Newswire | March 30, 2023
Since 2011, Best Brains has provided tens of thousands of students instruction in Math and English concepts by employing real teachers in their over 140 locations. This year, this award-winning company has expanded their platform to provide any child aged 3-14 the opportunity to learn online. Via the app "BBConnect," students connect to the same teachers employed in Best Brains' brick-and-mortar locations. This program, which started development in 2020, is designed to make the Best Brains experience more mobile and flexible to students who may not have a location nearby.
"Even though we have locations in just over 20 states and counting, as well as in Ontario, Canada, we've seen how expansive our reach has become," says Franchise Development Specialist Elanor Smith. "We get inquiries from parents in every state and province who have heard of Best Brains and how effective our learning model is. With BBConnect, we can begin to reach these students for the first time."
By signing up for BBConnect, parents connect with a center administrator - usually an owner of a currently existing franchise location in places like California, Texas, or Ontario. Students are assessed online before being matched with real teachers and provided with a personalized lesson plan. Students log into the BBConnect app each week via their Android or iPad tablet and receive instruction in virtual classrooms. Between classes, new homework pages are unlocked each day so that students can perfect concepts taught in class.
To use BBConnect, students only need a tablet and a stylus. "Handwriting and drawing have always been an essential part of our curriculum," Curriculum Lead Rachel Evans explains. "We work hard to create a curriculum that is engaging and non-repetitive, and the physical aspect of our curriculum is part of that." When describing how Best Brains students feel about completing daily homework, Evans says, "Students love our daily packets and are actually motivated to finish them. I know they'll be excited to log into the app every day and find new assignments waiting for them."
Vice President of Best Brains Hana Adas is very invested in the potential of BBConnect. "Education is for everyone," she says. "There should be no barriers between students and quality education. We designed BBConnect so that we can connect real teachers to students through our program. We use the same curriculum and the same standards for our in-person students on the BBConnect app. We provide individualized feedback each week, something parents are constantly seeking from their education partners. We created Best Brains to be the best learning center there is, and BBConnect gives every student, no matter where they live, the opportunity to Be Their Best.
About Best Brains Learning Centers
Best Brains is an enrichment program for children ages 3 -14. Best Brains is head quartered in Arlington Heights, IL and has over 100 locations across the USA and Canada. The subjects offered at Best Brains are Math, English, Abacus, General Knowledge and SAT / ACT.
Businesswire | May 10, 2023
XPRIZE, the world’s leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges, hosts a virtual event today to celebrate the grand prize winner of the $1M Digital Learning Challenge, Adaptive Experimentation Accelerator from Raleigh, North Carolina, and showcase the technology developed by the challenge’s three finalist teams, including team Terracotta from Indiana University and team UpGrade by Carnegie Learning.
Launched in 2021, the Digital Learning Challenge incentivized teams to modernize, accelerate, and improve the technology and processes for evaluating and measuring effective learning and education. Using tools like AI methods, big data, and machine learning, teams sought to better understand the effectiveness of specific teaching techniques and practices, with the goal of providing substantial benefit for educators, parents, policymakers, researchers, and the tens of millions of Americans enrolled in formal education every year. The challenge is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the independent and nonpartisan statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education.
The three finalist teams participating in the Accelerate & Modernize: New Methods to Assess Student Learning Outcomes closing event include:
• Grand Prize Winner: Adaptive Experimentation Accelerator – Raleigh, North Carolina (Partnership between Intelligent Adaptive Interventions lab at University of Toronto, Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon, & North Carolina State University) o The Adaptive Experimentation Accelerator network aims to involve everyone in using experiments to enhance and personalize education. Our 'MOOClet' toolkit democratizes the contribution of ideas from many teachers, students, and scientists, then experimentally tests which ideas work for which students. Artificial Intelligence algorithms analyze data to adapt experiments in days vs months. This aims to test more ideas more quickly, and to use promising data to more rapidly get better approaches to students.
• Finalist: Terracotta – Bloomington, Indiana (Indiana University)
o Terracotta is an open source plugin to the Canvas learning management system, enabling researchers and teachers to conduct rigorous and responsible experimental studies on learning activities within a course site. Using Terracotta, the team was able to conduct over two-dozen mini-experiments across a variety of courses, ranging from 6th grade to college seniors, where each experiment used local materials and authentic teacher-created assessments.
• Finalist: UpGrade by Carnegie Learning – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
o UpGrade is a free, open-source platform that enables iterative experimental design and deployment of new learning experiences that compare the efficacy of different tools and resources—such as lesson content, interactive elements, videos, algorithms and more—during active student learning. Each experiment measures what works best for whom, advancing the way we understand student learning and engagement and enabling the rapid design, deployment and analysis of large scale studies, including but not limited to complex K-12 school environments.
The final round or demonstration phase of the competition required teams to replicate their experiments at least five times with three or more distinct learner demographics. Based on their demonstration performance, Adaptive Experimentation Accelerator receives the grand prize designation and $500,000, while runners-up Terracotta and UpGrade will each receive $125,000 prizes. The three teams previously shared a $250,000 prize when they were announced as finalists in September 2022.
During the closing event, each of the three teams will present their technology and how it works, followed by a discussion of lessons learned from the Digital Learning Challenge. With the Challenge now concluded, the teams will seek to work with partners across the education and technology sectors to scale the impact and implementation of their solutions.“Through their participation and success in the Digital Learning Challenge, each of these teams has helped make advancements in technology to improve the ways that educators teach and that students learn,” said IES director Dr. Mark Schneider. “These teams have laid the groundwork for a new phase of experiments of frequency, scope and scale not possible through traditional methods of education research, which will ultimately lead to better experiences and outcomes for all learners.”
In the initial pilot phase of the competition, 10 teams had six months to demonstrate the capabilities of their rapid, reproducible experiments in an accredited education institutional setting and then 30 days to launch a replication study with at least one unique learner demographic. A judging panel of education and technology experts reviewed the pilot study technical submissions and selected three teams to move on to the final round and ultimately designated the winner.“We are deeply proud of the achievements of the Digital Learning Challenge finalist teams, whose creativity and commitment to improving education outcomes through technology and experimentation will resonate far beyond the conclusion of the competition,” said XPRIZE Digital Learning Challenge Technical Lead Dr. Monique Golden.“We look forward to working with these teams to forge new partnerships that will ensure they can continue developing and refining their technologies and scale the impact of their solutions.”
The Digital Learning Challenge is part of XPRIZE’s Learning and Society domain which is committed to achieving a future where everyone, regardless of income, race, age, identity, gender, or geography, has access to learning experiences to reflect their unique capabilities, disposition, and aspirations.
XPRIZE is a global future-positive movement delivering truly radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. XPRIZE inspires and empowers a global community of problem-solvers to positively impact our world by crowdsourcing solutions through large-scale competitions, tackling the world’s grandest challenges in exploration, environment, and human equity.
Businesswire | April 17, 2023
HiLink, the education software provider transforming virtual learning, today unveiled AI Lesson Planner, its new edtech product purpose-built to revolutionize the way remote educators design and deliver lessons to students across the world.
As the majority of instructors today still require multiple tools to effectively manage their lesson planning (i.e., through designated planning software, digital content creation tools, and Learning Management Systems), HiLink's AI Lesson Planner unites all of these capabilities into one intuitive platform. Powered by the rich and instantaneous intelligence of ChatGPT, instructors can input topics, audiences, and keywords into the interface, and with a single click, curate an unlimited number of comprehensive lesson plans and high-quality virtual learning experiences that directly cater to and advance students forward.
HiLink’s AI Lesson planner goes beyond static content and instead incorporates engaging activities proven to enrich the learning experience - including video, dynamic material, and other captivating multimedia. Through its integration into HiLink’s premier digital learning hub, Virtual Classroom, teachers now have a robust set of features at their fingertips built to enable student collaboration and engagement, including whiteboards, media players, and more. In turn, this drives:
• Efficient workflows: Embedding classroom functionality directly within the lesson plan creates more engaging lessons and eliminates friction during the ideation, planning, and teaching stages
• Impactful personalization: Every student is unique, and HiLink’s AI Lesson Planner crafts personalized lesson plans to address individual needs, ensuring every student receives the support and attention required for their academic success
• Productive learning environments: For educators, AI reduces time and costs. The ability to reference lesson plans during class helps instructors stay on track without disruption. In addition, the tool collects all student data to easily measure individual and collective performance metrics. For students, this establishes clearer learning objectives for each session, engaging content, and ultimately improves learning outcomes
"Our goal is to provide innovative solutions that unlock the highest potential for educators while creating delightful learning experiences for students,” said Kelvin Wu, founder & CEO of HiLink. “We believe that the future of AI in the education industry is not only inevitable, but when used effectively will successfully supercharge the way instructors - including traditional teachers and tutors alike - are able to inform and inspire young minds in a virtual setting. We’re committed to transforming education by helping people teach and learn better online, and this groundbreaking AI Lesson Planner is just the beginning of what we have planned for our customers and the industry regarding artificial intelligence moving forward.”
HiLink is building a better way to teach and learn online through the power of technology. Its all-in-one video conferencing, collaboration software, and AI-enabled solutions empower educators to create the most engaging and impactful learning experiences for students across the globe.