Will artificial intelligence make the college classroom more accessible?

educationdive | April 04, 2019

Artificial intelligence (AI) has seeped into almost every corner of higher education, popping up in the classroom, administrative offices, and even in dorm rooms and on campus grounds — all with the promise to streamline tasks and create a more personalized college experience for students.As the technology steers colleges away from a one-size-fits-all approach, it is helping them make progress on one of their most long-running goals: making higher ed more accessible to all types of learners.It is doing that in several ways. Among them, by scanning class materials for accessibility issues, improving learning tools for students with disabilities and offering personalized resources for learners who may need additional support, such as those who speak English as a second language.AI stands to open the door to levels of accessibility that weren't possible before, and its effects extend to the entire student body. "So many of the barriers that are in the (college) environment are due to technology," said Cynthia Curry, director of the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials for Learning. "If there can be systems built within technology to automatically, accurately and consistently make sure that the technology is being delivered in a way that's inherently accessible to all learners, that's really exciting."

Spotlight

If you want some insights into where the content marketing industry may be headed, it might just help to take a look at where it’s been. As we pointed out when CMI shared its History of Content Marketing infographic in 2012, brands have been telling their stories to audiences for hundreds of years. Not to mention that storytelling itself is one of the oldest forms of communication. Benjamin Franklin first publishes the yearly Poor Richard’s Almanack. The goal is to promote his printing business.

Spotlight

If you want some insights into where the content marketing industry may be headed, it might just help to take a look at where it’s been. As we pointed out when CMI shared its History of Content Marketing infographic in 2012, brands have been telling their stories to audiences for hundreds of years. Not to mention that storytelling itself is one of the oldest forms of communication. Benjamin Franklin first publishes the yearly Poor Richard’s Almanack. The goal is to promote his printing business.

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Herff Jones Virtual Learning Sessions Hit It Big With Yearbook Staffs

prnewswire | October 21, 2020

Herff Jones, an achievement division of Varsity Brands and the leading provider of graduation and educational products and services, launched Pivot Project Live, a series of six webinars all about "yearbooking" during the pandemic. Developed to address the unique challenges facing yearbook staffs everywhere, these live webinars are intended to ease the burden of creating a yearbook amidst a whole new normal. Hundreds of advisers from across the country tune in to hear from other top, long-time advisers to discuss hot topics like getting great photos from a distance, changing coverage plans to meet changing environments, and building a culture when face-to-face isn't the norm. Each week's webinar is themed and led by a new guest speaker with a Q&A at the end.

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CORPORATE LEARNING SYSTEMS

New Skillsoft Study Reveals Learning and Development Disconnect Between Women in Tech and Employers

Skillsoft | December 03, 2021

Skillsoft, a global leader in corporate digital learning, today released new research exploring the current state of women in tech including the challenges and barriers to inclusion they face and how employers can better support them. Findings from Skillsoft’s 2021 Women in Tech Report reveal that while female employees have gained hard-fought ground in the workplace, a large gap still exists when it comes to opportunities for professional development and career advancement. According to the report, there is a misalignment between the workplace benefits women in tech are seeking and what is currently being provided. For example, while 86 percent of respondents cited opportunities for professional development and training as extremely or very important to them, just 42 percent said their employers currently offer this as a benefit. Additionally, when asked about the top challenges they have faced while pursuing a tech-related career, nearly a third of women surveyed (32 percent) pointed to a lack of training. The research indicates that women in tech want to learn, and when asked which tech-related areas they are most interested in, business analysis, cybersecurity, analytics, AI, and machine learning, and leadership and management topped their lists. With Skillsoft’s recent IT Skills and Salary Report finding that 76 percent of organizations currently face skills gaps in their IT departments, providing opportunities for training and professional development is a major benefit for employers and employees alike as it can help fill crucial shortages and skills gaps and put women on a path for career advancement. “Organizations around the globe are looking for ways to address their skills gaps, and in many cases, the answer lies within via their existing workforce. Women make up less than 40 percent of the global workforce, and for that number to increase, female employees must be empowered with continuous training, professional development, and career advancement, as well as equal pay. The time is now for organizations to tackle gender disparity head-on. By doing so, we can build more inclusive, equitable, and competitive businesses.” Potoula Chresomales, SVP, Product Management, Skillsoft Skillsoft’s 2021 Women in Tech Report highlights a few ways organizations can better empower female employees, including: Provide and encourage opportunities for certification: When asked how certifications have helped advance their careers, respondents reported gaining more responsibility (52 percent), earning higher salaries (34 percent), and receiving promotions (32 percent), among other benefits. Despite business analysis and cybersecurity being identified as leading areas of interest, just 22 percent and 18 percent of respondents, respectively, hold corresponding certifications.19 percent report holding no certifications at all. Make a concentrated effort to reduce gender bias in STEM: 70 percent of women surveyed reported that men outnumber them in the workplace at ratios of two-to-one or greater. Additionally, Skillsoft found that compared to men, women in tech must work longer to climb the corporate ladder. The highest percentage of men in leadership roles have 15-20 years of experience versus 26 or more years for women. To encourage more women to pursue tech-related careers, respondents said organizations should provide opportunities for professional development and training (55 percent), childcare (47 percent), career coaching, mentoring, and counseling (43 percent), and an equitable work culture (41 percent). Alleviate the unique on-the-job challenges women face: While overall job satisfaction for women in tech is strong – 91 percent of respondents report being extremely or somewhat satisfied in their roles – they face numerous obstacles. 38 percent of respondents list their biggest challenge as a lack of equity in pay. This is followed by balancing work and life (36 percent) and a lack of equity in opportunities (33 percent). Ensure training is timely and topical: When selecting a training provider, women in tech seek scheduling capabilities (34 percent), relevant course availability (32 percent), and opportunities for hands-on practice (32 percent). About Skillsoft Skillsoft is a global leader in corporate digital learning, focused on transforming today’s workforce for tomorrow’s economy. The Company provides enterprise learning solutions designed to prepare organizations for the future of work, overcome critical skill gaps, drive demonstrable behavior-change, and unlock the potential in their people. Skillsoft offers a comprehensive suite of premium, original, and authorized partner content, including one of the broadest and deepest libraries of leadership & business skills, technology & developer, and compliance curricula. With access to a broad spectrum of learning options (including video, audio, books, bootcamps, live events, and practice labs), organizations can meaningfully increase learner engagement and retention. Skillsoft’s offerings are delivered through Percipio, its award-winning, AI-driven, immersive learning platform purpose built to make learning easier, more accessible, and more effective.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

ChiliSleep Launches a Trio of Online Learning Platforms to Continue Improving How the World Sleeps

ChiliSleep | September 23, 2021

Kryo, Inc., the parent company of ChiliSleep, today announced the launch of three sleep learning platforms for both the professional and consumer markets. ChiliSleep is launching a “Back to Sleep” challenge to encourage people to take back their health. This 5-day live event will run from September 27, 2021 – October 1, 2021. The goal of the free Back to Sleep challenge is to improve how millions of people around the world are sleeping -- by starting a sleep movement, creating a community, and inspiring participants through a unique blend of accountability and behavioral change. ChiliSleep has assembled a star-studded roster of health + wellness experts who will share specific strategies to teach people how to get good sleep. One of the featured speakers is Mollie McGlocklin, creator of Sleep Is A Skill and the host of The Sleep Is A Skill Podcast. “I’ll be sharing the exact steps that people need to take! We’re going to take our health back TOGETHER as a community. I can’t wait to reach even more people to help them escape the cycle of sleepless nights and exhausting days,” said McGlocklin. Other event speakers are Michael J. Breus, PhD (aka, “The Sleep Doctor”), David Nurse (NBA/elite performance optimization coach), and Kelly Starrett (physical therapist, New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and CrossFit trainer). The free challenge, which will last 60 minutes each day, launches on Monday, September 27. Participants can register here: https://backtosleepchallenge.com. Sleepme 6-Week Course for Consumers Sleepme coaching is a new program that helps people who struggle with their sleep quality -- whether they simply can't fall asleep or they can’t stay asleep. Knowing that quality sleep enhances overall health and wellness, ChiliSleep’s upcoming consumer-focused 6-week program will teach the necessary framework for better sleep. “The course will focus on creating positive behaviors for people willing to experiment a little and try out new strategies that will improve their sleep quality and have them wake up feeling rested! Not only will students learn about sleep, but they’ll also gain insights into their own sleeping patterns and how to improve their health overall,” said ChiliSleep CEO and Co-Founder Tara Youngblood. Throughout the program’s core modules, students will learn about the three main pillars of sleep: Environmental, Behavioral, and Cognitive. Students will also learn the importance of stress reduction and mindfulness; light, sound, and temperature; analyzing sleep patterns, and understanding cognitive productivity. About ChiliSleep ChiliSleep is a sleep technology brand that optimizes health and wellness through clinically researched and drug-free sleep therapies to improve sleep quality. As the original inventors of the world’s first hydro-powered, temperature-regulated sleep system, ChiliSleep is revolutionizing the way the world sleeps. ChiliSleep's products cool as low as 55°F and allow users to fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and wake up rested! ChiliSleep’s award-winning bed cooling systems, the Cube™ and OOLER, consistently outperform the competition in the cooling/warming mattress topper category. Consumer Reports ranked the OOLER a 5/5 and #1 overall, with the Cube coming in at #2. Kryo, Inc., the parent company of ChiliSleep, was founded by Tara and Todd Youngblood and is currently ranked #615 on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list of Fastest Growing Small Companies.

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