News Roundup – 3/8

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Our weekly roundup of education technology, workforce technology, and venture capital news stories.

6 trends that are driving change and innovation in K12  – The K12 education sector will undergo significant transformations driven by technological advancements this year. This article delves into the findings from the Sora Schools report which highlights key trends, including the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) as a trusted ally in automating tasks and assisting in creative processes. Other notable shifts that the article explains include teachers adopting coaching roles with the support of AI assistants, the increasing use of virtual and augmented reality for immersive learning experiences, the expansion of school choice and Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), a rise in cross-disciplinary and project-based learning, and a focus on improving learning management systems for more personalized and engaging educational experiences.

Why Early Childhood Teachers Require a Unique Approach to Tech Coaching – An opinion piece from the perspective of a technology specialist at an elementary school wherein they discuss the unique challenges faced by early childhood teachers in integrating technology into instruction for pre-K through second-grade students. The author also shares four lessons learned in supporting early childhood educators with technology, emphasizing the importance of distinguishing between types of screen time, illustrating how technology aligns with existing teaching goals, modeling how it fosters independence, and incorporating developmentally appropriate tactics into tech coaching.

An unexpected way to fight chronic absenteeism – A review of the outcomes from Guilford County Public Schools in North Carolina’s 2021 telemedicine program. The program aimed to address chronic absenteeism, particularly in Title I schools with high poverty levels. Students were able to access the telemedicine clinic, allowing them to connect with a doctor remotely, receive treatment, and often return to class on the same day. Due to its success in improving healthcare access and reducing absenteeism, it has expanded to 15 Title I schools, showing promising results.

Innovative Pathways In EdTech: A Venture Capital Perspective – The collaboration between venture capital and technology is no doubt shaping the future of education. Venture capitalists are increasingly focusing on the education technology sector, recognizing its potential to enhance learning, streamline teaching processes, and address academic challenges. Their investments play a crucial role in nurturing and supporting EdTech startups, providing strategic guidance, market insights, and access to networks. VC-backed edtech might just be the future of education, with how it drives innovation, inclusivity, and the development of interactive and technologically-integrated learning experiences.

Beyond new tech: Shaping the future of higher education for a better tomorrow – This article discusses the transformative impact of educational technology (EdTech) on higher education, noting the surge in technology integration, particularly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Various EdTech tools that are covered in the article are actively shaping more collaborative and immersive educational experiences. In particular, the expansion of online learning has presented opportunities for workforce development, the rise of micro-credentials, and the adoption of generative AI to enhance personalization and student learning. However, there are challenges such as ensuring engagement, addressing diverse learning preferences, and fostering human connectedness in online education that stand in the way of truly transforming higher education landscape.

College Degrees Lead To $14.2 Trillion Gain In Career Earnings, Study Finds – A deep dive of the findings – both good and bad – from The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce report. One main takeaway from the report is a 6.7 percentage point increase in the proportion of U.S. adults with a college degree from 2010 to 2020, leading to an estimated additional $14.2 trillion in lifetime earnings for U.S. workers. While overall college degree attainment increased, racial and gender gaps persisted, with substantial disparities in attainment and earnings. The study also delves into state differences, with Washington, D.C., experiencing the largest increase, and highlights the nonmonetary benefits of increased education, including health, crime rates, civic participation, and personal happiness.

Learning Loss Win-Win: High-Impact Tutoring in DC Boosts Attendance, Study Finds – A new study by the National Student Support Accelerator reveals that high-quality tutoring programs in Washington, D.C. improved student attendance, with middle schoolers attending three additional days and elementary students showing a two-day improvement when receiving tutoring during regular school hours. High-impact tutoring is defined as at least 90 minutes a week with the same tutor and has been found to particularly benefit students who missed 30% or more of the previous school year, improving their attendance by at least five days. The findings suggest a strong causal link between tutoring and attendance, reinforcing the potential impact of sustained tutoring programs on learning loss and chronic absenteeism post-pandemic.

3 Questions for Noodle’s John Katzman – An interview with the CEO and co-founder of our portfolio company, Noodle, John Katzman. Katzman emphasizes the concept of “agile” in higher education, advocating for a flexible, responsive, and efficient infrastructure that meets the diverse needs of students and faculty regardless of the modality (online or on-campus). Katzman provides suggestions for operations to become more agile including integrating online and campus-based operations, setting clear goals for the student and faculty experience, addressing enrollment and economic considerations, focusing on learning and program design, implementing effective marketing and recruiting strategies, and optimizing capacity and resources through strategic partnerships and collaborations.

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