News Roundup – 3/22

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

Room for Growth: A Survey of UpSkilling Approaches – A new survey from UpSkill America and i4cp was conducted to understand the state of employer-supported education and skills developed in the field. The questions focused on three major upskilling areas to glean how employers are investing in talent development: internal formal education and training, apprenticeship, and tuition assistance. The results have companies concerned and searching for ways to adequately prepare their workforce for the future.

Employers offer learning opportunities to boost retention – In response to the integration of AI in the workplace, 90% of employers globally are prioritizing learning opportunities to increase employee retention, according to a new report from LinkedIn. Nearly half of companies are also interested in career mentoring and coaching, indicating how dedicated they are to the cause. Employees see learning about new technologies like AI as key to growing within their organization, proving that offering learning programs benefits both workers and employers alike.

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Students to have lower lifetime earnings, graduation rates as a result of lower achievement – The pandemic’s effect will long be felt in the education world. According to several reports shared by the National Assessment Governing Board, students will face decreased high school graduation and college enrollment rates, leading to lower lifetime earnings. Higher rates of teen motherhood and criminal arrests are also on the rise. On a broader level, this slide in achievement is likely to result in varying long-term income loss, estimated at a loss of about $31 trillion over the rest of the century. These findings should spur the industry into innovative and transformative investments that have a measurable impact on these foundational outcomes.

What themes are emerging from state AI guidance? – A recent analysis by Digital Promise highlights emerging themes in AI guidance for K-12 education across several states, emphasizing the need to ensure AI complements human roles and addresses workforce needs. While some states are focusing on preparing students for AI-driven careers, others are prioritizing building computer science skills. As schools navigate policy implementation amid competing priorities and evolving technology, the guidance stresses AI literacy, equity, and privacy concerns, echoing recommendations for a human-centered approach in AI integration.

Chronic Absenteeism the ‘No. 1 Problem’ in American K–12 Education Right Now – Chronic absenteeism in K–12 schools has surged since the pandemic, with over two-thirds of U.S. students attending schools with high rates of absenteeism in the 2021–2022 academic year. Adding to the disruption caused by COVID-19, a breakdown in the traditional habit of school attendance is exacerbating the issue. Experts emphasize the need for schools to prioritize connectedness, support, and mentorship to address chronic absenteeism effectively and mitigate its broader societal impacts.

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Learning Designers Call for More User Testing of Edtech Products and Teaching Materials – Despite the importance of user testing, many companies currently exclude students from the design process of educational technology products. Instead, they rely on ineffective or limited testing methods. Experts are advocating for more comprehensive involvement of students in the design process to ensure that edtech products meet their needs and preferences effectively, suggesting that instructors themselves can also benefit from incorporating user testing when creating learning materials. Only further underscoring the necessity of involving students in the design process is the rise of AI in educational to develop products that are both effective and user-friendly.

Technology and Education at a Crossroads: Tech Creates Jobs, But Can Education Keep Up? Time to Reform – Hosted by Gabby Bar and Greg Crumpton, this episode of the Straight Outta Crumpton podcast welcomes Nabeel Mahmood, the Managing Director of Nomad Futurist, for a discussion on personal narratives, career evolution, and his work at the foundation. The conversation dives into the broader implications of technological advancements on society and the workforce and proposes some ideas for reform necessary to align educational frameworks with the realities of today.

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