EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Surreal Builds Virtual Campus for Future Online Learning

Surreal | December 01, 2022 | Read time : 02:41 min

Surreal Builds Virtual Campus for Future Online Learning
Emerged themselves in VR classrooms created by Surreal, a Taiwan-based startup supported by National Development Council, focusing on digital education, students feel more comfortable speaking foreign language. Intending to make education more accessible for students from remote areas, Andy Peng, the CEO, and founder of Surreal believes that XR technology will benefit the learning of the young generation and nurture more innovative talents in Taiwan. SURREALM, a learning platform launched by Surreal, aims to give students an interactive virtual learning environment where they can have a sense of togetherness, presence, and playfulness. It combines emojis that most students, as digital natives, are familiar with to give feedback. The grouping function allows students to discuss and collaborate in virtual classrooms, as well as to communicate and play freely during break time. For teachers, SURREALM enables education to cross the boundaries of space and make more efficient use of limited resources and time. In the VR classroom, teachers can present the material in a variety of ways to achieve the best possible learning outcomes. Students can explore a wide range of content like images, videos, documents, and audio. In addition, it also provides comprehensive lesson preparation, classroom management and assignment functions, allowing lecturers to easily control the progress of teaching. The intuitive design of the user interface makes it easy for both teachers and students to get started. The rich content and high level of interactivity allow teachers to easily capture the attention of students and increase engagement to ensure knowledge is internalized. In SURREALM, users can interact with each other in a lively Avatar image to bring them closer to each other. With the virtual world feature, the learning process can be recreated on demand. Users can manage their own class schedules via the website and view a complete record of their learning history, test results and more. In pursuit of a new challenge, Andy decided to start his own business 17 years ago despite his family's opposition. He observed that most of Taiwan's industries are still stuck in the 1990s and need to be digitally transformed to allow for a paradigm shift. Surreal therefore aims not only to facilitate the digitalization of the education industry, but also to nurture a new generation of educators and equip teachers with new digital skills. In the 1980s, teachers used to write on blackboards to teach lessons. In the 2000s, teachers relied on slides. In the Metaverse era, educators must have to learn new ways to teach digital natives.' Andy says. In Korea, the government has spent 20 years developing metaverse teaching materials from primary to high school, bringing together experts and scholars from various fields. Currently, Surreal is working with the Ministry of Education to pilot an experimental teaching program in the hope of training metaverse teachers who will change the way children study. Andy was delighted to see children in the rural areas of Kaohsiung, who were originally scared of learning English, become interested in the language via the Metaverse materials. 'As if drunk, the students suddenly had the courage to speak English in the metaverse.' During the group competition, the vocabulary of those children increased significantly. Children are incredibly creative and imaginative with digital technology.' says Andy. In the attempt to try out the Metaverse materials, many teachers were surprised to find that students took the initiative to create their own digital learning records by putting their artwork and audio-visual works in their personal exhibition rooms. Since early this year, educational officials from other APEC countries approached Surreal to solve the problem of students being unable to attend school due to the epidemic. The next step is for Surreal to actively engage with other Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan. 'We are like a digital school landlord, creating teaching buildings for different educational needs.' Andy says.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

School Pathways Launches Two-Way Integration with Zoom Meetings

School Pathways | December 05, 2022

School Pathways has created a two-way product integration with Zoom Video Communications, Inc. that allows schools to connect Zoom Meetings with their Synchronous Instruction and Live Interaction calendar in School Pathways' software. Once connected, the Zoom integration will automatically log student participation in online meetings. The passage of Assembly Bills 130 and 167 in California mandated that Independent Study and virtual learning educators provide and track regular opportunities for synchronous instruction and live interaction. While state-specific, this requirement is indicative of an overall trend as online instruction becomes more enmeshed in education following the COVID-19 pandemic. As Zoom is a leading platform for conducting online learning, School Pathways' new Zoom integration allows for streamlined tracking and cuts down the amount of time teachers have to spend logging virtual instruction meetings and participation. The integration also makes it easier to keep engagement tracking and re-engagement plans for students up to date. Having piloted the School Pathways Zoom integration at Visions in Education, Director of Operations Michael Brubaker explains, "I believe that this new feature will really benefit schools, teachers, and students as they schedule and track Synchronous Instruction or daily Live Interaction. "Teachers will benefit immensely from the simplicity and convenience of this Zoom integration,Not only will this result in accurate AB 130 and AB 167 compliance and reporting, but it will also help educators engage with their students on a deeper level." School Pathways CEO Oliver Wreford. About School Pathways School Pathways is a California-based education software company with 20 years of experience in K-12 education. We provide solutions for virtual, hybrid, and independent study programs that simplify school operations and foster student success in a variety of learning environments. In addition to a Student Information System better-built for non-traditional learning environments, we offer software that allows our clients to manage online learning agreements, student activity tracking, re-engagement communications, audit preparation, adult education, and more.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Tashkent Declaration of UNESCO Sets the Global Agenda for Early Childhood Education Till 2030

UNESCO | November 25, 2022

On the last day of the World Conference on Early Childhood Care and Education held in the capital of Uzbekistan on 14-16 November, representatives of about 150 countries adopted the Tashkent Declaration of UNESCO. This information was provided by the Ministry of Preschool Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan.Earlier, speaking with a welcoming speech to the delegates of the conference, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev said:"I am confident that today's conference will be held in the spirit of frank discussions and exchange of views, new ideas and initiatives, and that specific proposals and recommendations will be developed. Undoubtedly, the Tashkent Declaration, which will be adopted at the conclusion of the conference, will serve as the basis for our joint efforts in this direction. The Tashkent Declaration is intended to set the international agenda for early childhood education through the year 2030. This document has been prepared through a consultative process during the conference and, once signed, will be translated into the six official languages of the United Nations and shared with the UNESCO Member States. "In Uzbekistan, we have the opportunity to send a powerful message to the world based on UNESCO's commitment to make 2022 the year of mobilization of efforts for education. Here in Tashkent, we must determine the model of society we want to live in a society that takes care of its children, guiding them and giving them all the attention they deserve," UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. In the framework of the strategy for global transformation of early childhood care and education (ECCE) system, the Tashkent Declaration established a set of guiding principles: improving the quality and relevance of curricula and pedagogy; ensuring equal and inclusive educational services for all children, and protecting and guaranteeing the rights to access ECCE in emergency situations. These and a number of other tasks are based on such fundamental factors as the development and support of teachers, broad introduction of innovations and state support for the sphere. The provisions of the UNESCO Tashkent Declaration, which set the main vectors for development of ECCE until 2030 – a milestone for the UN Sustainable Development Goals since the moment of signing become a guide for international organizations and relevant ministries of the countries participating in the world community in implementation of the paragraph 4.2 which reads: "By 2030 to ensure that all young girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-school education systems so that they will be ready for primary education.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Bloomz Wins Tech & Learning Award of Excellence - Back to School 2022

Bloomz | December 07, 2022

Tech & Learning strives to be the go-to resource to help K-12 educators and administrators use technology to enhance the student experience and drive innovative learning. Tech & Learning's publications, websites, newsletters, and virtual and in-person events provide factual and evaluative information on trends, products, and strategies to education leaders who purchase technology products in their districts and schools. Tech & Learning was back again with the Awards of Excellence: Back to School Awards. These awards were established to help readers find the most impressive products and solutions to support their work in any learning environment. This year, the parent communication app Bloomz was selected as the winning product for 2022! Bloomz is the unified parent-teacher communication app that increases parental engagement by connecting parents and teachers with one intuitive app. Bloomz handles everything from school messaging to student portfolios and text translation. Fans of Bloomz point to their comprehensive dashboard and a wide variety of tools to help teachers and administrators reach their goals. One reason for this year's award selection was Bloomz's advanced PBIS toolset, allowing admins and teachers to track, analyze and reward students' behavior in and across the school. Schools can leverage Bloomz's PBIS capabilities to increase student engagement and work ethic among students and helps parents engage in their children's education. The app was designed to enhance the school community through open communication and positive reinforcement. For this "Tech & Learning Award," Tech & Learning reviewed products that can offer schools versatility, value, and solutions to specific problems to support innovative, practical teaching and learning. From security solutions to LMSs to hardware and software, this new award recognizes both new and legacy technology that supports effective teaching and learning practices in the new school year.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Fusion Academy's Personalized Learning Coming to Folsom

Fusion Education Group | December 14, 2022

On the heels of pandemic related isolation and learning loss, Fusion Education Group (FEG) will open a new middle and high school here and with it introduce Sacramento-area families to its revolutionary education model. "We are bringing the future of education to Folsom,Fusion Academy is the most personalized school in the world. Our one-of-a-kind schools are built around the individual needs of each student. There is nothing else like it." Peter Ruppert, CEO of Fusion Education Group. Fusion Academy Folsom is expected to open mid-January 2023 and is now enrolling middle and high school students. The school is FEG's 32nd campus in California and will be located at 420 Palladio Parkway. Founded in Solana Beach, California in 1989, Fusion Academy's approach to learning is grounded in its one-to-one model of one teacher to one student, with different teachers for different classes. FEG began replicating the personalized learning model in 2010, and since opened more than 80 campuses across the country. Fusion Academy Folsom will offer a flexible education model that combines three learning modalities including one-to-one learning, digital learning, and small group project-based classes. Fusion is guided by a fundamental belief in the immense potential in every person; its mission is to help each student flourish, academically, socially, and emotionally. Teachers are also mentors and work to create positive, safe, and secure environments where students are emotionally supported. Fusion provides an academic and social environment like no other," said Fusion Academy Folsom Head of School Christa Green. "It serves students through connection, inspiration, and empowerment. I am excited to be a part of the lifelong impact Fusion will make on our children, their families and the Folsom community. Green has spent the last two decades of her career in private education in Folsom and the greater Sacramento area, including pre-kindergarten, before and after school programming and higher education. In joining Fusion, she highlighted parent and student satisfaction surveys that illustrate the power of Fusion's personalized learning model. 97% of parents surveyed report that their child has positive relationships with teachers and are pleased with their child's overall experience at Fusion schools. 90% of parents report that their child is more successful academically than they were at their previous school 87% of students report that the adults on campus really care about them 83% of students feel comfortable being themselves and an equal number of parents report that their child seems more confident since joining a Fusion school Fusion teachers personalize instruction based on student strengths, interests, and learning preferences. Schedules are also customized so students take classes at a time of day that works best for them. Athletes, actors, and students with extracurricular passions can schedule school around their life instead of the other way around. Other students who attend Fusion include gifted or accelerated students, students with mild learning differences, or anyone looking for a more personalized learning environment. Green is joined by Amber Pipa, as Director of Outreach. Pipa joins Fusion after a decade of outreach work with mission-driven not-for-profits, government entities, and associations. Like many things in life, seeing is believing," Pipa said. Small classrooms, with one student and one teacher working to master a subject is a completely outlandish idea to many parents. When I walked into Fusion Academy for the first time, I wished for a moment that I could retake middle and high school. I've never seen students so engaged. Each Fusion campus features Homework Café spaces where students complete and receive support with their homework. The cafés also serve as the student social hub; where student meetings occur, clubs meet, and more. Fusion campuses also feature a state-of-the-art recording studio, a mixed-media art studio, and a science lab with college-level tools. Fusion Academies are intended to remain small, and rarely exceed 100 students. Students can attend Fusion full-time for middle and high school, or part-time for tutoring, classes for credit, or college counseling. What I have learned in the last 14 years since we acquired the original Fusion Academy in Solano Beach is that our model offers a custom launching pad for students to realize their full potential," said Ruppert. "The relationships made and the confidence that students acquire makes their futures limitless. About Fusion Education Group: Fusion Education Group is a revolutionary innovator in personalized education and provides accredited personalized education for more than 9,000 middle and high school students at Fusion Academy, with 80 brick and mortar campuses that offer one-to-one instruction; Barnstable Academy, which offers traditional college-prep in a small school setting in New Jersey; and Fusion Global Academy, which offers one-to-one personalized education through a completely virtual campus that currently serves students in all 50 states and 35 additional countries. Fusion Academy Folsom is the 81st brick and mortar campus opened, and one of 32 operating in California. Learn more about Fusion Academy Folsom here.

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