Businesswire | April 21, 2023
Labster the world's leading edtech platform for virtual labs and interactive science courseware, is rolling out a major free user experience (UX) upgrade that will improve the Labster platform for millions of students in high school and higher education institutions worldwide. The upgrade will be pushed automatically to users when they log into Labster and will impact more than 80% of Labster simulations across all devices and LMS systems, including the Labster app for iOS and Chromebook.
With Labster, students explore interactive simulations in state-of-the-art laboratories from their digital devices. But the advanced scientific concepts and lab techniques that Labster simulations bring to life can sometimes be challenging for students who are not as well prepared. Based on extensive feedback from both users and instructors, Labster has developed a new intelligent “hint and guidance” system that will nudge students in the right direction toward successful completion of their assignments when needed. Among other features, this includes helpful new indicators and suggestions for students who appear to be stuck or struggling.
Leveraging gamification techniques has been proven to boost student enthusiasm, engagement and learning outcomes. Labster offers 300-plus titles in its catalog of STEM curriculum-aligned virtual lab simulations in fields such as biology, biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, chemistry, and physics. Labster simulations are especially useful for pre- and post-lab assignments, so science department leads can fully optimize the time students spend on-site in high-demand physical laboratories.
“Labster plays an important role in helping students complete challenging STEM courses, so it’s critical that we leverage the power of our platform to support their learning and progress through each simulation,” said Michael Bodekaer Jensen, co-founder and CEO of Labster. “Our ultimate goal is for Labster to increase STEM student retention by encouraging students on their path to becoming the next generation of scientists to change the world. Our thanks go out to the generous educators and students who helped us build this major upgrade by providing valuable feedback and ongoing testing for continuous improvement.”
Better STEM access for all
According to the National Science Board, academic institutions need to dramatically increase the proportion of students in STEM to preserve U.S. economic and innovation leadership. But women and minority students are already underrepresented in STEM education, and inherent design flaws in introductory STEM-subject courses can actually act as a barrier for minority students rather than as a springboard for success, according to a 2022 Pennsylvania State University research study led by mathematics professor Nathanial "Nate" Brown, Ph.D.
“We know that different students have different levels of comfort with online courseware,” said Jolita Kiznyte, Labster’s lead product manager for content. “That’s why we’re continuously working to improve the UX design of Labster’s gamified, interactive science simulations. It’s really important that we accommodate a diversity of user backgrounds and technical skills. These latest updates provide key hints and signals that can offer a helping hand to students where they need it while navigating the learning experience in our simulations.”
Labster has been innovating in science education for more than a decade, providing educators with the ability to digitally explore and enhance their science offerings and supplement their in-classroom activities. In 2022, Labster released five new course packages, including Basic Lab Skills, focused specifically on practical lab skills and simulations. Additionally, more than 150 of the 300-plus Labster simulations are now available in Spanish, with over 100 also in French, German, and Italian. Labster simulations can be played on a variety of the most commonly used desktop, laptop, and tablet computers available to the broadest range of students.
Getting to know (and love) Labster
Labster is dedicated to developing fully interactive virtual training simulations that are designed to enhance traditional learning outcomes by stimulating students’ natural curiosity and reinforcing the connection between science and the real world. The simulations can be used in a variety of different ways, from a full lab replacement to a supplemental learning activity. Over 5 million students in high schools and universities in 100 countries have used Labster to perform realistic experiments, learn key science concepts, and practice their skills in a risk-free learning environment. Labster’s team members are passionate about improving science learning, resulting in collaborations with over 3,000 leading educational institutions.
Stride | May 15, 2023
The nation’s four million teachers inspire students to make the impossible, possible. To honor their extraordinary contributions—to students and the country—K12, a Stride Inc. company, announced a unique “Be Kind 365” campaign that highlights special acts of kindness toward teachers.
Beginning this month and continuing throughout the year, K12 is expanding its efforts to champion teacher-centered accomplishments, initiatives, and programs nationwide. The company is launching Thank My Teacher, a new tool that allows families across the country to send messages of appreciation to their favorite educators. And through a new social media campaign, students and families are sharing posts and experiences that highlight the special and unique ways they show appreciation and kindness to their teachers.
K12’s new Teacher Appreciation Week campaign comes at a time when 44 percent of new teachers leave the profession within five years. Beginning teachers with little to no preparation are more than twice as likely to leave the classroom after one year compared to their better prepared counterparts.
That’s why this week, K12 is also launching a new “Teachers Win” initiative that supports new teachers. As part of this initiative, every 2023 teaching graduate in the U.S. is eligible to receive a one-year paid subscription to the Stride Professional Development Center: an ever-expanding library of interactive, mobile-friendly courses designed by educators, for educators.
“Our goal is to help new teachers get off to a strong start to their careers,” said Darren Reed, head of Stride’s Professional Development Center. “We want every teacher to feel confident in their ability to achieve early success in the classroom.”
Additionally, eligible teachers at every experience level can receive six months’ free access to Stride’s Professional Development Center through the company’s Learning Solutions Division. Learning Solutions is also launching a new video series featuring the stories of teachers who are making a difference in their communities.
This company-wide Teacher Appreciation Week effort is a launching pad to shine a light on who teachers are, their core values as educators, their resilience and dedication, and their critical role in shaping the people that students become. As part of their personalized and holistic approach to education, Stride’s K12-powered schools provide students with access to a rich curriculum taught by state-credentialed teachers who are specially trained in online instruction.
Throughout the year, K12’s new Be Kind 365 campaign will promote different ways to show kindness and outline strategies for fostering positive mental health and wellness.
About Stride, Inc.
At Stride, Inc , we are reimagining learning—where learning is lifelong, deeply personal, and prepares learners for tomorrow. The company has transformed millions of people’s teaching and learning experiences by providing innovative, high-quality, tech-enabled education solutions, curriculum, and programs directly to students, schools, the military, and enterprises in primary, secondary, and postsecondary settings. Stride is a premier provider of K-12 education for students, schools, and districts, including career learning services through middle and high school curriculum. For adult learners, Stride delivers professional skills training in healthcare and technology, as well as staffing and talent development for Fortune 500 companies. Stride has delivered millions of courses over the past decade and serves learners in all 50 states and more than 100 countries. More information can be found at stridelearning.com, K12.com, galvanize.com, techelevator.com, and medcerts.com.
EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY, CORPORATE LEARNING SYSTEMS
Guild Education and Salt Security | March 17, 2023
Salt Security, the leading API security company, today announced that Guild Education, the leader in opportunity creation for America's workforce, has chosen the Salt Security API Protection Platform to secure its growing application programming interface (API) ecosystem. Guild relies on APIs for the exchange of private and sensitive student, employer, and school data across its Career Opportunity Platform. With the Salt platform, Guild gains automatic and continuous API visibility, insights into potential data exposure, and API runtime protection to ensure the safety of its customers' critical data.
"Guild supports workers, companies, and educational organizations to build new career opportunities and address increasing talent shortages. Keeping employee, employer, and school data secure has always been a top priority," said Julie Chickillo, VP, head of security, Guild Education. "The visibility we get with Salt eliminates blindspots, allowing us to better protect the critical and personal information – including employer eligibility updates, student loan reimbursement data, and program applications – being shared via our APIs."
Although Guild looked at other API security solutions, Salt provided the most actionable insights and the most mature platform. Leveraging the robust Salt API security platform, Guild gains:
Discovery of shadow APIs – to ensure a complete and accurate API inventory and understand what unknown APIs might exist that could pose security risks
Attack prevention – the most proven algorithms in API security to pinpoint attacker reconnaissance activity, even drawn out over days and weeks, and stop attackers before they reach their objective
API security testing – to gain vulnerability insights in pre-production, empowering the Guild development team to improve the security posture of its new APIs
The Salt Security platform enables organizations to catalog their APIs, see where they expose sensitive data, detect and block API attackers, scan and test APIs, and provide remediation insights that developers can use to harden APIs and improve the security posture over time. Through its patented API Context Engine (ACE) architecture, the platform can identify the early indicators of an attack, stop attackers from advancing and turn attackers into penetration testers, leading to valuable feedback for security teams to identify and eliminate API vulnerabilities.
About Salt Security
Salt Security protects the APIs that form the core of every modern application. Its patented API Protection Platform is the only API security solution that combines the power of cloud-scale big data and time-tested ML/AI to detect and prevent API attacks. By correlating activities across millions of APIs and users over time, Salt delivers deep context with real-time analysis and continuous insights for API discovery, attack prevention, and shift-left practices. Deployed quickly and seamlessly integrated within existing systems, the Salt platform gives customers immediate value and protection, so they can innovate with confidence and accelerate their digital transformation initiatives. For more information, visit https://salt.security/
Guild's Career Opportunity Platform enables forward-thinking employers to invest in their employees, unlocking life-changing opportunities for personal and professional growth through education and learning programs, career development and one-on-one coaching. Guild partners with the nation's largest employers — including Walmart, Chipotle, Discover, Hilton, Macy's, Target and The Walt Disney Company — to create cultures of opportunity that will help them attract and retain top talent, and build the workforce of the future. Using Guild's Career Opportunity Platform full of real-world education and learning programs, employees at those companies can gain the skills, knowledge and guidance they need to build a brighter future for themselves and their families — all without paying for tuition or career services on their own. For more information, visit https://www.guildeducation.com/