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The #coronavirus pandemic is reshaping education #Edtech – SPONSOR: BetterU Education Corp. $BTRU.ca $ARCL $CPLA $BPI $FC.ca

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 12:09 PM on Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

SPONSOR:  BetterU Education Corp. aims to provide access to quality education from around the world. The company plans to bridge the prevailing gap in the education and job industry and enhance the lives of its prospective learners by developing an integrated ecosystem. betterU / Ottolearn launch FREE COVID-19 mobile resource toolkit to fight the global crisis – Click here for more information.

The coronavirus pandemic is reshaping education

  • The International School of Monza is part of the world’s biggest educational technology (edtech) experiment in history
  • With 1.5 billion students out of school and hundreds of millions attempting to learn solely online, the experiment will reshape schools, the idea of education, and what learning looks like in the 21st century

By Jenny Anderson

On Sunday, Feb. 23rd, rumors started that schools in the Lombardy region of Italy—the country’s economic powerhouse—might close. Confirmed cases and deaths from the new coronavirus were soaring. The healthcare system was teetering, and Italy had to dramatically change course in a bid to halt the virus. By evening, the region was in lockdown.

Within 24 hours, Iain Sachdev, principal at the International School of Monza, had organized his teachers and filmed a short video clip for students, faculty, and parents. School would open at 9am on Tuesday, he said. Be patient, he implored. Taking a school online in 24 hours was a massive feat which would be messy. Everyone would be learning.

Five weeks later, the school is still running—unfamiliar in many ways, identical in others. Teachers teach via video conferencing every day. Kids participate using Padlet, a virtual post-it note system that lets students share ideas; and Flipgrid, which lets teachers and students create short videos to share. Students do individual work, group work, and confer with teachers when needed. Sachdev has overhauled the schedule from 50-minute units to longer blocks. Teachers no longer use email, but Microsoft Teams.

The International School of Monza is part of the world’s biggest educational technology (edtech) experiment in history. With 1.5 billion students out of school and hundreds of millions attempting to learn solely online, the experiment will reshape schools, the idea of education, and what learning looks like in the 21st century. The pandemic is forcing educators, parents, and students to think critically, problem-solve, be creative, communicate, collaborate and be agile. It is also revealing that there is another way.

“It’s a great moment” for learning, says Andreas Schleicher, head of education at the OECD.  “All the red tape that keeps things away is gone and people are looking for solutions that in the past they did not want to see,” he says. Students will take ownership over their learning, understanding more about how they learn, what they like, and what support they need. They will personalize their learning, even if the systems around them won’t. Schleicher believes that genie cannot be put back in the bottle.

“Real change takes place in deep crisis,” he says. “You will not stop the momentum that will build.”

But as tech connects people in their homes, its limitations for learning are on display for all the world to see. The crisis has cast a bright light on deep inequalities not just in who has devices and bandwidth, which are critically important, but also who has the skills to self-direct their learning, and whose parents have the time to spend helping. It is a stark reminder of the critical importance of school not just as a place of learning, but of socialization, care and coaching, of community and shared space—not things tech has hacked too well.

The pandemic is giving tech massive insights at scale as to what human development and learning looks like, allowing it to potentially shift from just content dissemination to augmenting relationships with teachers, personalization, and independence. But the way it is has been rolled out—overnight, with no training, and often not sufficient bandwidth—will leave many with a sour taste about the whole exercise. Many people may well continue to associate e-learning with lockdowns, recalling frustrations with trying to log on, or mucking through products that didn’t make sense.

“This may be a short-term commercial opportunity for some vendors, says Nick Kind, senior director at Tyton Partners, an investment banking and strategy consulting firm focused on education. “But for this to become transformational for teachers and learners, you wouldn’t have wanted to start this way.”

When the storm of the pandemic passes, schools may be revolutionized by this experience. Or, they may revert back to what they know. But the world in which they will exist—one marked by rising unemployment and likely recession—will demand more. Education may be slow to change, but the post-coronavirus economy will demand it.

Equity

Moving the world’s students online has starkly exposed deep inequities in the education system, from the shocking number of children who rely on school for food and a safe environment, to a digital divide in which kids without devices or reliable internet connections are cut off from learning completely.

According to OECD data, in Denmark, Slovenia, Norway, Poland, Lithuania, Iceland, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands, over 95% of students reported having a computer to use for their work. Only 34% in Indonesia did. In the US, virtually every 15-year-old from a privileged background said they had a computer to work, but nearly a quarter of those from disadvantaged backgrounds did not. These divides will likely worsen, as staggering job losses and a recession devastate the most marginalized in every society, including all their kids.

Schools face a difficult choice: if they don’t teach remotely, all of their students miss out on months of curriculum. If they do, a sizable group of already disadvantaged students will be left out and will fall even farther behind.

The gap between students isn’t limited to internet access; it’s also about the power and privilege of parents. “If you are called to duty right now as a nurse or delivery person, you have no time for homeschool,” says Heather Emerson, managing director for IDEO’s design for learning group. And not every parent has the level of digital literacy necessary to help their kids shift to online learning.

Schleicher says that his optimism for technology uptake is paired with pessimism about what this means for equity. Those from privileged backgrounds will find the tools they need, through parents or tutors or their better-resourced schools. But those from disadvantaged backgrounds will face multiple challenges, from the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy to the top: food and shelter, which school helped to provide, connections to support children’s learning, and a lack of financial buffers to carry a family through.

“It is clear that this will not reach everyone and it’s not just a matter of access to devices,” he says. “If you don’t know how to learn on your own, if you don’t know how to manage your time, if you don’t have any intrinsic motivation, you won’t be very successful in this environment.”

The OECD is one of many organizations advocating to increase access to open free, online educational resources and digital learning platforms for teachers and students. For schools to succeed, teachers will also need access to training and support.

Meanwhile, the crisis is highlighting the role schools play outside of education. At a moment when schools need to adapt how they teach, many are consumed with how to feed their students. Gwinnett County, Georgia, one of the largest school districts in the US, is feeding 90,000 students a day. “It’s a prime example of how schools have become not just learning institutions, but the heart of the social fabric of America,” Emerson says.

She argues that coronavirus offers an opportunity to see clearly all that teachers are asked to do. That includes everything from meeting the latest state standards, implementing district priorities, mastering new technology platforms, and caring for the physical and emotional well being of their students. She suggests that schools can free up teachers to do more learning.

“What can we do to liberate teachers to focus on their craft?” she said.  “And shouldn’t we pay them wages that match the magnitude of their roles they play in our lives?”

Indeed, the pandemic has woken people up to the challenges of teaching and focused some attention on another equity gap: that of pay for teachers. After one day of home schooling in the US, Twitter lit up with calls for teachers to be paid more than investment bankers.

Classrooms

Many schools were woefully unprepared to move online overnight. Those that were ready may hold clues for the promise, and pitfalls, of e-learning.

Students at the International School of Monza all had MacBooks; last August, all teachers were given them too. Sachdev is aware that as an independent school, it was fortunate to have everyone equipped to learn online. But he also said there were still a lot of pieces that had not been pulled together. “We had the systems in place but we never really used them,” he said.

Julia Peters, who teaches economics and individuals and societies at the International School of Monza, says being forced online has allowed her to moved to a more “flipped classroom” in which students do more learning about basic skills and knowledge at home, via videos or platforms, and then come to school online to do work together. “That way, when they come into the classroom we can work on the higher level skills such as analysis and evaluation,” she says. It’s not a new idea at all, but circumstances are forcing adoption.

Another positive, Peters says, is that software like Microsoft Teams allows her to see her students as they are writing. That allows for real-time feedback, rather than waiting for the work to be completed. She has also found ways of reaching struggling students. Her Grade 7 students are preparing an essay on beliefs, in which they “choose a debatable question” and research it. “While they are independently researching and creating a presentation, I can call a weaker student to a private call and quietly work with them giving them the extra support they need,” she says. That would be harder in a noisy classroom.

And some students who shied away from participation are stepping up. “The quieter, more introverted students can participate more because they are not being seen by their peers,” says Peters.

Naima Charlier, director of teaching and learning at the Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong, says moving everyone online has had plenty of challenges but also has increased teacher confidence around technology and e-platforms. “There’s a massive energy about how to do this incredibly different and difficult thing as well as we possibly can,” she says. Teachers are trying and adjusting and sharing at warp speed what works and what doesn’t.

Sachdev agrees. “Teachers share far more than they normally world,” he said. “Every single teacher can see what others are doing, which isn’t how things typically work.”

No such silver linings exist for the millions of students who can’t get online, or whose schools and teachers do not have the resources to even experiment with e-learning. Depending on how long the pandemic lasts, governments may be forced to find creative ways to get more kids learning.

Technology

What happens to education technology after the coronavirus pandemic fades will rest in part on the quality of the tech itself. Not everyone is optimistic.

HolonIQ, a market intelligence firm for the education market, poses questions twice a year to a panel of more than 2,000 global education executives and investors across public and private institutions and firms, from pre-kindergarten to lifelong learning. In its most recent survey, half of ed tech firms said they were pessimistic about whether the coronavirus pandemic would make things better or worse in the short term.

“There’s a discussion now about how this is a golden era for ed tech, for digital transformation, but more than 50% of ed tech is saying that over the short term, it’s worse or substantially worse off as an organization,” said Patrick Brothers, co-CEO of HolonIQ.

Meanwhile, 91% of educational institutions say they will be worse, or substantially worse off in the short term.

Schleicher, from the OECD, said the pandemic will expose how ed tech has largely failed to do what would be most powerful: leverage the relationship between teacher and learner.

“The big question for me is will we develop an ed tech solution that capitalizes on the relationship between students and teachers, as opposed to just broadcasting stuff,” he says. “I think if we want to give this any chance of success for large numbers of students and learners, the teacher is going to be absolutely key,” especially in the younger years such as primary schools. Pair good teachers, who coach and facilitate, with good content and good tech, and the sky is the limit.

Adaptive, interactive, science-based learning platforms may start to take hold—especially for those using the opportunity of a crisis to help, rather than build market share. Starting in early February, Century Tech, an AI-driven learning platform for schools, made its platform free for all schools who need it. By March, it had expanded the offering to include all students who needed it, too.

Today, the British-based Century is giving training and access to its platform, which combines neuroscience and AI to individualize learning, to schools in 17 countries, including China, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, the UK, Nigeria and Georgia. Founder Priya Lakhani says anyone who wants it can use it. “This is why we do what we do, and if we can help we should,” she says.

Innovations are abounding, but not in a coordinated manner. Saku Tuominen founded Finnish nonprofit HundrED five years ago, to research education innovations from over 150 countries. In those five years it has studied 5,000 such innovations and packaged 1,164 on its website, with ideas for everything from creativity, to the environment, to “forest schools.” Two weeks ago, HundrED pivoted to work full time on coronavirus. It is in the process of selecting from its library simple innovations that have the potential to work in many places in a home learning environment. One example: the Global Oneness Project, an interactive community series about storytelling in which filmmakers and photographers share their work and explain how stories can connect people.

HundrED is following up with those innovators to see how they are adapting them for the crisis. On April 3rd, a curated list of resources will be released; on the 7th, webinars will be available to train educators. “There is not a lack of tools,” Tuominen said.  But he believes there is aren’t enough ways for the best ideas to be shared.

Beyond tech

So far, coronavirus has offered a stark reminder of the very human nature of schools. Peters, from the International School of Monza, has leapt into online learning, but cannot wait to get back into her building. “Being online, I don’t think you really get a true sense of whether a student is really engaged and properly understanding,” she said. Tech hasn’t solved that most basic of things. “I look forward to the social interaction with the students.”

Sachdev says it has been so hard for teachers to be removed from their students and from each other because teaching is such a human endeavor. “None of us are used to smart working,” he said.

His school’s own journey shows the power of community, along with agile learning. In the first week, he and his team focused on providing seven hours of online learning. By week three, they eased up, freeing up more time for one-on-one and small group support, as well as offline projects. They responded and adapted.

By weeks four and five, a small number of members of the school community were ill or had died. Students had lost loved ones. The school pivoted again. “It’s not about academics,” Sachdev said. “It’s all about wellbeing for students and parents, and managing that from afar.”

Source: https://qz.com/1826369/how-coronavirus-is-changing-education/

Allan Barry Goes “Beyond the Press Release” with Ken Armstrong, President and CEO, of North Arrow Minerals

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 1:30 PM on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

North Arrow is a Canadian based exploration company focused on the identification and evaluation of diamond exploration opportunities in Canada. North Arrow’s management, board of directors and advisors have significant successful experience in the Canadian diamond industry. In addition to the Redemption Project, North Arrow is presently conducting a bulk sampling program of the Q1-4 kimberlite at its Qilalugaq (NU) Project and is also evaluating each of the Pikoo (SK), Lac de Gras (NWT), Mel (NU), Luxx (NU) and Timiskaming (ON/QC) Diamond Projects.

AGORACOM Goes Beyond The Press Release With SGX Resources To Discuss August 28th Assay Results

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 3:18 PM on Friday, August 30th, 2013

Guest: Dale Ginn, CEO and President

Company: SGX Resources (SXR.V)

Project Location: Timmins, Ontario

Recent News: Wednesday, Aug. 28

Hosts:   Allan Barry, AGORACOM Chief Market Commentator

George Tsiolis, AGORACOM Founder

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Very good intersections of high-grade gold, near surface, expanded the Tully Deposit,
  • Tully deposit is one of the few undeveloped, near-surface, high-grade gold deposits in North America.
  • Project is well located close to existing mills and roads.
  • SGX Resources Identified By AGORACOM As A Market Leader For Actively Progressing During TSX Venture Hardship

 

Neah Power Systems Launches PowerPlay® With Shipment to Fortune 110 Company, CEO Provides Video Update

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 9:39 AM on Thursday, May 9th, 2013

NPWZ: OTCQB
Neah Power Systems Launches PowerPlay® With Shipment to Fortune 110 Company, CEO Provides Video Update

  • Provider of power solutions using proprietary, award winning technology for the military, transportation, and portable electronics markets using the PowerChip® and the PowerPlay® technologies, announced today that the Company has shipped a customer paid for PowerPlay unit to a Fortune 110 Consumer Company for evaluation.
  • PowerPlay unit is a passive fuel cell that uses some key technologies from the PowerChip® platform. The current version of the PowerPlay is for off-grid smartphone charging for professional and recreational users. The PowerPlay system, in future versions, could be optimized for tablets and other consumer electronics.

NPWZ

————

Neah Power Systems Launches PowerPlay® With Shipment to Fortune 110 Company, CEO Provides Video Update

 

BOTHELL, WA–(May 9, 2013) – Neah Power Systems, Inc. (OTCBB: NPWZ), http://www.neahpower.com, a provider of power solutions using proprietary, award winning technology for the military, transportation, and portable electronics markets using the PowerChip® and the PowerPlay® technologies, announced today that the Company has shipped a customer paid for PowerPlay unit to a Fortune 110 Consumer Company for evaluation.

The PowerPlay unit is a passive fuel cell that uses some key technologies from the PowerChip® platform. The current version of the PowerPlay is for off-grid smartphone charging for professional and recreational users. The PowerPlay system, in future versions, could be optimized for tablets and other consumer electronics.

Dr. Chris D’Couto, President of Neah Power Systems, noted, “This shipment represents a significant milestone for the company. The use and evaluation of PowerPlay within a Fortune 110 Company will provide Neah Power Systems feedback to further optimize the product to meet this and other customer requirements.”

Click on link below to watch the interview in its entirety.

www.smallcapepicenter.com/beyondthepressrelease/AGORACOMNeahPowerSmallCapSkype-8May2013-PowerPlay

Shareholders and interested parties are invited to visit the Neah Power Systems Investor Relations Hub on AGORACOM (http://agoracom.com/ir/NeahPowerSystems) where investors are able to ask questions and receive answers in near real-time.

About Neah Power
Neah Power Systems, Inc. (OTCBB: NPWZ) is a developer of long-lasting, efficient and safe power solutions for the military, transportation, and portable electronics applications. Neah uses a unique, patented and award winning, silicon-based design for its Powerchip® micro fuel cells that enable higher power densities, lower cost and compact form-factors. The PowerPlayâ„¢ is a low cost polymeric fuel cell leveraging some elements of the PowerChip® manufacturing. Previous awards include the 2012 ZINO Green finalist, the 2010 WTIA finalist, and 2010 Best of What’s Newâ„¢ Popular Science and other awards.

Further Company information can be found at http://www.neahpower.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
Certain of the statements contained herein may be, within the meaning of the federal securities laws, “forward-looking statements,” which are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. See Neah Power System’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2012 and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC during fiscal 2013 for a discussion of such risks, uncertainties and other factors. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s expectations as of the date hereof, and the Company does not undertake any responsibility to update any of these statements in the future.

Oz Minerals to Potentially Earn 90% Interest in Copaquire for $90M Payment To Int’l PBX Ventures *Client*

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 2:54 PM on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

             

Terry Lynch, President of International PBX Ventures Ltd. Goes Beyond the Press Release to discuss PBX Signing JV option agreement to allow OZ Minerals to earn a 90% interest in Copaquire by making cash payments of $90 million and drilling up to 30,000 meters.

OZ Minerals Now Drilling Multiple Targets

The Copaquire project is one of the most unique copper-moly projects in all of South America containing both high grade molybdenum and copper. A molybdenum rich core (Cerro Moly) surrounded by a large porphyry copper system (Sulfato) with grades of up to 2% copper.

Corporate Website / Hub On AGORACOM

Sonomax CEO Discusses $10,000,000 Sale of 51% of Intellectual Property *Sponsor*

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 10:16 AM on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Nick Laperle President and CEO of Sonomax Technologies goes “Beyond the Press Release” to discuss in layman’s terms the $10,000,000 sale of 51% of the company’s Intellectual Property.

Sonomax Technologies makes the world’s most advanced hearing protection products to prevent the # 1 occupational disease, Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), as well as, a global leader in the manufacture of customized in-ear technology that provides a superior sound isolating experience.

Sonomax products are used around the world in the Consumer, Military and Health markets.

More than just lip service, Sonomax clients include:

  • Coca-Cola
  • Kraft
  • Nestle
  • United Kingdom M of D
  • Mining – BHP, Rio Tinto, Hess
  • Consumer Licensees and Partners include – Skull Candy and Klipsch

COME MESH!!!

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VIDEO: Small-Cap Skype Interview – Donner Metals Talks $20M Financing And Zinc / Copper Mine Status

Posted by AGORACOM at 6:48 PM on Thursday, September 1st, 2011

I’m happy to present our latest installment of AGORACOM Via Satellite, a production in which we speak to management of small-cap companies that have just released important news to further discuss their developments for the benefit of shareholders and prospective investors.

The company we are talking with today is Donner Metals  (DON:TSXV) ( HUB) ( WEBSITE ) and our guest is Dave Patterson, Chairman of Donner Metals.  Given the number of times Patterson has appeared via video on AGORACOM over the last 18 months, It’s hard to argue with the fact that he is amongst the best small-cap executives when it comes to giving his shareholders and prospective investors in-depth corporate updates

DISCUSSING RECENT FINANCING, MINE STATUS, BASE METALS PRICES AND DWINDLING ZINC MINES

This summer has provided extreme macro volatility stemming primarily from sovereign debt issues in both Europe and the USA.  As a result, small-cap companies across the board have taken a hit to their share prices as investors fled to safety, including cash.  Donner has been no exception but Dave is here to set the record straight and let the market know that a recently completed financing has the company on schedule to be in production by Q1 2013 along with partner, Xstrata Zinc.  Patterson believes the timing could not be better, as many major zinc mines will be coming off-line in and around the time Donner / Xstrata commence production.

If you believe in the future of base metals and their inevitable demand out of developing countries, then you should be continually conducting DD to find the next great small-cap base metals company.  This Skype interview will go a long way towards beginning your DD on Donner Metals.  So whether you’re a shareholder or prospective shareholder, grab your coffee, sit back and hit play.

Finally, as I have said all along, anytime an officer of a small-cap public company is willing to make himself available for a video interview about his company (let alone multiple interviews provided by Patterson), it sends me a strong signal about his confidence and outlook.  After all, this is Web 2.0 and Skype interviews posted on blogs, forums and YouTube don’t go away.

* DISCLOSURE – Donner Metals is not a client of AGORACOM; AGORACOM has not received any payment for this interview; Neither AGORACOM nor its principals own shares in Donner Metals … but I am personally considering making long-term purchases.

CLICK THE IMAGE TO BE TAKEN TO THE INTERVIEW

Donner Metals Goes Beyond The Press Release In Video Interview About Latest Press Releases

Posted by AGORACOM at 5:49 PM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

I’m happy to present to you the with our latest installment of “Beyond the Press Release”, a video interview featuring Donner Metals (DON:TSXV) Chairman, Dave Patterson, discussing the significance of the Company’s last two press releases in layman’s terms for the benefit of retail investors.

The two press releases are as follows:

September 2, 2010: Donner Metals Receives A Positive Feasibility Study For The Bracemac-McLeod Deposit in the Matagami Base Metal Camp in Central Québec

September 1, 2010: Inferred Resources At Bracemac-McLeod Expand by 2.07 Million Tonnes of Massive Sulphides Grading 10.66% Zinc, 1.33% Copper, 41.72g/t Silver and 1.21g/t Gold Identified in the McLeod Deep Zone

If you’re a shareholder of Donner Metals, you will enjoy David’s candid and thorough responses during our discussion.  This is especially true given the fact junior resource companies are forced to issue highly technical press releases that are not always well understood by retail investors.

If you’re just discovering Donner for the first time, grab a coffee and kick back in your chair for the next 15 minutes.  Yes, we provide some online marketing services for Donner – so assume I am horribly conflicted.  Then take into account this junior has partnered with Xstrata Zinc Canada, who is now in the process of constructing a mine that is set for production in a couple of years.

Please click the image below to watch the full interview.

For more information about Donner and its exciting projects, please visit the following:

IR Hub / Company Website

ABOUT DONNER:

Donner Metals Ltd. is a Canadian base metals exploration and development company located in Vancouver B.C. The Company is focused on base and precious metal exploration throughout Canada. Donner’s flagship project is the Matagami Project option and joint venture with Xstrata Canada Corporation – Xstrata Zinc Canada Division (“Xstrata Zinc”) which was signed in 2006 and covers exploration and future development within the prolific Matagami Lake Mining Camp located in the Abitibi region of central Québec.

The Matagami Camp is supported by Xstrata Zinc’s existing mine infrastructure, highly experienced workforce and an operating 2,600 tonne per day mill, as well as highway, railway and town site infrastructure. This infrastructure will benefit discoveries made under Donner’s agreement with Xstrata Zinc.

Regards,
AGORACOM