PR Newswire | September 28, 2023
Today, Vernier Science Education, a leading provider of innovative science and STEM education solutions, announced a significant organizational shift that will chart the course for its mission and values for the foreseeable future. The company will evolve from partner-owned to being owned by a Perpetual Purpose Trust. This allows Vernier Science Education to ensure values-aligned ownership succession and uphold its core mission and values indefinitely, ensuring that its social and charitable objectives remain a priority in perpetuity, securing the futures of its valued employees, and reinvesting profits back into the business while sharing benefits with employees, customers, and communities alike.
The Perpetual Purpose Trust is a bold and innovative approach that aligns perfectly with Vernier's vision of serving educators, students, the STEM community, and communities at large. The decision to reevaluate and reimagine Vernier's ownership model and long-term commitment to its mission comes as John Wheeler, the CEO of Vernier Science Education, prepares to step back from day-to-day activities, ushering in a new era of innovation and purpose-driven sustainability for the company.
"Our decision to reevaluate our business and establish a Perpetual Purpose Trust stems from our unwavering commitment to STEM education and sustaining the values and principles that have defined Vernier for decades. This transformational shift will enable us to secure the future of our employees, reinvest in our business, and continue our mission of creating a STEM-literate society," said Wheeler. "I am honored to continue to guide our work during this transition, and I look forward to the remarkable achievements that lie ahead for Vernier Science Education."
Wheeler will remain in his position as CEO until a nationwide search identifies a replacement. He will continue to be active in Vernier Science Education providing guidance and leadership to the organization and supporting the new CEO.
The transition from partner-owned to Trust-owned will be funded by both gifting and purchase of shares from current Partners. Dave and Christine Vernier, the company's co-founders and key figures in its success, will remain actively engaged in the Vernier Science Education family, offering their invaluable insights and support as the company embarks on this exciting new chapter.
"Vernier Science Education has always been driven by a deep commitment to advancing STEM education. As we transition to a Perpetual Purpose Trust, we're reaffirming our dedication to our mission and values, and commitment to staying a local independent Oregon-based company for generations to come," said Dave Vernier. "Christine and I are excited to continue contributing to the Vernier family and witnessing the positive impact this strategic move will have on educators, students, and the STEM community. This is how we pay back the years of success our organization has had and give back to our community."
By establishing a Perpetual Purpose Trust, Vernier Science Education joins other socially-conscious organizations, foundations, and companies committed to long-term sustainability, fostering a sense of purpose that extends far into the future.
About Vernier Science Education
Vernier Science Education is a leading provider of innovative solutions for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. For over four decades, Vernier has been dedicated to supporting educators and inspiring students to explore and understand the world of science. With a commitment to quality, Vernier's comprehensive range of data collection and analysis tools, along with its educational resources, empowers educators to facilitate engaging and hands-on learning experiences. To learn more, visit vernier.com.
Corporate Learning Systems
PRnewswire | August 22, 2023
Today Code.org, ETS, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and Khan Academy formally announce the launch of "AI 101 for Teachers," a free professional learning course designed to level the playing field of artificial intelligence (AI) understanding among K-12 teachers as they head back to the classroom this fall.
According to a recent survey, artificial Intelligence is poised to play a growing role in education, but the vast majority of teachers are not prepared and lack training on how to leverage this new technology in their classrooms. 75% of surveyed teachers believe AI should be taught to students, however, only 13% have had any training on how to teach AI to their students. AI 101 for Teachers will address this critical global need.
The five-part video series will kick off on August 15, 2023, with a fireside chat between Hadi Partovi, Founder and CEO of Code.org, and Sal Khan, Founder and CEO of Khan Academy. Their discussion covers a wide range of AI-related issues facing K-12 teachers today. The series continues with three additional professional development videos covering the fundamentals of AI, how AI can be combined with pedagogy to enhance student learning, and the ethical considerations and best practices of AI. The fifth and final session covers how to access and leverage free and customizable AI curriculum, content, and lesson plans which are available for use this fall within the classroom.
In addition, today, this partnership is launching resources to ensure that students and adults around the world can understand and leverage the power of AI in an effective and responsible way. Our two new "How AI Works" videos along with accompanying lessons and curricula mean that classrooms can not only use AI but also understand how it works.
"AI 101 for Teachers addresses the pressing need to expand awareness and understanding of generative AI," said Hadi Partovi, Founder and CEO of Code.org. "The release of ChatGPT has forever changed the educational landscape and will bring computer science into every classroom. Launching this free training underscores the importance of preparing teachers and students for the realities of a technology-driven society. As part of our mission to make computer science available to all K-12 students, we believe it's paramount to support and train teachers with the latest technology advancements."
"AI creates opportunities for personalized learning and dynamic assessments, and enables teachers to deliver targeted instruction," said Amit Sevak, CEO of ETS. "AI 101 will support teachers by providing free lessons so they can confidently harness the power of AI in their classrooms."
"This effort expands our commitment to empowering educators with the right information, enabling them to nurture students with the essential skills and strategic thinking necessary to navigate and thrive in an AI-infused world," said Richard Culatta, CEO of ISTE and ASCD.
"As part of our mission to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere, we believe it's important to provide professional learning opportunities for K-12 teachers," said Sal Khan, Founder and CEO of Khan Academy. "AI is the biggest disrupter facing education today. The AI 101 for Teachers series provides an easily digestible introduction to AI and sets the stage for continued professional development."
"Artificial Intelligence has the ability to transform public education into an equitable and efficient power for good and accelerate every student toward success," Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. "These engaging and informative educational resources will enable students to fully realize their potential. We believe AI will streamline and complement the educational environment but could never substitute the human touch and talent our teachers bring to the classroom every day."
Code.org is a non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science.Our vision is that every student in every school has the opportunity to learn how to code. We believe computer science and computer programming should be part of the core curriculum in education, alongside other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, such as biology, physics, chemistry and algebra.
PRnewswire | July 27, 2023
StraighterLine, a creator of affordable, flexible and career-aligned postsecondary courses and credentials that serves over 150,000 learners per year, announced today the appointment of Allison Lesser as vice president of digital marketing. With a track record of successfully leading branding and digital and omni-channel marketing for education, consumer and media brands for more than 20 years, Lesser joins the company after spending more than a decade in branding, digital marketing and user experience leadership roles at education technology companies.
"Allison's extensive experience in education technology and her passion for making education and training more accessible align perfectly with StraighterLine's vision," said Heather Combs, CEO of StraighterLine. "We are thrilled to have her join our team and lead our digital marketing efforts. Her expertise and leadership will drive our mission forward and help us reach even more learners around the world."
In her new role, Lesser will oversee digital marketing strategies and initiatives to support the company's growing platform of courses and new product innovations. She will be responsible for shaping the technical vision and strategy for the StraighterLine platform, driving product innovation and enhancing the overall learning experience for students.
Lesser most recently worked for The Teaching Company, known for its content brands The Great Courses and Wondrium. There, led the acquisition marketing team for Wondrium's video streaming product of nonfiction content and successfully hired, trained and mentored a team of marketers. During the pandemic, her team increased spend by more than 70% in a short time frame while keeping the cost per acquisition within business goals. Her dedication and commitment to delivering strong results in a fast-paced and evolving environment exemplify her leadership skills.
Earlier in her career, Lesser held various leadership roles in the education and digital marketing sectors. She began her journey in education technology in 2011 as the director of product marketing for online education developer K12, where she worked closely with market research and developed positioning for educational products. She also served as the director of digital marketing for Envision, the pioneering developer of career exploration and leadership development experiences for K-12 students. She began her career working in the global headquarters of AOL, where she spent ten years focused on consumer experience and driving product, marketing and content teams to make decisions based on consumer data.
Aside from her professional achievements, Lesser is actively involved in volunteer work and regularly participates in races that support various causes and sponsors two children from Tanzania through Compassion International, providing them with letters of encouragement. She also volunteers at Potowmack Elementary in Sterling, Virginia, where she works closely with the school liaison and social worker to identify ways to help families in need. A resident of Northern Virginia, Lesser has been happily married to her husband, Chris Lesser, for 20 years and is a proud mother of two teenage children.
StraighterLine is the leading provider of high-quality, affordable, online courses that help learners earn college credit and meet their professional goals. Each year, 150,000 learners take one of StraighterLine's 250+ courses to upskill into new careers or earn credit from over 2,000 colleges and universities worldwide. StraighterLine works with institutions and corporate partners to provide their students and employees with flexible education options that allow them to work and learn at their own pace.