PRnewswire | July 04, 2023
Newsela, the leading K-12 instructional content platform, announced today that it has acquired Formative, the leading real-time instruction and assessment platform. This acquisition brings together two beloved classroom products to provide a comprehensive instructional solution that engages students and accelerates learning.
"Newsela has led the transition away from static classroom instructional materials to become the digital platform of choice for teachers seeking to accelerate student growth with accessible, real-world content and scaffolding activities that support all learners," said Pep Carrera, Chief Executive Officer at Newsela.
"Combining Newsela's best-in-class, accessible content with Formative's data-rich assessment activities will give students and teachers the complete, meaningful learning experience they want, while providing the deep insights that teachers and administrators need to effectively impact student outcomes."
Craig Jones and Kevin McFarland founded Formative as graduate students at UCLA in 2013. Today, Formative is used by educators and administrators globally and has a presence in the majority of U.S. school districts. In the past year alone, more than four million students have engaged with the platform.
"All teachers know the importance of being responsive to their students, but that individual attention requires a lot of time and resources. As a teacher, I saw greater improvements when I had the time to provide daily formative assessments, targeted intervention, and quicker feedback loops. Formative was created to apply this approach at scale, so teachers can do it better, faster, and take swift action with real-time data," said Craig Jones, Co-Founder and CEO of Formative. "Our goal was to give teachers the most effective tool for assessment and analysis. Now, the most effective assessment tool can be used with the best content."
As school districts look for the best pathways to improve student outcomes following the disruption of the pandemic, the role of formative assessments in concert with authentic, engaging content, could not be more critical in the effort to accelerate learning. Teachers will soon be able to apply Formative's powerful technology to Newsela's 15,000+ content library to gauge learning immediately, provide even more powerful scaffolds and support, while course-correcting in real time to meet academic goals throughout the year.
"We've learned that schools can have the best assessments and the best content, but that won't matter if teachers don't have the resources to make actionable changes based on data. Formative's success to date has been giving teachers real-time data that helps make informed decisions," said Kevin McFarland, Co-Founder and COO of Formative. "Now with Newsela, teachers will have all the resources—the best content and the best assessments—to help students achieve their goals."'
Built by teachers for teachers, Formative's mission is to accelerate learning and close the opportunity gap for all students. Formative empowers educators to super-charge their existing lessons and teaching tools into data-rich, formative-learning experiences across every grade level and subject matter. Formative's world-class Customer Success team ensures that administrators and teachers get the most from the platform, providing expert support for any level of technology in the classroom.
Newsela is an education technology company dedicated to meaningful classroom learning for every student. With over 15,000 authentic texts published at five reading levels, teacher scaffolding tools and activities, and flexible formative assessments, Newsela's products provide K-12 teachers with the instructional content they need to support and grow every learner.Newsela's platform is backed by learning science and purpose-built to drive outcomes and unlock student motivation. Today, over 3.3 million teachers and 40 million students have registered with Newsela for relevant, real-world content that accelerates learning and engages every learner.
PRnewswire | July 18, 2023
Anthology, a leading provider of education solutions that support the entire learner lifecycle, today announced its future of incorporating generative AI capabilities into its ecosystem of EdTech solutions in collaboration with Microsoft.
By using Microsoft's advanced AI technologies with Anthology's purpose-built suite of higher education solutions, Anthology is bringing forth new capabilities to help institutions personalize learning journeys, improve efficiencies and operations, and bolster recruitment and enrollment programs.
Anthology selected Microsoft as its AI solution partner because of Microsoft's vision and leadership in cloud AI developer services, long-standing relationship, and shared commitment to responsible AI by design.
Leveraging the power of AI across its solution suite is a key differentiator for Anthology and core to its mission to provide dynamic, data-informed experiences to the global education community through Anthology Intelligent Experiences™.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with Microsoft to drive the next wave of innovation in education and open a world of possibilities for the global education community," said JD White, Chief Product Officer at Anthology. "While other vendors might be looking at AI within a point solution, Anthology is assessing the power of generative AI technology across our vast stack of EdTech solutions. By thoughtfully integrating AI into our ecosystem, we can harness its power to foster innovation.
The collaboration with Microsoft ensures these solutions are scalable, secure, and seamlessly integrated into existing educational ecosystems, making them easily accessible to institutions worldwide."
"We're excited about our collaboration with Anthology to power new AI solutions for education with a shared commitment to responsible use," said Serena Sacks-Mandel, Global Chief Technology Officer for Microsoft Education. "Anthology is a proven partner that has consistently demonstrated innovation and is aligned to our mission of empowering education through technology."
Anthology's collaboration with Microsoft represents a significant step forward in delivering state-of-the-art AI capabilities tailored to the unique needs of higher education institutions. By integrating Microsoft's AI features into Anthology's purpose-built higher education solutions, institutions can unlock new opportunities for personalized student engagement, advanced data analytics, and streamlined administrative processes. For example, using Microsoft's Natural Language Processing capabilities, institutions can gain deeper insights from unstructured data sources, such as student feedback, surveys, and communications, empowering administrators to make data-informed decisions to improve student success and satisfaction.
Anthology unveiled new real-world applications of AI capabilities today at Anthology Together within its Blackboard Learn learning management system that are using Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service, including:
• A course-builder aide for instructors that create draft modules, titles, descriptions, etc. The integration of Azure OpenAI Service will enable instructors to streamline content creation processes, saving valuable time and effort.
• Content-based test generation. AI-powered algorithms analyze a document's content and quickly generate a diverse set of questions. This allows educators to allocate more time to other important tasks, such as lesson planning and individual student support.
• Rubric creation. Rubric creation powered by AI streamlines the rubric creation process and ensures consistency and fairness in evaluating student performance.
Educators will have the ability to customize and fine-tune these AI-generated rubrics according to specific learning objectives and assessment criteria, providing a balance between automation and instructor expertise.
These features are built following Anthology's commitment to responsible AI use, ensuring that human judgment and ethical considerations always guide AI-facilitated decision-making and to use AI as a tool to enable positive outcomes while respecting privacy, fairness, and transparency. Learn more about Anthology's approach to ethical and responsible AI use.
Anthology uses Azure for cloud services and the Microsoft Power Platform for business intelligence solutions. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the foundation of its customer relationship management (CRM), Anthology® Reach, and Finance and Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions, which will allow Anthology to use Dynamics 365 Copilot features to accelerate innovation. Anthology also harnesses the power of Microsoft 365's collaboration and productivity tools within many products, including its learning management system (LMS), Blackboard® Learn.
Microsoft awarded Anthology the Microsoft Business Applications Inner Circle award in 2022/2023 and 2021/2022. The award recognizes Outstanding Achievements in EdTech and Anthology's rank in the echelon of Microsoft's Business Applications global network of partners.
Anthology offers the largest EdTech ecosystem on a global scale for education, supporting more than 150 million users in 80 countries. With a mission to provide dynamic, data-informed experiences to the global education community through Anthology Intelligent Experiences™, we help learners, leaders and educators achieve their goals by offering over 60 SaaS products and services designed to advance learning.
PRnewswire | July 19, 2023
Lincoln Learning Solutions announced today the release of its Lincoln Content Bank, a multi-modal, educational content library designed with Amazon Web Services and intended to equip teachers with nearly 110,000 rigorous learning assets they can configure and assemble to meet the needs of their students.
"Educators working with pre-K through 12th-grade students need an easy-to-use tool that allows them to personalize learning opportunities," Lincoln Learning Solutions CEO, Bob Clements, said. "Our Lincoln Content Bank gives them the ability to quickly and simply search a huge variety of content to determine the best fit for individual students, small groups of students, or entire classrooms."
The Lincoln Content Bank features a robust search tool allowing teachers to harvest information based on searches of keyword, topic, standard, subject, grade level, modality, and more. Approximately 110,000 learning assets are at their fingertips ready to be incorporated into their courses in Canvas, according to Clements.
Designed by teachers for teachers, the content bank allows them to populate and preview on the same screen and intuitively makes recommendations based on previous searches. It gives teachers the luxury of saving the searched-for educational material in collections for easy retrieval at a later time.
Teachers who provided Lincoln with feedback in the early stages of development said the content bank would go a long way toward helping them close learning gaps, challenge students, ensure alignment with IEPs and 504 plans, and obtain standard mastery, all issues they face regardless of their learning environment.
"A lot went into this launch," Clements said. "The payoff for working with AWS to create this leading-edge teaching tool will come in the form of student success, which is always our top priority.
AWS is proud to have collaborated with Lincoln Learning Solutions on the development of the Lincoln Content Bank," said Annmarie Lehner, K-12 Business Development & Strategy Leader at AWS. "We look forward to seeing how K-12 school districts leverage the tool to personalize student learning in leading Learning Management Systems to improve student success."
LLS designed the tool with AWS so that it seamlessly integrates into the Canvas learning management suite and equips teachers with seemingly limitless access to an immense repository of educational content. Available in Canvas and in the AWS Marketplace, the Lincoln Content Bank will, among other things, provide teachers with: • Perceptive and rapid searching and browsing features • Customizable material for full classes or individual students • Myriad options for supplemental learning • Streamlined access to and application of learning objects targeting different learning modalities • Cross-curricular learning opportunities
School administrators will appreciate the content bank for its ability to streamline and standardize course creation across subjects while allowing individual departments to retain a level of ownership in the scope and sequence of their courses.
About Lincoln Learning Solutions
Lincoln Learning Solutions is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to collaborating with educators and maximizing their talents to facilitate student success. Based in western Pennsylvania, it is the developer of Lincoln Empowered™, a digitally based curriculum that delivers engaging, standards-based, instruction in online and blended learning environments. Lincoln Empowered™ offers a dynamic array of courses in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, and the creative and performing arts. Lincoln Learning Solutions currently serves nearly 100 schools in 14 states, and upward of 20,000 students.