Businesswire | May 17, 2023
Watermark, a leading provider of software solutions for higher education, announced today a strategic partnership with Lightcast, a global leader in labor market data, analytics, and expert guidance. This collaboration will empower higher education institutions to make better-informed strategic planning and program review decisions by seamlessly integrating labor market data directly into Watermark's Planning & Self-Study software.
The partnership's goal is to bring the valuable labor market data already available in Lightcast Analyst directly to those charged with making critical decisions on the viability of program offerings.
With the partnership, Watermark will begin offering the Market Landscape Data Pack as an add-on to Watermark's Planning & Self-Study software, an award-winning solution which facilitates continuous improvement processes such as strategic and assessment planning, program review, and accreditation reporting. The data pack will provide institutions with the ability to understand their market landscape and ensure program relevance by providing curated labor market data points to the right people involved in the program review process at the right time.
Furthermore, institutions using both Watermark and Lightcast products gain significant advantages with a more efficient program review process and abilities to deep dive into opportunity areas using Lightcast Analyst or other Lightcast offerings such as Skillabi and Alumni Pathways.
"We are thrilled to partner with Lightcast to equip higher education institutions with the crucial data they need to make informed decisions benefiting their students and programs,” said Erin Shy, CEO of Watermark. “As labor market data becomes increasingly important in higher education, our partnership with Lightcast will enable institutions to integrate this crucial information into their planning and program review processes, ultimately leading to more successful outcomes for their students."
Formed in 2021 after the merger of Emsi and Burning Glass, Lightcast is a global pioneer in labor market data and analysis committed to connecting individuals with the right skills and jobs in the right places. With over two decades of experience and a client base of 1,500 organizations worldwide that serve learners and institutions (including colleges, universities, associations, ed tech firms, and more), Lightcast collects real-time data from over 50,000 sources daily. Combining this data with curated input from various statistical sources offers comprehensive insights into occupations, skills in demand, and career pathways. Lightcast helps businesses, communities, and educational institutions make informed decisions in the fast-changing world of work.
"Our partnership with Watermark is an exciting opportunity to further our mission of providing higher education institutions with the data they need to serve their students better,” said Chris Kibarian, CEO of Lightcast. “By integrating our labor market data directly into Watermark's software, we can help institutions save time, increase consistency and trust, and make more informed decisions about their programs and strategic planning."
Watermark and Lightcast are committed to helping higher education institutions navigate the ever-changing labor market landscape and adapt their programs and strategies accordingly. This initial offering marks the beginning of a strong collaboration focused on solving the critical challenge of delivering the right data to the right people for better decision-making in higher education.
Watermark advances educational impact by developing innovative technology that educators and institutional leaders can trust. Supporting over 1,700 higher education institutions worldwide, Watermark launched in 2018 following the merger of Taskstream, Tk20, and LiveText — three of the leading providers of assessment management technology in the industry – with Digital Measures, EvaluationKIT, and SmartCatalog. Aviso Retention joined the Watermark family in 2020. With solutions in the areas of assessment and accreditation management, faculty activity reporting, course evaluations and surveys, curriculum and catalog management, and student success and retention, Watermark’s more than 400 team members are committed to helping colleges and universities operate more strategically and effectively to maximize the impact they have on their students and communities.
Lightcast provides trusted global labor market data, analytics, and expert guidance that empowers communities, corporations, and learning providers to make informed decisions and navigate the increasingly complex world of work. With a database of more than one billion job postings and career profiles, Lightcast delivers best-in-class customer service with robust data, clear analysis, and expert guidance on skills, jobs, and opportunities.
PRnewswire | April 06, 2023
Learneo, Inc., an ambitious new platform of productivity and learning businesses and technologies, today announced its acquisition of German-founded LanguageTool, a multilingual writing platform for English, Spanish, and 30 other languages. This acquisition adds to Learneo's robust suite of writing solutions, while also advancing the company's larger international expansion strategy.
"We are committed to supporting builder-driven businesses that help people learn and do more, faster, better, and more affordably—wherever learning occurs," said Andrew Grauer, CEO of Learneo. "The LanguageTool business fits squarely in our investment thesis and accelerates our mission thanks to their values-aligned and ambitious co-founders, their broad customer reach of B2C and B2B clients across the globe, and their unique language and AI expertise."
Globally, most people communicate in more than one language today. Employers are increasingly expecting their employees to engage with colleagues, partners, and customers in multiple languages. In the U.S., for example, 9 out of 10 U.S. employers have reported that they rely on U.S.-based employees with language skills other than English.
Born out of an interest in helping professionals communicate in an increasingly global world, Daniel Naber started LanguageTool as a part of his diploma thesis while studying computational linguistics in 2003. Naber spent many years building LanguageTool in his free time, initially as an open-source project and later as a business when he joined forces with Christopher Blum. Blum had previously founded the spell checking platform, Spellboy, and the two decided to collaborate and unify their experience by co-founding LanguageTool as a business. Today, LanguageTool boasts over 60,000 paying subscribers, including professionals and enterprise clients, and millions more free users across Europe and Latin America.
"Having built LanguageTool over the course of the last 20 years, it has been exciting for us to find a partner so clearly aligned with our mission who also understands our advanced technology and can support our continued innovation in a moment of rapid technological evolution," said Naber. "Joining the Learneo team and having the ability to work alongside talent with phenomenal writing and AI expertise to accelerate our vision is a dream come true. We are deeply motivated by the possibilities that lie ahead!"
With this acquisition, Learneo now comprises seven distinct business lines: CliffsNotes, Course Hero, LanguageTool, LitCharts, QuillBot, Scribbr, and Symbolab. Individually, and together, Learneo's platform of businesses is pioneering advances in a wide range of applications for emergent technologies, including the use of AI to improve people's written communications, reading, and math skills, whether they are in school, a professional work environment, or simply navigating everyday life. Most recently, QuillBot announced the addition of an AI-augmented translator to its platform, allowing users to translate complex texts and better understand the nuances of sentence structure, word choice, and verb conjugation.
"In an ever-more-globalized, asynchronous work environment, accessible multilingual expertise for written communication is in high demand," said Rohan Gupta, CEO of QuillBot and head of Learneo's writing vertical. "Daniel, Christopher and the LanguageTool team have built something truly unique, and I am excited for us to build together, to evolve each of our product lines across Learneo's writing vertical, and to advance the international writing industry at large."
Learneo is pioneering a platform of productivity and learning businesses. The platform of businesses includes CliffsNotes, the original and iconic study guide company; Course Hero, an online learning platform of academic resources; LitCharts, a creator of literature resources; QuillBot, an AI-powered writing companion; Scribbr, a multilingual academic proofreading service, and Symbolab, an AI-based mathematics resource.
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.