innovation and customer centricity forward to build the future of enterprise learning, Küffer said. Current skills solutions in the market use relatively basic taxonomy not reflecting the current market developments. At the heart of our solution is a unique AI-powered ontology built over 10 years with human guidance. This sets us apart and is why it has the power to revolutionize how organizations manage their approach. Reporting around skills and skills progress can be used for organizational planning and developing and measuring learning and development strategies, making a powerful impact on business goals. Participants at Learning Pool Live will be able to share in the announcement, get hands-on with the technology and speak to the wider team. Last-minute tickets are available to join industry pioneers and hundreds of peers for a day of innovation, idea sharing and best practice. About Learning Pool Learning Pool creates learning experiences that deliver extraordinary outcomes for workplaces investing in the performance and skills of their people. Global organizations across dozens of industries choose Learning Pool for its innovative learning platform, which combines integrated technology and adaptive content to produce actionable insight into every learner's performance readiness. The company's passion for learning and commitment to data-driven outcomes is why they stay.Learning Pool is used in more than 40 languages by learners around the world. Its solutions easily integrate with the most used enterprise technology stacks. And its world-class customer experience ensures that L&D, HR and compliance teams can move beyond discussing learning as a cost center to harnessing its unique ability to produce a highly skilled workforce, new competitive advantages and an organization prepared for whatever the future might bring. Wherever you find ambitious workplaces investing in their people, you'll find Learning Pool.

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