Wiley buys technology training provider for $129M

educationdive | January 07, 2020

Wiley announced this week it acquired London-based training provider Mthree in a $129 million cash deal.  Mthree teaches professionals and students technology skills sought after in the workplace. It operates in 20 cities across four continents, including North America, and is expected to have generated $50 million in revenue in 2019.  The acquisition comes as Wiley, which provides online program management (OPM) services to dozens of colleges, expands its footprint in the career education market. With Mthree, Wiley will be able to tap into the growing demand for technology skills training. To close the global cybersecurity skills gap, some 4 million workers are needed, according to one recent survey.

Spotlight

Sure, they look nice. But do interactive campus maps and virtual tours provide a return on the investment for higher education?In fact, as you’ll see in the infographic attached, the estimated ROI of having an interactive map and virtual tour is 69 new students enrolled worth $1.5 million in first-year tuition.But there are many additional layers that demonstrate the utility that these resources provide for prospective students as well as for those trying to reach them.

Spotlight

Sure, they look nice. But do interactive campus maps and virtual tours provide a return on the investment for higher education?In fact, as you’ll see in the infographic attached, the estimated ROI of having an interactive map and virtual tour is 69 new students enrolled worth $1.5 million in first-year tuition.But there are many additional layers that demonstrate the utility that these resources provide for prospective students as well as for those trying to reach them.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Verizon Explores the 5G Future of Learning at Arizona State University 5G Innovation Hub

Verizon | January 14, 2022

Verizon and Arizona State University are exploring how 5G can enable immersive educational experiences and transform the future of learning. To do this, Verizon has launched a 5G Innovation Hub at the University's Learning Futures Collaboratory, Studios and Emporium. Students, faculty, entrepreneurs, and corporate partners can now work together at the Hub to test and create 5G-powered educational experiences that are more inclusive, equitable and accessible. Digital equity is on the national agenda as leaders aim to address the digital divide, deepened during the pandemic. And in Arizona where as many as one million residents, including more than 200,000 students, do not have regular access to the internet, ASU has been instrumental in leading a series of initiatives aimed at surfacing solutions to help further close the digital divide. The first program to launch out of the 5G Innovation Hub at ASU will be “The Digital Equity Jam” sponsored by Verizon, AWS and Inseego. This program kicks off in early February 2022. Competing teams will develop use cases showcasing how Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband and mobile edge compute can be used to help bridge the digital divide. Focus areas will include health, climate, poverty, human rights and education. The winning team will receive project seed funding, access to intensive summer entrepreneurship training in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and VentureWell, and the opportunity to pitch their venture to CGI in fall 2022. “Working with ASU, we have an extraordinary opportunity to research and develop new 5G-enabled experiences that can improve remote learning and help bridge the digital divide. Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband’s super-fast speeds, high bandwidth and low latency can enhance applications ranging from immersive education to connected communities. By collaborating with ASU’s researchers, we hope to accelerate the innovation process and develop technology that will harness the full potential of 5G and edge compute.” Tami Erwin, Verizon Business CEO “We are in the most transformative technological moment since the early stages of the industrial revolution. And even with the social, political, and economic impacts that we are still learning to navigate as a society, there have been incredibly meaningful results from this use of technology,” said ASU President Michael Crow this morning during a keynote with Erwin at the Smart Region Summit. “Who gets educated is no longer socially stratified, we are able to unleash human creativity in ways not possible before…and so what these technologies that leverage broadband at the fastest speeds and most advanced level imaginable allow us to create is an environment in which the person, the learner, becomes emotionally connected in the story around the learning process itself. At ASU, we’ve become, with this next phase of our partnership with Verizon, the furthest at the tip of the spear to be empowered with technology and continue to improve the ways in which we learn, work and live.” Additionally, ASU plans to continue testing and deploying a variety of immersive educational experiences, powered by Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband and mobile edge compute. Students will be able to enter a Dreamscape pod where they can experience a Biology class in virtual reality (VR). Remote students will have access to a VR and web browser version. 5G use cases being explored will also include a career arcade using VR, where students can experience a day in the life of certain careers. 5G applications are also being tested for athlete performance analytics applications and virtual fighter pilot training. This engagement is part of Verizon’s broader strategy to partner with enterprises, startups, universities, national labs and government/military to explore how 5G can disrupt and transform nearly every industry. Verizon operates five 5G Labs in the U.S. and one in London that specialize in developing use cases in industries ranging from healthcare to public safety to entertainment. In addition, Verizon is collaborating with several customers to establish 5G Innovation Hubs on-premises as part of an ongoing initiative to co-innovate and create new 5G applications. Verizon's long-standing relationship with ASU includes collaboration and support for Verizon Innovative Learning, Verizon's award-winning education initiative addressing barriers to digital inclusion and a key program under Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement. The initiative includes bringing 5G to schools, enabling more robust, immersive learning experiences via technologies like artificial intelligence, 3D printing, augmented and virtual reality. Students leverage technology, social innovation and design thinking through a project-based online curriculum, developed by the J.Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at ASU, to positively impact their communities. Verizon's partnership with ASU also extends to Verizon Innovative Learning HQ, a free next-gen online education portal that includes content curated by ASU, among other academic institutions, that provides immersive AR and VR experiences paired with lesson plans. Through Citizen Verizon, the company is committed to providing 10 million youths with digital skills training by 2030, among other goals. About Verizon: Verizon Communications Inc. was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $128.3 billion in 2020. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

EdTech Leader VIPKid Expands its Global Education Platform

VIPKid | December 20, 2021

Today, VIPKid, a leading global education technology company, officially released an updated global platform, which will be accessible to students around the world. The global platform represents the company's commitment to achieving its mission to inspire and empower every child for the future. "This is an exciting day for the VIPKid community. Our new global platform will enable us to connect more students around the world with dedicated teachers for immersive and engaging online learning." Cindy Mi, VIPKid Founder and CEO For nearly a decade, VIPKid, which Cindy founded in 2013 and formally launched in 2014, has inspired millions of children through engaging instruction and created enduring human connections spanning vast distances. Now, as the company looks to the future, learnings gleaned over the past eight years uniquely position VIPKid for continued global success. The company's passionate community of online teachers, and experience delivering over 200 million live online classes to over 1 million students, has proven the platform's depth of capabilities and opens up new opportunities for VIPKid to partner with other edtech platforms that offer world-class learning instruction. The new global platform can be accessed in multiple languages, will enable far more students to benefit from VIPKid's award-winning curriculum, and aims to provide online educators with more opportunities to inspire students around the world. Developed by VIPKid's Research Institute and perfected over 8 years, the company's curriculum was meticulously crafted based on in-depth research to personalize learning for each student and has now been updated to serve both global and regional audiences. "Over the last few months, VIPKid's team has worked diligently to expand our global platform and update our curriculum for new audiences," explains Cindy of the company's new transition. "I want to thank all of our internal teams and vast teacher community for sticking with us as we embark on a new journey, and I want to thank them for their commitment to continue achieving VIPKid's mission as we launch our global platform." About VIPKid VIPKid is a global education technology company and a leader in children's online education. Since its founding in 2013 and formal launch in 2014, VIPKid has connected students with experienced online educators for real-time learning. VIPKid's mission is to inspire and empower every child for the future and is committed to unleashing the power of the world's best educators by bringing their world-class learning product to a global audience. VIPKid envisions a global classroom that empowers students and teachers through personalized learning, connects cultures across the world, and ignites a passion for lifelong learning.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Skyward Helps Districts Leverage Edtech as Digital Transformation Accelerates

Skyward | September 30, 2021

As district leaders have accelerated their reliance on technology and digital skills, it has become clear that some of the strategies and tools put in place during the last 18 months will remain in the post-COVID-19 education world. For many school districts, leveraging their use of existing technology allowed them to make digital transformation a much less stressful experience. One such district, Consolidated High School District 230 (D230) in Illinois, integrated their SIS (Skyward) with their LMS (Canvas) to help them transition to a successful virtual learning environment. While D230 already had plans in place for eLearning to be used for inclement weather days prior to the pandemic, the district had to speed up their plans when the pandemic hit. Luckily, the district's SIS easily integrates with many third-party solutions, so they were able to get their virtual learning environment up and running quickly. "The integration [of Skyward] with Canvas has made it much easier to manage changes with courses, teachers, student rosters, team teaching, and more," stated John Connolly, chief technology officer at the district. "Our teachers especially love the gradebook passback feature." Another district in Texas, Grand Prairie Independent School District, used Skyward to offer online enrollment amid the pandemic. With a student count of over 29,000, Grand Prairie ISD needed a way to enroll all students without in-person visits. Enter Skyward's New Student Online Enrollment (NSOE). According to Bill Young, the district's director of student information systems, implementing the NSOE feature created convenience and peace of mind for both district administrators and district families. "NSOE has been a great way to receive information from parents, process the information to get students enrolled, and communicate back to the parents, all with no face-to-face contact," said Young. Finally, Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township in Indiana, used Skyward to move their parent-teacher conferences online. The results surpassed expectations, with one elementary school reporting 100% participation. "A silver lining to all the negatives of the pandemic is the move of parent-teacher conferences online," said chief operations and technology officer at the district, Pete Just. "Our participation is through the roof and teachers and parents are connecting to help students in ways they never had before. Engaging the adult in the student's life is key to student success. I think online parent teacher conferences are here to stay and that's a great thing!" For D230, Grand Prairie ISD, MSD Wayne Township, and thousands of other districts around the nation, COVID-19 caused a quick pivot to remote learning with a heavier reliance on their edtech. By using Skyward in creative and innovative ways, these three districts thrived. The pandemic created a rapid acceleration in districts' move to digital solutions,For districts, leveraging edtech they already own allows them to shift to a digital environment, without having to invest in additional software or learn new tools. Ray Ackerlund, president of Skyward. While it is impossible to know what the coming years of education will look like, these examples show how districts are using their edtech to stay future-ready as they anticipate what may happen next. About Skyward Skyward's school administrative software solutions are used by more than 2,000 public sector organizations worldwide, from small entities to statewide implementations. Since 1980, Skyward has remained committed to a better experience for every user.

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