LearnLaunch recently held their 6th “Across Boundaries” conference at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. Originally held in a large lecture hall at MIT (I was there!), it has grown to 1100+ participants that draws interest on a national and even international scale (this year featured an “international pitch session” with EdTech start-ups from abroad participating). A wide variety of educators, education administrators, entrepreneurs, investor, education companies and technology innovators all come together due to the shared interest in driving innovation to transform learning and increase achievement using digital technologies.
Penn Foster is thrilled to be attending and speaking at LearnLaunch Institute’s 2018 Across Boundaries Conference next week (February 1-2) at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA. Last year’s conference welcomed a record number of attendees, numbering over one thousand participants representing thirty-three states. As we near the sixth annual conference, we are looking forward to having the opportunity to meet with so many innovators in the edtech industry.
My father was a career merchant at Montgomery Ward’s department store in its heyday. Whenever he talked about his job, he always said, "retail is detail." A walk through any retail store in December validated his point: Getting the merchandise mix right in the stores, figuring out how to keep this year’s hot items in stock, the logistics and crush of operational details all handled in the crunch of the holiday push, where companies’ entire profits are decided in the span of eight weeks—all these incredible details push retail veterans to their limits, especially in an industry disrupted by technology, growing online players, and changing trends. All the more reason to capture some of the more important details at this year’s NRF Foundation Gala.
When we partnered with one of the largest workforce specialist firms in the US — a company called EmployBridge, parent of six major brands including RemX, ProLogisitix, ResourceMFG, and Select Staffing, to support the launch of their Better WorkLife Academy, we were looking forward to serving a unique cohort of adult learners.
2017 was an exciting year at Penn Foster! As we approach the holidays, we are grateful for the opportunity we’ve had to reach over 110,000 learners this year, many through partnerships with leading educators, employers, and human services agencies. Additionally, we are proud to have helped nearly 43,000 students graduate from Penn Foster with a diploma, certificate, or degree. All of our students have experienced educational opportunities that can shape their futures for the better. And our partners have played a pivotal role in their opportunities and successes.
The ASU GSV Summit always acts as a great set of meteorological instruments used to measure trends across the edtech sector. It gauges hot and cold like a thermometer and which direction the wind is blowing like an anemometer. This year’s conference showed that the tectonic plates of edtech have shifted…seismically.
The perception of online education is changing. Seen for many years as the poor relation of brick-and-mortar institutions, online education is rapidly gaining respect. According to the 2013 Survey of Online Learning, perceptions of online education dramatically changed during the previous decade. Indeed, the proportion of academic leaders rating online courses as offering the same or superior learning outcomes as face-to-face tuition has now risen from 57 percent to 74 percent.
With the advent of increased automation and high-tech manufacturing tools, revolutionary ways of doing work have begun to bridge the collegiate and blue collar divide. Plant managers and manufacturing business owners need workers with specific skills to fill integral positions. Consequently, employers are becoming increasingly focused on training their current staff to fill these roles and urging candidates to take courses that certify them for modern, tech-heavy work.
Blended learning is the combination of traditional classroom education and digital elements, such as interactive applications on a laptop or online homework and reading. Many schools are embracing technology to promote learning. One area where technology performs particularly well is improving English language learner and low-income student outcomes.