The Future of Education

For the past few weeks, our team has been busy attending some of the largest education conferences in our area, including the 2020 KASEA Winter Conference and Kansans Can 2020. While there are some challenges facing the education industry that are being complicated by the coronavirus, these conferences left us inspired about what the future of education will look like.

Why These Conferences Matter

Gathering with fellow educators, solutions providers, and decision makers gives us all a chance to share ideas and learn from each other. This year’s conferences were focused on student success, the evolution of education, and developing a world-class education standard in Kansas that can serve as a template to districts throughout the country.

The Kansans Can and Do! Symposium, co-sponsored by the Kansas State Department of Education and the Kansas Association of Education Service Agencies was, “designed to assist administrators, administrative teams, and school leaders with the process of implementing the Kansans Can initiative. All symposium presentations, guided discussions, and collaboration time [focused] on facilitating high levels of conversation.”

The Kansas Association of Special Education Administrators (KASEA) Winter Conference theme was “Fostering Success.” KASEA realizes that leaders in education “strive to create an environment that leads toward the success of all students, teachers, and leaders in our organization.”

Educators Are All In

Every educator we saw, spoke to, or listened to had one thing in common: They are committed to providing the best possible education to students and are willing to embrace the solutions and technologies that will benefit their students, free teachers to engage more concretely with students, and stretch their budgets so that they can do more for their students. Everywhere we turned, there was a focus on the importance of STEM – and more importantly, STEAM education

It Takes a Village

Giving our students in this country the education they need and deserve really does take all of us – from parents and teachers to administrators and legislators. Everyone must work together to create a generation of engaged learners. Lumen Touch is committed to being a part of the evolution of education in Kansas and throughout the country.

At Lumen Touch, we know that there are no simple answers to solving the big challenges that face schools. But there are changes that can make a difference. To learn more about how Lumen Touch can help your school with our all-in-one solution, get in touch.

Lumen Touch Commits to School Safety in Partnership with GG4L

lumen touch

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lumen Touch is pleased to announce that they have joined the Safer Schools in America Impact Initiative led by Global Grid for Learning (GG4L) and McREL International.

October 10, 2019 | Kansas City, MO – Lumen Touch is proud to announce that the company has joined the Safer Schools in America Initiative to provide EdTech solutions to K-12 schools that are sharing up to $25 million in Safer Schools in America grants. Schools who participate in the initiative will have access to Lumen Touch’s Bright Care™.

“We welcome Lumen Touch to GG4L membership and are pleased to offer their innovative physical health and wellness solution, Bright Care, as part of GG4L Safer Schools Impact Initiative and the Safer Schools in America Grant Program,” says GG4L Chairman and CEO Robert Iskander. “Lumen Touch’s SIS Platform is now tightly integrated with GG4L Connect, offering their districts’ clients automated integration with a variety of different solutions, without compromising data security and student data privacy.”

Bright Care is a complete student medical record management system providing immediate and historical information. Some system features include: Medication Inventory, Daily Medications Schedule, Student Medication Chart (dosage and expiration dates), and Customizable School Screenings, which include mass screenings, BMI, and physicals that can be linked to extracurricular activity groups. Bright Care keeps your students safe and healthy in your schools by providing secure notifications to nurses and teachers, and nutritional services about student allergies and conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, etc. Our HIPAA compliant system is available on any device, anywhere, and allows providers to access critical information on the go. Traditional school clinics or school-based health clinics, Bright Care can manage your needs.

“My mission is to connect every student around the world to opportunity through education and Lumen Touch,” explains owner Dr. John Vandewalle, who purchased Lumen in 2011. “My focus is bringing technology to the K-12 education arena so that every student has the best opportunity for a great education and working with GG4L on this important initiative is a wonderful opportunity to reach more students.”

The Safer Schools in America Impact Initiative, led by Global Grid for Learning (GG4L) and McREL, a Regional Educational Laboratory (REL), is an initiative developed by a national panel of experts to facilitate a positive school climate and incorporate conditions related to engagement, environment, and safety, with considerations for emotional and physical safety, anti-bullying, anti-substance abuse, emergency readiness, school building design, and human variables, as well as threats resulting from technology vulnerabilities.

About Lumen Touch

We focus on improving the learning opportunities for children with measurable outcomes.

Lumen was established in 2000 and has been diligently listening to its customers and building an all-in-one solution that is unparalleled in the education arena. You can experience a seamless technological solution that will save you time and money and allow your students and teachers to focus on improving their wellbeing. Lumen continues to grow and has a presence in 14 states in the US. One of our goals is to go global in the near future. To learn more, visit https://lumentouch.com.

In 2011, Lumen Software was acquired by Dr John Vandewalle who wanted to make a difference in Education. He changed the name to Lumen Touch to better reflect the vision and mission of Lumen. Since then we have upgraded all our systems and are hiring the right people to deliver the best service.

About Global Grid for Learning (GG4L)

Global Grid for Learning (GG4L) is committed to promoting data security in schools. Protecting the data of every user is a top priority. GG4L’s Connect platform makes integrating and deploying education technology safe, easy, and inexpensive. It’s free for schools to use, less expensive for EdTech vendors, and safer for students. As a Public Benefit Corporation, GG4L welcomes collaboration and support from corporate social responsibility (CSR) and philanthropic foundations. Help us keep K-12 data interoperability costs low for schools, while maintaining the security and privacy of student data. To learn more, visit https://www.GG4L.com.

About this School Safety Grant

The total grant value is estimated at $25 million; the SSIA Grant is now underway with 48 unique EdTech solutions addressing the various domains of school safety that are a focus of districts and schools across the US. Eighty-seven schools in fifty districts across the US will be testing solutions in the Safer Schools Framework, consisting of campus security, physical health and wellness, emotional and behavioral health, emergency preparedness and management, digital safety, community engagement, and healthy school and district culture. This represents nearly 194,429 students who are directly and indirectly impacted by this initiative.

GG4L Member schools and districts worldwide that are not already participating may apply and qualify for an on-demand one-year grant that enables schools and districts around the world to assess their progress against implementation of best practices for school safety, discover validated EdTech solutions that can save them time and money and make them more effective and efficient, and apply for an in-kind grant that allows them to select any vendor’s solution in the Safer Schools catalog of curated EdTech solutions for the use of the school year. Any school or district can be a GG4L member at no cost and apply for an on-demand grant. Learn more and apply: https://gg4l.com/impact-initiative-grant-application/

Media Contact

Shadra Bruce
shadra@dashfactor.com
DaSh factor LLC

Training Troubles

As American classrooms gain more and more technology we begin to run into the problem of teachers not having enough training to use this technology correctly or to full potential. In Education Week’s, Technology Counts 2017 Survey it became apparent that teachers in high-poverty school districts are receiving less technology training than teachers from wealthier schools. Google, Digital Promise and EdTechTeam have teamed up to curb this issue. They began a program in July that provides 6.5 Million dollars to 50 different school district with a focus on informing teachers on how to better use devices in the classroom. These different districts all reside in 5 different states (Alabama, California, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas). We hope that this creates the ability for people in high-poverty school districts to receive better instruction and produce better than they have in the past.

Tech Troubles

As we move further and further into the future technology keeps developing. Technology is used to increase productivity in most businesses today. The original thought is that the more technology you have the greater the productivity of your workers will be but this is starting to cause problems for some businesses. In most companies employees are outnumbered 4 to 1 by technological devices. These include switches, routers, hubs or firewalls, desktop or laptop computers, smartphones, tablets, factory controllers, printers and multi function fax, copy and print devices. Now this may not seem very much but this can cause major problems for the IT departments of many businesses. With this many devices IT departments have started to require more people and more money to work. This also requires them to receive more training as the have to be prepared to see all sorts of different devices with all sorts of issues.

What can we do to resolve this issue? A solution that has some potential is RPA’s or Robotic Process automation. RPA’s would be able to run the basic tedious tasks that would take the time out of most IT departments day. It can evaluate most of the issues in most devices and act upon them. This will save businesses time and money in the future.

Strikes in Oakland

Members of the OEA or Oakland Education Association went on strike the week of Feb. 21st. The demands of the strike were an 11% increase on total salaries, a delay on school closures, and smaller class sizes. The strike lasted 5 days with many conversations happening between the OEA and the Oakland school district. Before the strike the school district said that the best they could do was a 7% increase on salary with a one time 1.5 percent  bonus. With the school district failing to meet or comprise with the unions demands it left the 86 schools and 36,000 students out of school for a whole week. With the pressures of getting these children back to class the OEA secured a deal which they felt was fair. Salaries would be raised by 11% plus a 3% bonus once the new contracts were ratified. Along side of this it opened up additional spots for counselors and medical personnel, as well as reducing the size of high school classes by 1 person by the 2019-2020 school year. This is one of many times this school year that a major city’s teaching work force has gone on strike to secure raises and has done so successfully. These city’s include Oakland, Los Angeles, and Denver. Along with these city’s states such as West Virginia and Kentucky have payed attention to teachers needs this year.

Newest Defense Against Breast Cancer

On Monday, March 5th, iCAD, an artificial intelligence company, developed a partnership with Karolinska. This partnership expands on an existing agreement between the two companies that will be able to provide AI assistance to scan mammography images. This program shows promise in developing an individualized way to scan for the potential to develop breast cancer in the future.

Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in all women. The key to stopping and treating breast cancer depends on how early you can catch it. This makes screening and early detection a major key to preventing breast cancer. The model that is being produced by this partnership shows promise in providing individualized screening for each person. Turning the current model of age based screening on its head. Instead replacing this with a means of risk related screening. They accomplish this based off of mammography images.  Per Hall, professor and senior physician at the Karolinska Institutet says that, “Most current risk models are population-based and focus on lifetime or long-term risk. Our research using the iCAD AI technology has shown that by simply using the information available in the mammogram images, we can more accurately stratify women based on short-term risk. Understanding short-term risk will open the door to new paradigms in both the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.” We can expect to see this form of detection soon under the name ProFound AI.

Snow Days

Sometimes the best way to innovate inside the classroom is to focus on what happens outside of it. It seems that this year we have had an abundance of snow days. A usually celebrated day might be on its way out. As school moves more to the online sector it becomes easier to teach classes while not at school. This also avoids the make up days at the end of the school year that take away from summer vacations.

There are many positives to eliminating snow days. It allows college level classes to stay on pace. Advanced Placement classes have a set testing day that isn’t adjusted due to snow days. Having an online element where kids can check in and get instruction on days where they would have been at school is very helpful. If you lose a day due to snow it causes major problems in lesson plans. Teachers from Neenah High School, in Wisconsin have experienced 5 snow days this year. They have described the ability to go online and teach as a “life save” because of how it allows them to stay on pace.

At the end of the day some students may be upset that they no longer get a free day off in the middle of the week but with this loss they have the potential to gain in other areas. Test scores and overall understanding of the topic will go up due to being able to learn without condensing lessons.

Retail meets AI

As AI continues to flourish and grow in today’s expanding society, we see multiple industries trying to incorporate it into their business model. Today we are focusing on the retail industry. Retailers today are struggling to adapt to expanding fulfillment and unlimited selection. In the 2019 Retail C-Suite Viewpoint Survey conducted in collaboration with Microsoft it was found that big businesses view AI as a possible solution to these issues. Artificial Intelligence can create the ability to visualize all current inventory of these retail stores creating a better customer experience and increasing the efficiency of the supply chain. 

Imagine being able to walk into a store and see exactly how much of each item there is in stock and where to find it. This is what AI is promising to give us. A fast easy way to do any sort of shopping that we would desire. Cutting down the amount of time we would have to spend searching the store for one single item.  Expect to be seeing innovations such as these in years to come.

AI Integration Overseas

Artificial Intelligence can have a significant impact in the future of education. I’m not suggesting that we cut traditional teaches out of classrooms or even that a robot acts as the primary teacher. I am simply suggesting to integrate different sorts of programs that would improve the classroom efficiency.

The best example of this is in India. A study done by Tracxn, a data firm, suggests that 300 Indian Startups currently provide AI as their main product. Around 11% are based in the education sector. Complete curriculum customization is what India is striding for. Vikas Singh MD shows that this is true when he says, “Though it is still too soon to start seeing robotics in classrooms, AI is already becoming an effective teaching tool because of its ability to adapt and offer customized curricula. AI-enabled tools help assess an individual’s current level of understanding, identify gaps and offer tailored suggestions, just like a teacher would.”

Another way that India is integrating AI into the classrooms is through the app Toppr. Toppr is an app that focuses on keeping student engagement in lessons is higher. They accomplish this through the heavy use of AI focused on providing fully customizable lessons from grades five through twelve. Toppr has shown nearly instant results as well. The average qualification rate of the JEE, an entrance examination conducted for various engineering schools in India, shot up from 22% to 36% and continues to rise. It is an obvious decision to continue to work and improve on AI for the betterment of society. 

 

AI’s Massive Impacts on Health Care

There is always room to improve in the medical field. Artificial intelligence is the next big thing in health care in America. At the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society 2019 it seemed that AI was going to be the focus in the future of healthcare.

One area they focused on was Wearable items and at home surveillance systems. Everybody carries around a cell phone with them and the growth in smart watches has been exponential in the last few years. The healthcare industry sees a way to capitalize on this aspect. This would provide everybody with more convenient and cheaper health care. This provides people with medical advice from wherever they are. Another place that can be approved is the data collection and care patients receive when they leave the hospital. This is another place that experts expect advancements to happen in healthcare. New surveillance systems can help develop greater connections with patients and develop safer habits.

It is no question that in the next few years we will be advancing in the medical field. The question is how fast and what exactly it will cost. Will general healthcare costs rise to help provide funding for these? Will we have to sacrifice some of our privacy to make sure that we are safe and get better health care? Only time can answer these questions.