PRnewswire | April 20, 2023
Promethean, a leading global education technology company, announced today that its parent company, NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited, has approved a plan and entered into the related agreements to spin off the Promethean group of entities into a separate company that will subsequently merge with Gravitas Education Holdings, Inc., a public company.
Following the merger, expected to be completed in Q3, Promethean will benefit from operating as a standalone company separate from NetDragon, listed on the NYSE, with a distinct board and management team of world-class leaders focused on driving shareholder value. The new holding company will be renamed to MYND.AI at the transaction's closing to reflect the new brand and the company's direction to pursue the transformation of artificial intelligence (AI) in education.
Merging with Gravitas Education Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GEHI) will enable the company to grow its global education business sustainably and further the development of new innovative technologies like AI. Promethean has expanded its product offerings to include software and AI in the past year. This merger is the next stage in the evolution of the company's goal to strengthen its global position in the market and remain the market leader in the U.S. and EMEA.
"The decision to spin off our overseas education business advances our ability to create value for customers and shareholders. Our business is at an exciting market inflection point as the world moves toward accelerating the application of AI in virtually all industries. We believe we are well ahead of the market in pushing forward the effective and practical use of AI in education, especially in the classroom," said Dr. Simon Leung, vice chairman of NetDragon and chairman of MYND.AI, upon closing of the transaction. "As we execute our plan to transform education with AI, this spinoff transaction will provide the right platform for the MYND.AI team to pursue our goal of becoming the dominant category leader in the AI-enabled classroom technology space. We are excited about our path ahead, and I want to thank our shareholders for their support as we embark on this journey together."
"As the classroom evolves, we continue to look to the future to provide innovative educational technology solutions that transform teaching and learning. We are excited to be at the forefront of integrating AI into our products that will add true education value, leveraging our investment in AI technology and our deep understanding of customer needs over the past 25 years," said Vin Riera, CEO at Promethean and MYND.AI, upon closing of the transaction. "This exciting new chapter will build on our mission to design learning and collaboration tools that deliver the most effective learning outcomes for teachers and students."
Promethean is a leading education technology company working to transform the way the world learns and collaborates. From our founding in Blackburn, England, more than 25 years ago to our global operations in 22 countries today, we've continued to explore, innovate, and inspire —designing learning and collaboration tools that are built for breakthroughs. Our award-winning interactive display, ActivPanel, and lesson delivery software, ActivInspire and ClassFlow, were designed to engage students, connect colleagues, and bring out the brilliance in everyone. With headquarters in Seattle, Washington, and offices worldwide, Promethean is a member of the NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited (HKSE: 0777) group of companies.
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.
CORPORATE EDUCATION AND TRAINING
PRnewswire | April 05, 2023
Surgent Accounting & Financial Education, a division of KnowFully Learning Group, today announced the introduction of four new continuing professional education (CPE) courses, broadening its content library and enabling the accounting community to navigate critical new concerns, such as the proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) and how to prepare for a potential banking crisis.
"Though the education landscape is always evolving, the recent introduction of AI through tools such as ChatGPT and the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and others are particularly noteworthy events that deeply impact the accounting and finance professions," said Liz Kolar, Surgent's executive vice president. "Our new CPE courses, which will debut just after the April 18 tax-filing deadline, include offerings that address these significant developments and demonstrate Surgent's commitment to meeting customers where they are with the absolute timeliest of content."
Each two-hour-long course will debut with a live webinar and then be available for on-demand learning. They are as follows (including first air date):
• April 19: A Complete Tax Guide to Exit Planning (EXP2)
• April 27: Lessons Learned from Recent Accounting Malpractice Actions (AMA2)
• May 2: The Risks and Benefits of ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence (CHT2)
• May 11: Preparing for and Navigating a Potential Banking Crisis (PBC2)
A Complete Tax Guide to Exit Planning
Worth two CPE, IRS or CTEC credits, this course takes learners through the various issues needed to achieve an effective management and/or ownership change, including tax implications. Designed for CPAs in industry and public accounting who want to gain an understanding of exit planning considerations for their clients, the course will compare exit planning between entity types (C-corporations, S-corporations, partnerships, etc.).
Lessons Learned from Recent Accounting Malpractice Actions
This course provides a current overview of accounting malpractice litigation throughout the U.S., allowing accounting or financial services professionals to understand the types of claims asserted against CPA firms and strategies to employ to avoid such claims. It is worth two CPE credits.
The Risks and Benefits of ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence
It is difficult to overstate how much will change with the rise of AI technologies, such as ChatGPT and its future incarnations, or how important it is that companies embrace the opportunity to leverage them correctly. Having conversations regarding the proper adoption of these technologies and tools is a crucial first step, including drafting policies to assist companies with their beneficial and thoughtful implementation and use.
Worth two CPE credits, this course will define the state of AI tools, what benefits and risks exist, and which steps to take to begin adopting these technologies with appropriate guardrails, policies and training.
Preparing for and Navigating a Potential Banking Crisis
The collapse of FTX followed by Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank renewed concerns among accounting and financial executives and their boards regarding how to navigate a potential banking crisis and survive.
Worth two CPE credits, this course explores the challenges of the current monetary trends, the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and insurance reserves. Learners will analyze their collective and individual impact on accounting and financial executives in areas of credit markets and banking, risk management, cash flow planning strategies, debt and equity mix impacts in uncertain markets, and globalization of the financial markets in times of uncertainty. Specific recommendations and insights will be offered to deal with the challenges, including a discussion on the nuances of FDIC.
"Deciphering the FDIC rules, which are often misunderstood, is top of mind for CFOs, controllers, accountants, and any other accounting and finance professionals who are focused on surviving and learning from our current banking crisis," said Kolar. "This of-the-moment content – and all the information shared in these four new courses – will help prepare accounting and finance professionals to better serve their clients."
About Surgent Accounting & Financial Education
Surgent Accounting & Financial Education, a division of KnowFully Learning Group, is a provider of the high-impact education experiences that accounting, tax and financial professionals need throughout their careers. For most of the company's 35-year history, Surgent has been a trusted provider of the continuing professional education (CPE), continuing education (CE) and skill-based training that professionals need to maintain their credentials and stay current on industry changes. More recently, Surgent became one of the fastest-growing certification exam review providers, offering adaptive learning-based courses that help learners pass accounting and finance credentialing exams faster.