ONLINE EDUCATION

Skilldora partners with D-ID, launches first e-Learning platform & app to use A.I. Instructors in the U.S.

D-ID | September 09, 2022 | Read time : 02:52 min

Skilldora partners with D-ID, launches first e-Learning platform & app to use A.I. Instructors in the U.S.
Skilldora, an Ed-Tech startup based in Fort Mill, S.C., known for its modernized app-based eLearning community, today announced a partnership with D-ID, using its Creative Reality™ technology to deliver courses exclusively by A.I. Instructors, also referred to as digitally created humans. With the global eLearning market on track to reach 1.72 trillion by 2026 according to Yahoo Finance, evolving Ed-Tech enhancements give the academic sector a boost in growth, and online-learning is now the largest and fastest growing method for modern learners. Skilldora’s mission is to use the power of A.I. to deliver a new world of eLearning and is pleased to be the first online-learning platform in the U.S. to be a front-runner in pioneering the use of all A.I. Instructors on its platform, as a nod to the future of eLearning. The recent growth in the eLearning market also comes with its usual growing pains of high course drop-out rates, and astronomical refund costs creating significant challenges for e-Learners, course creators and platform owners. Research shows much of this is due to antiquated outdated online-course platforms and an influx of new course creators producing courses at varying levels of skill, leading to inconsistent and unpredictable user experiences. Skilldora's new e-Learning platform & app, seeks to solve this problem using its A.I. Instructed Courses™ to deliver consistently structured, high quality courses, perfectly presented in under an hour. Set up as a free-to-download membership site, with an in-app, pay-per-course, a la carte model, Skilldora is designed to appeal to the modern learner, offering advanced engagement functionality, collaborative learning features such as its ‘learn with friends capabilities,’ allowing for real time sharing and invites, social learning groups, community news feeds, etc.

“We believe the world of eLearning is rapidly changing and learners want more interactive learning experiences, consistency in content quality and compact courses they can take over a lunch break. And Skilldora is answering the call by offering A.I. Instructed Courses™ across a bevy of professional development categories, interactive Personal Discovery Assessments with instant A.I. Coach feedback, and a ‘done-for-you’ B2B solution, which produces eLearning products on demand.

DeMario and Dawn Nicole McIlwain, Skilldora's Co-Founders.

Skilldora's vision is to be the A.I. eLearning solution leader for modern learners, and future-forward companies, and now through its partnership with D-ID, is one step closer. Behind the vision of Skilldora, are Husband and Wife Co-founders, DeMario and Dawn Nicole McIlwain. DeMario McIlwain, the brainchild behind Skilldora’s innovative platform and sleek functionality, brings deep technical expertise in UI/UX design with proven experience running tech ventures, while Dawn Nicole, the heartbeat of Skilldora’s course products, brings design-thinking as a certified Agile coach and globally accredited training program creator. With this perfect marriage of skills and background, the powerful duo merges their expertise to make something magical in Skilldora.

About Skilldora
Skilldora is a modernized e-Learning company specializing in A.I. Instructed Courses™ by using digitally created humans to deliver course content. Skilldora’s products and services span from its A.I. Instructed Courses™, to Personal Discovery Assessments with interactive A.I. Coach feedback, and a ‘done-for-you’ Corporate Training solution which produces eLearning products on demand, and to spec. Through collaborative strategic partnerships, and its competitive advantage of being first to the U.S. market, Skilldora is on track to virtually disrupt the eLearning industry, improve the user experience, and offer corporations more diversification options in eLearning, with advanced features that drastically increase the speed to market. To find out more, visit myskilldora.com.

About D-ID
D-ID is a Creative Reality™ company specializing in patented video reenactment technology using AI and deep learning. D-ID's products range from animating still photos, to facilitating high-quality video productions, and creating viral user experiences. With funding from tier 1 VCs, D-ID aims to radically disrupt the time, hassle and costs involved in video production, allowing for the creation of highly personalized media using AI, specifically in e-learning, corporate training, marcoms, AI assistants, history and the Metaverse. With international customers, D-ID's core competencies in the human face and deep learning technology enable its partners to create exciting and engaging content that was until now unimaginable. To find out more, visit D-ID.com

Spotlight

Education has the power to transform lives and, for me, is a matter of social justice – extending opportunity to every child, wherever they live and whatever their background.

Spotlight

Education has the power to transform lives and, for me, is a matter of social justice – extending opportunity to every child, wherever they live and whatever their background.

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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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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

california Virtual Academies Wins National Award in Excellence

California Virtual Academies | September 06, 2022

The California Virtual Academies (CAVA) chapter of the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) has been named as one of the 2022 recipients of the Silver Star of Excellence Award. This award is presented annually to NTHS chapters who distinguish themselves through their consistent excellence in Career & Technical Education and is a reflection of their commitment to community service, chapter advancement, and active civic involvement. CAVA is a network of online public schools serving K-12 students throughout the state.“I got to experience first-hand how hard our student members worked to maintain the goals and pillars of the NTHS,” said CAVA history teacher and NTHS advisor, Brandi Berba. “I am so proud of them for winning this award especially since it was only our second year! I look forward to seeing what they do next.” During the past school year, CAVA’s NTHS chapter has participated in all 5 of the NTHS pillars – Skill and Scholarship, Citizenship and Service, Honesty and Responsibility, Leadership, and Growth and Development. In the Skill and Scholarship category alone, CAVA invited over 80 students to lead and participate in a Professor Panel at the Fresno State University Lyles College of Engineering. The professors promoted STEM education and engineering and encouraged students to investigate skill-based career paths giving them a direct connection between the technical education that CAVA offers and someone who is interested in a STEM or engineering job. The event also promoted project-based learning as well as getting a higher education degree in college. “The NTHS is an incredible opportunity for students like me.It encouraged me to reach higher levels of achievement and gave me a chance to form relationships with like-minded and driven students who care about their future.” CAVA NTHS student president Sadee Briones About California Virtual Academies California Virtual Academies are nine independent online public charter schools that use the curriculum and tools provided by K12, a Stride Company (NYSE: LRN). The California Virtual Academies are: CAVA @ Fresno, CAVA @ Kings, CAVA @ Los Angeles, CAVA @ Maricopa, CAVA @ San Diego, CAVA @ San Joaquin, CAVA @ San Mateo, CAVA @ Sonoma and CAVA @ Sutter. Families do not pay tuition for a student to attend an online public school. Common household items and office supplies like printer ink and paper are not provided. Our enrollment consultants can help address your technological and computer questions and needs. Stride offers learners of all ages a more effective way to learn and build skills for their future. For more information about CAVA, visit https://cava.k12.com/. About the National Technical Honor Society : NTHS was established in 1984 with the purpose of honoring student achievement and leadership in Career and Technical Education (CTE). Since 1984, NTHS has served over 1 million members. In 2005, the NTHS scholarship fund was launched, awarding over $2 million in scholarships since that time to enhance and enrich the career opportunities of their members. With chapters in both secondary and postsecondary schools across the country, NTHS is the national leader in providing recognition for excellence in CTE. NTHS serves over 100,000 student members annually throughout the U.S. and U.S. territories. The national headquarters is based in Flat Rock, NC. About the Silver Star of Excellence Award : The Silver Star of Excellence Award is national award presented to school chapters across the country who apply the seven character attributes of NTHS – Skill, Honesty, Service, Responsibility, Scholarship, Citizenship, and Leadership – to their planned activities, programs, classes, and community outreach. It’s designed to nationally recognize school chapters for their educational excellence and community involvement, and encourages them to promote NTHS values in both their school and their local community.

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CONTINUING EDUCATION

DeVry University Announces Educational Partnership with National Women’s Soccer League

DeVry University | November 21, 2022

DeVry University, its Keller Graduate School of Management and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced today an exclusive education partnership that provides NWSL players and employees undergraduate and graduate education opportunities. The partnership will offer athletes essential skills for their future careers while ensuring they have a flexible learning environment and support required for a professional athlete pursuing higher education. When we signed our first collective bargaining agreement earlier this year, the NWSL committed to creating a league our players were proud to be a part of,” said NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman. “Living up to that commitment means supporting them in their pursuits on and off the pitch. The NWSL is proud to partner with DeVry University to provide a unique educational opportunity that both aligns with and adapts to the demanding schedules of our elite athletes as they build the skills needed to succeed in their off-field endeavors. We are pleased to see this partnership come together as a product of our Collective Bargaining Agreement to equip Players with the tools needed to transition to post-playing careers,” added NWSL Players Association Executive Director, Meghann Burke. DeVry will offer four eligible NWSL athletes a grant, which will cover tuition, fees and required textbooks as they pursue any graduate certificate at DeVry’s Keller Graduate School of Management. These certificate programs will provide the work-ready, transferrable skills to help players pursue any career path they decide to take off the field. “DeVry applauds the National Women’s Soccer League and its players for their ambition, resilience and perseverance, We are proud to partner with the National Women’s Soccer League to support athletes beyond the field with our flexible learning pathways and unmatched student support. Together, we will continue to help close the opportunity gap through the power of education.” Elise Awwad, DeVry University’s chief operating officer. In addition to the four grant recipients, athletes and eligible NWSL employees can receive tuition savings for undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as family members and dependents of qualifying NWSL students.1 Enrollment sessions will launch in January 2023 and continue through November 2024. About DeVry University DeVry University strives to close society’s opportunity gap by preparing learners to thrive in careers shaped by continuous technological change. Founded in 1931, the university offers undergraduate and graduate programs onsite and online within six areas of study: Accounting, Business, Healthcare, Technology, Liberal Arts, and Media Arts & Technology. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC, www.hlcommission.org/). The university’s Keller Graduate School of Management is included in this accreditation. To learn more, visit devry.edu. About National Women’s Soccer League Established in 2012, The National Women’s Soccer League is the premier women’s professional soccer league in the world featuring national team players from around the globe. Beginning play in 2013 with eight original clubs, the league has since expanded to feature 12 teams, including Angel City FC, Chicago Red Stars, Houston Dash, Kansas City Current, NJ/NY Gotham FC, North Carolina Courage, OL Reign, Orlando Pride, Portland Thorns FC, Racing Louisville FC, San Diego Wave FC, and Washington Spirit.

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