Brandeis GPS Blog

Insights on online learning, tips for finding balance, and news and updates from Brandeis GPS

Tag: elearning (page 2 of 2)

Meet GPS Student Kara Noonan

Want to hear about the Brandeis GPS student experience straight from a firsthand source? Meet Kara Noonan, a current Brandeis GPS student enrolled in the instructional design and technology master’s program. Kara is currently an Associate Media Producer at Pearson.

Karen Wasnewsky - Brandeis GPS Online Education - Brandeis GPS Blog

When she decided to get a graduate degree, Kara knew she wanted an online program that combined instructional technology and instructional design.

So why Brandeis GPS?

“After a great deal of intense research, I discovered that the Brandeis program provided the ideal integration of edtech and instructional design that I searched for, “Noonan said.

So far, it seems like her research and final decision to attend Brandeis Graduate Professional Studies is paying off. The skills learned from the classroom and fellow classmates have helped Kara enhance her overall career at Pearson.

“I learned how to create a goal or outcome in order for a video to have a lasting effect on a learner. With this in mind, I was able to design videos in a more critical manner and assure that the video met a certain expectation.”

In addition to classwork, online discussions with classmates enabled Kara to gain an overall bigger picture perspective of the instructional design industry as a whole.

“One of my classmates uses a Pearson math lab in their school. Students were able to add their opinions and critiques about the product which provided positives and negatives to a relevant real world device.”

Student interactions like these prove to provide very valuable and eye opening information into real world issues.

Overall, Kara was able to make a smooth transition to the online experience.

“Some aspects are similar to traditional classroom work while others vary greatly. As a quiet student, I find it easier to participate in discussions in an online environment and do not have to deal with the nerves involved with speaking in class.”

 

This seamless adjustment and valuable learning that has already been gained at Brandeis GPS makes Kara quick to recommend this program to her coworkers.

“Having an instructional design background is extremely beneficial. The program provides specialization, helps to shape the way you think about organization, and aids in transitioning into the digital world.”

Not only has Kara felt a deep impact from the Instructional Design & Technology program, but her impact was felt in the classroom as well.

 “Kara is an exceptional instructional design student,” said program chair and instructor Brian Salerno. “She has the unique ability to immediately connect and apply the learning material to her own professional environment, and actively harnesses what she learns in order to continuously improve herself and her organization. Through sharing her insights and observations so generously, Kara promoted a more dynamic and interesting discussion among her classmates.”

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SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS: New England College of Business-Two Positions

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Members of the Brandeis GPS Community may submit job postings from within their industries to advertise exclusively to our community. This is a great way to further connect and seek out opportunities as they come up. If you are interested in posting an opportunity, please complete the following form found here.

WhereNew England College of Business: Boston, MA

Position: eLearning Instructional Designer

The eLearning Instructional Designer role is a professional, team-centered position responsible for the design, development and implementation of online courses in the Canvas learning management system. The eLearning Instructional Designer creates and implements effective online courses, researches and evaluates emerging instructional technologies and tools, and models effective design practices. This position requires an individual to work with a high level of independence, have strong project management, communication and collaboration skills, and a passion for creating innovative educational solutions for students and faculty.

Job Duties:

  • Work collaboratively with Program Chairs, faculty subject-matter experts, and eLearning team members to design, develop, evaluate, implement, and maintain effective online college courses in the Canvas learning management system.
  • Provide instructional design assistance to faculty SMEs, recommending appropriate tools and course design structure.
  • Film and edit video clips and audio files to incorporate in online courses. Identify and edit graphics for use in instructional materials.
  • Manage and complete projects within a specified timeline while prioritizing and working on multiple projects simultaneously. Excellent time management skills are required.
  • Facilitate the sharing of new learning, instructional techniques, and instructional technologies,including emerging technologies in creative and collaborative ways.
  • Keep current on changes to the LMS; deliver pertinent information to the team.
  • Look for ways improve process & procedures; troubleshoot LMS issues as needed

Qualifications: 

  • Bachelors degree in Instructional Design, Educational Technology, or a related field; Masters degree preferred.
  • 3+ years eLearning instructional design experience working with various learning management systems; experience working in higher education a plus.
  • Graphic design and audio/video editing experience required. Experience evaluating, selecting, and/or using emerging instructional technologies.
  • Excellent written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills used to communicate effectively with people at varying levels of computer literacy.
  • Specialization in one or more of the following: project management, instructional design, using dynamic and interactive tools, knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Adobe Creative Suite, Camtasia, Captivate, Photoshop, Web 2.0 tools, Dream Weaver and other related applications.
  • Knowledge of adult learning principles, constructivism, facilitation and learner-centered activities in an online environment preferable.
  • Personal Traits – Ability to be creative, flexible and innovative in course design. Ability to successfully manage multiple projects simultaneously. Strong out-of-the-box thinking is a must. Ability to work collaboratively with Program Chairs and faculty subject matter experts. Demonstrated ability to work both independently and as part of a development team. Willingness to work a flexible schedule that may include some nights and weekends.

To receive full consideration for this position, candidates are asked to submit a Resume/CV and cover letter with salary requirements to the careers site.


Position: Junior eLearning Instructional Designer

The New England College of Business (NECB) eLearning team is seeking an eager Junior eLearning Instructional Designer looking to grow his/her skills and become part of our collaborative team! This position offers the opportunity to work in a fast-paced, innovative, and creative environment. The Junior Instructional Designer role is a professional, team-centered position aiding in the design, development and implementation of online courses in the Canvas learning management system. The Junior ID works closely with the eLearning Instructional Design team to develop necessary multimedia and course resources. The Junior ID collaborates with Instructional Designers and Program Chairs in order to administer the setup of courses for both graduate and undergraduate and assists with Tier 2 help desk support for students and faculty.

Job Duties: 

  • Provide Canvas learning management system support to ensure proper course setup for undergraduate and graduate sessions.
  • Aid in course document maintenance and course integrity.
  • Film and edit video clips and audio files to incorporate in online courses. Edit graphics for use in instructional materials.
  • Design course elements, as directed by Senior Instructional Designer.
  •  Assist team members with new course builds and training projects. Excellent time management skills are required to handle simultaneous assignments.
  • Work with Program Chairs and Instructional Designers to evaluate and update existing courses.
  • Provide Canvas Administrative support and training to faculty, staff, and students as needed.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelors degree in Instructional Design, Educational Technology, or a related field.
  • 0-2 years experience in administrative duties as well as Instructional Design knowledge in an LMS system in Higher Education is preferred.
  • Excellent written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills used to communicate effectively with people at varying levels of computer literacy.
  • Detail oriented with evidence of creativity, attention to detail, and collaborative approaches to work.
  • Graphic design and audio/video editing experience is a plus.
  • Knowledge of adult learning theory, instructional design, and/or technology-mediated learning.
  • Interest and willingness to explore new tools and uses of technology to support learning
  • Personal Traits – Ability to be creative, flexible and innovative in course design. Ability to manage multiple projects at once and meets deadlines. Strong attention to detail.

To receive full consideration for this position, candidates are asked to submit a Resume/CV and cover letter with salary requirements to:

Paula Bramante

Senior Vice President, Center for eLearning Excellence

paula.bramante@necb.edu

 

 

 

Please make sure to reference seeing these positions through the Brandeis GPS job spotlight post.

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Meet the Brandeis GPS Instructional Designers

At Brandeis GPS, we are always working to improve our online courses to be more interactive and collaborative. Meet two of the reasons we are able to constantly improve. Carol Damm & Jennifer Livengood, our instructional design team!

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Instructional Designer, Jennifer Livengood

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Instructional Designer, Carol Damm

How long have you each been in the instructional design field?

Carol Damm: Before GPS, I was with a  company that developed e-learning for about three years.

Jennifer Livengood: Four years as a full time job, but professionally ten years.

What is your favorite part of your instructional design work?

CD:  It’s hard to narrow it down! I like problem solving.  Instructional design is like being given a blank slate, and for me what’s fun is trying to figure out which is the best approach. So I guess it’s the process of finding out which design works best for a course.

JL: Being creative. It’s in the job title!

What are ways you can use to innovate an online course that you can’t use in an in person course?

CD: Bringing the students a one -on-one interactive experience with a topic.  With an online courses you can actually use tools to help develop students skills and increase collaboration.

JL: You can build things that are individually interactive, so the student gets individual attention. An online classroom is  a place for students to explore through a discussion board. Quiet students can communicate more in a discussion board where they may have been been shy in person. It truly brings out personalities.

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Can you tell me about a great experience you’ve had designing GPS courses?

CD: What I like about it the most are the instructors and working with them. I feel like I am a perpetual student because, for many of the courses, I have no experience in most of the instructors’ fields of expertise. I love connecting with them and advising them on how to engage students with the topics and materials in their courses.InstructionalDesign

JL: Working on the professional communications course with Jennifer Drewry. We both brought our own ideas and between the two of us we were able to revise her course and make it more fun and interactive.

Can you tell me an example of a specific improvement you have made to a course and any feedback you’ve received as a result?

CD:  Lately, I’ve made recommendations on how  an instructor can take their topic and create effective discussion questions that will allow students to bring their own experience and knowledge to the discussion. You want the students to bring their ideas into this more social realm and to be as collaborative as possible not only with instructors but with other students.

JL: At a previous job I made the improvement of having the instructors come in and do a video. They weren’t previously in the course. Having the students come in and see their [professor’s] face, hear their voice. The student feedback said they liked it!

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What is the most creative thing you have ever done for a course?

CD: Working on developing a presentation, a micro-lesson, that will teach some rudimentary SQL (Structured Query Language) coding. What I want to do is make it interactive so that students will have to put in the right code to get to the next lesson. It’s creative and students really respond well to the interactive lessons. In the past I’ve done some videography work as well as editing. I love that, it’s lots of fun, very creative. The two contribute to a lesson and make it more interesting.

JL: Working with two instructors in the language department and creating interactive games for their courses. Really pushing the limit on some of the software. It was unique and fun for the students. Unlike taking a normal multiple choice quiz where it’s a little boring.

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SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS: State Street Corporation

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Members of the Brandeis GPS Community may submit job postings from within their industries to advertise exclusively to our community. This is a great way to further connect and seek out opportunities as they come up. If you are interested in posting an opportunity, please complete the following form found here.

Where:State Street Corporation,  Global Operations and Training/Employee Programs, North Quincy, MA

About: Our clients are looking to the future. We’re helping them get there. We are the engine that powers the world’s investments. We hold and manage money for millions of people: our clients and their clients. We’re responsible for 11 percent* of the world’s assets. Our clients face big challenges. Risk. Regulation. Complexity. It’s those challenges that inspire our solutions. Systems to improve efficiency. Tools that turn data into insight. Research that shapes strategies. Large enough to serve more than 100 markets, we’re local enough to deliver on the ground. This means we’re closer to the world’s investments; closer to the communities where we operate; and closer to the clients we serve.

Position: Instructional Designer

• Participates in all phases of course design and development including conducting training needs analysis, development of instructional materials and deployment.
• Works with training manager to determine needs of the course and appropriate method of delivery.
• Works with subject matter experts to design and develop training courses that support State Street Global Operations; may require analysis and data gathering with SMEs.
• Creates course evaluations to measure effectiveness and modifies course as needed.
• Able to utilize multimedia technology and e-learning authoring tools.
• May provide support and mentoring to less experienced designers on the team.

Requirements:

Education:
Bachelor’s degree required. Master in Education – Instructional Design preferred.

Experience:
3 to 5 years instructional design and/or technical writing experience. Experience supporting business operations.

Skill Requirements:
• Demonstrates strong written and verbal communication skills.
• Demonstrates solid project management skills.
• Knowledge of instructional design methodologies and adult learning theory.
• Knowledge of the latest trends in emerging adult distance learning.
• Strong eLearning design and development background; virtual classroom (webinar/webcast) design and development experience strongly preferred.
• Detail and deadline oriented; able to complete tasks in accordance with a defined schedule.
• Must be able to work collaboratively, as well as independently.
• Must be able to work on multiple projects and move rapidly from one project to another.

Software:
• Proficiency in MS Office suite
Camtasia
Articulate Studio ‘09
Articulate Storyline

Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter to Alex Chasson-Colebourn at Alexandria.Colebourn@statestreet.com, and copy Laura Bolsover at lkbolsover@statestreet.com.

The hiring team is looking to move fast on this position!

Make sure to reference seeing this position through the Brandeis GPS job spotlight post.

 

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The Emerging Field of Learning Analytics

by Ariel Garber

The development of learning analytics will help shape a new model for teaching and learning, creating a system that provides insight and information to support student success. The field of learning analytics, defined by EDUCAUSE, is “deciphering trends and patterns from educational big data, or huge sets of student-related data, to further the advancement of a personalized, supportive system of higher education.”  Learning analytics evaluates student behavior in order to determine learning efficiency, creating conversations with students about learning strategies and how well they feel learning has occurred. Technology allows us to study learning experiences through the capture and analysis of learning and performance data.

“Analytics provides a new model for college and university leaders to improve teaching, learning, organizational efficiency, and decision making and, as a consequence, serve as a foundation for systemic change,” said George Siemens and Phil Long in their article about learning analytics.

program-hero-strategic-analyticsA key feature of learning analytics is its learning-centric focus, analyzing student performance outside of the classroom in order to gain a new understanding of the efficiency of students, teachers and the curriculum. Beyond basic retention and completion, learning analytics produces students with both inquiry and analysis focus and critical and creative thinking skills.

The implementation of learning analytics requires restructuring academic institutions, to include re-evaluating the flow of data between departments, increasing personal student support, reshaping course design, delivery and more. These changes will be felt by the faculty, students and the institution as a whole. Collaborative and creative leadership is essential in fostering an academic environment that can support and utilize learning analytics.

The Online Instructional Design & Technology program at Brandeis GPS offers foundational skills through the study of instructional design principles, educational technology, and adult learning theories. Students gain the experience needed to solve a variety of instructional challenges and, ultimately, create and deliver high-quality online programs and interactive courseware.

In large part because of the continuous growth in online programs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics data demonstrates that jobs in instructional design and technology have grown 20.8% since 2004, and project above average growth as high as 20% for instructional design jobs between 2010 and 2020. In the next four years alone, the bureau projects over 36,000 new jobs will become available in instructional design and technology.

This reveals the growing forum for learning analytics and Strategic Analytics, also offered at Brandeis Graduate Professional Studies. Brandeis GPS is hosting an Analytics 360 Symposium on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 from 9am-4:30pm at Hassenfeld Conference Center of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

360LogoALT2The day-long symposium will focus on promoting a discussion of the growing field of analytics and how organizations can leverage big data to make more strategic decisions. Panelists will engage in a conversation that places analytics in the context of big data, education, health, marketing and business.

Register here for the Analytics 360 Symposium on April 8, 2015 at Brandeis University. The cost for NERCOMP members is $135 and the cost for non-members is $265. Submit this form to learn more about special pricing available to members of the Brandeis community. For more information, email analytics360@brandeis.edu or call 781-736-8786. You can also find us on Twitter using #GPSAnalytics.

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5 Tips for Surviving Week 10

By: Cara Chatellier

The ninth week of a ten week course can be a very telling time. There is a strong urge to coast through. You have to fight every fiber in your body to skip your discussion posts and put your feet up.

Being in my third course, I have learned a few tips to power through final posts, papers, and tests to complete courses and pass with flying colors.

Here are my top 5 tips on how to excel during the final days of your course with Brandeis Graudate Professional Studies!

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Tip 1: Map out your time

During the final weeks of your course, it can be easy to put off work until the last minute. Make sure you are mapping out chunks of time where you can sit down and focus.
Find a quiet place away from children, spouses, friends and other distractions. Many times I will stay late in my office to finish my course work. Nothing keeps you motivated like being a lonely office building– you can’t wait to finish and get home!

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Tip 2: Don’t ignore discussion posts

Discussion posts account for at least 30% of your grade in every course. Even if your research paper and final project and looming, you never want to ignore your discussions. These posts allow you to apply your knowledge from that week, ignoring them is only a disservice to you!

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Tip 3: Find a Study Buddy

Finding someone you can do school work with makes buckling down and getting things done a bit easier. Whether you are hunkered down at your local coffee shop or sitting at your kitchen table, having a pal to commiserate with makes the task a bit easier.

Having trouble finding an in-person study buddy? Try OnlineCollege.org, a website that shows you how to create a virtual study group!

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Tip 4: Reward yourself

Once you have finished your paper, or your discussions for the week, give yourself a little treat. Nothing motivates me more than knowing chocolate and peanut butter are waiting
for me after I hit submit on my second reply of the week.

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Tip 5: Make sure you’re sleeping enough

The UCLA newsroom explains, if a “student sacrifices sleep time in order to study more than usual, he or she is likely to have more academic problems, not less, on the following day.”

It’s important to study, but cramming is not the answer! Space out your time and get your ZZZZZZ’s.

I hope you found these tips helpful! Best of luck in your final days and make sure you celebrate once all your assignments are submitted, you earned it!

RSVP to 11/18’s Webinar: Next Generation Teaching and Learning: Navigating Opportunities in the Cloud

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From Online to the Field: How to Transfer Your Skills

by: – Custom Content Coordinator

There’s no question graduate education is an asset in today’s competitive professional world. Once nice-to-have, a master’s degree is now a necessity for coveted industry positions in the fastest-growing fields. The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics projects by 2020, the number of jobs requiring a master’s degree for entry is expected to grow by 22 percent.

Demand for a graduate education is growing. But is putting your career on hold to attend graduate school really the answer?

Instead of leaving the workforce, more and more are embracing online education. Technology has evolved to make online education a rich, interactive experience that holds its own against the conventional classroom model. Busy professionals can tailor courses to fit their schedule, making it possible to learn and earn at the same time. With a wealth of options like Khan AcademyedX,  and traditional institutions’ online programs, a master’s level education is now only a click away.

So where can an online education take you? While there are programs on the web for every area of study, two in particular will serve you well in today’s competitive job market: software engineering and strategic analytics. Both computer software and big data are integral to business’ operations placing those two skill sets in high demand in every field. See how online master’s degrees in software engineering or strategic analytics will help you break into Boston’s top industries.

Financial Services. Boston’s burgeoning financial community is in need of employees from all skill sets, especially in the realm of software development and data analysis. Today’s global financial institutions, many of which are headquartered right here in the Hub, rely on complex software programs to function. Software engineers who strategically develop, operate, and maintain this crucial technology are in high demand.

Also in demand are those who can collect, manage, and analyze massive amounts of data.  With the growth of e-commerce and online transactions alone, interpreting and understanding the strategic potential of big data is essential to the health of financial institutions.

Technology. From budding startups to established corporations, Boston’s tech world is a diverse, eclectic, and exciting field to work. Best of all, it’s growing. Fast. It goes without saying that a master’s in software engineering would be an asset for anyone seeking to break into the tech industry, but it’s not strictly computer nerds who need apply. Analytical minds are needed to process big data and apply insights to an organization’s bottom line.

Higher Education. With more than fifty college and universities in Boston, there are plenty of opportunities in the field of higher education, especially for those with a master’s degree in software or strategic analytics. Software programs are vital for a university to function, from student networks to administrative tasks to alumni communications.

Also, for universities, data is at the center of their operations. Statistical insights are key to understanding the application process, students’ academic performance, the movement of funds, and more.

Government Services. The State House and City Hall need more than politicians to keep Massachusetts and Boston running smoothly. As expected, sophisticated software powers all government operations, but strategic analytics skills are just as, if not more, valued at a government institutions. Our governing bodies are incessantly collecting and analyzing data on constituents. With a master’s in strategic analytics, you’re able to apply your skills analyzing and leveraging data to guide government projects.

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Inside Boston’s Ed-Tech Ecosystem: 8 Players to Watch

written by: Caroline Lyle, BostInno

To learn about our brand new Masters of Science in Online Instructional Design and Technology degree program, register for the next Virtual Open House this Wednesday, July 23rd at 7pm.  

The world doesn’t function as it did a decade ago. Everything from how we communicate, read articles, watch television, even how how we date, has been transformed by technology. It shouldn’t shock, then, that in this hyperconnected world where we walk around with encyclopedias in our pocket, how we learn is also evolving.

In recent years, online education has exploded, not only for the convenience it provides, but for the tremendous potential it presents. As a global source of knowledge and hub of connections, the web opens numerous opportunities to enhance learning. Emerging online programs and platforms have introduced new models for connecting teachers, students, and other stakeholders to optimize the learning experience.

The innovation is only beginning. Educational technology presents a goldmine of opportunity for both academics and entrepreneurs. For telltale evidence of ed-tech’s promising future, one need look no further than the astounding amount of capital being poured into the space. In just the last three months alone, investors have contributed more than $559 million into the ed-tech industry, and this past quarter, investments reached a record-breaking high.

“Investments exceeded $1.25 billion, marking the second straight year the ed-tech sector crossed the billion-dollar line,” BostInno reported.

Leading the ed-tech revolution is Boston. The city’s booming tech scene and renowned institutions of higher education have made Boston an incubator for ed-tech startups, many of which have expanded to reach students and teachers around the globe.

Go inside Boston’s ed-tech ecosystem and meet some of the most influential disruptors born here in the Hub. Some are fledgling startups; others established companies, but all are agents of change, leveraging technology to transform education as we know it.

1. edX

edX

Founded by Harvard and MIT ,edX is a massive online learning platform striving to increase access to education for everyone, everywhere. EdX makes Ivy League learning available to all by partnering with 32 higher education institutions including Stanford, Wellesley, UC Berkeley, and several schools outside the United States. Most recently, the company partnered with Facebook for the new initiative SocialEDU, bringing online education to the unconnected world starting with Rwanda. EdX also expanded the platform to Saudi Arabia earlier this month.

2. Boundless

Boundless

Most students are all too familiar with the exorbitant price of textbooks. Quite often, it’s an expense many simply can’t afford. Boundless believes the materials needed to learn should never be a luxury. In 2011, Boundless launched to democratize education by making textbooks affordable for all. Originally offering online textbooks, Boundless has expanded to offer a vast suite of cloud-powered educational resources for both teachers and students. A recent partnership will integrate Boundless’ content library into Top Hat’s cutting-edge, collaborative teaching platform, allowing teachers to edit and curate content in real-time. The company has raised a total of $10 million in venture funding and reaches more than 3 million students and educators.

3. LearnLaunch

LearnLaunch

LearnLaunch is a key catalyst driving Boston’s booming ed-tech scene. The nonprofit strives to support local ed-tech startups in New England, mostly through their accelerator program,LearnLaunchX, which graduated a fresh class of ed-tech startups in May. When visiting LearnLaunchX, Mayor Marty Walsh commented,”the future really is here in this room.”

4. Lexia Learning

While Boston’s edLexia Learning-tech boom is only a couple years old, one company was a pioneer in educational technology decades before the recent wave of startups. Headquartered in Concord, Massachusetts,Lexia Learning is a globally renowned reading technology company focused on improving students’ literacy. Since it was founded 29 years ago with private funding and grants obtained from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Lexia Learning has continually evolved, innovating the most cutting-edge ways to use technology to build students’ reading skills. In 2008, Lexia earned the EdNet Impact Award for outstanding contributions in education industry. In 2013, it was acquired by Rosetta Stone.

5. Panorama Education

Panorama Education leverages the power of Big Data to help schPanorama Educationools address pressing problems. Panorama provides a survey and analytics platform to conduct surveys either online or on paper and collect constructive feedback. Over 4,000 school districts, charter networks, and state governments use the platform to solve such issues as parent involvement, bullying prevention, school safety and student engagement. Last October, Panorama received $4 million from Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg’s organization Startup:Education and is using the funds to grow their team.

6. EverTrueEverTrue

EverTrue provides a better way for the educational community to connect. Their mobile platform not only serves as an alumni networking hub, but also enables institutions to tap into donor databases and easily fundraise. Following EverTrue’s graduation from Boston Techstars, the company raised $1.3 million, plus an additional $5.25 million in March of 2013. The growing company set up shop in a new office in the Seaport at the end of last year, and continues to show promising growth.

7. peerTransfer

peerTransfer is one of the fastest-growing companies in the Hub. The company saw 400 percent growth last year, expects 200 percent growth in 2014, and has raised a total of $21.2 million.

peerTransfer is on a mission topeerTransfer fix the unfair and broken international tuition payments system. Using peerTransfer, students can simply and securely pay for tuition and fees using their home currency. With so many students getting ripped off, peerTransfer fulfills an urgent need for both students and schools. The company now works with over 350 schools and is on track to process $1 billion this year.

8. Flashnotes

Flashnotes is an online peer-to-peer marketplace for buying and selling class study materials. After raising $1.5 million last year, Flashnotes has Flashnotesexpanded to include live video tutorials, offering another medium for students to improve their grades and/or make money. In the past year, the company has acquired Moolguides, NoteUtopia, and raised an additional $3.6 million. Over 200 schools are on Flashnotes platform and the company continues to experience high growth month after month

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The Balance of Life and Learning

Tom Burt is a recent graduate of our Master of Science in Project and Program Management Program. He is currently the Administrative Contracting Officer for GSA/FAS/Supplier Management. Below is his story about his journey through e-learning at Brandeis Graduate Professional Studies.

“I always knew I would have to go back to school.  My father presource-schedulingresented a perfect example of that—nearing the end of his career, he had been unable to advance any further in his field because he lacked a four-year degree.  For my generation, I equate that to not
having a graduate degree.  Not wanting to be held back from a promotion, going back to school seemed a necessary evil; however, it was a terrifying thought.  Travelling to classes, giving up nights and weekends, simply finding the time to work on assignments—there was no way I would be able to do all that.  Then a co-worker told me about Brandeis GPS, and all my fears went away.

Online Learning made it all possible for me.  I bought my first home about the same time I started my Program and Project Management degree; due to the nature of the program, I was able to balance the challenges of purchasing a home while keeping up with studies.  Also thanks to online learning, I was able to take vacations during semesters!  On ski trips Slimmedto the western US with friends each year, I started every day with a couple hours of school work (and gallons of coffee) before hitting the slopes.  I also remember a trip to Italy for a family wedding that coincided with Professional Communication.  Had I been enrolled in a traditional classroom-based program, I may not have been able to make the trip; instead, I was posting discussion responses while riding the Rome to Florence train, using the onboard wireless, all while traveling at 250 kilometers per hour!  Grazie Brandeis!  Finally, in the last couple semesters, I was able to attend classes while training for an Ironman triathlon (as much as twenty hours of training per week) while also managing to not get fired from my job!

Graduate school does not have to be a life-consuming event, nor should it be.  There is much to be enjoyeBurtofficeslimmedd in life, such as home-ownership, vacations, and the pursuit of personal goals.  These opportunities absolutely can occur, even while maintaining a career and a family.  Not having to sacrifice other opportunities meant everything to me (and also meant the courses flew by in no time!).  Brandeis GPS was and is the key to this ever-important balance of life and learning.  Having achieved this milestone, I can now start
looking forward in my career, confident that I have the educational qualifications to support my endeavors. ”

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My Student Experience

Danita Sutton is a recent graduate of Brandeis GPS’ Master of Science in Information Technology Management  Program. She is also a Senior Business Operations Analyst at EMC. Below is her account of her educational journey at Brandeis GPS.

IMG_1293“I was very nervous taking an online course let alone pursuing my Master degree in a 100% virtual environment. The first day I opened Latte I was full of anxiety and overwhelmed because this was so new to me.  This feeling of anxiety was quickly removed as I read through the professors instructions and read the responses from my fellow classmates, I was not in this alone and I had a community of people who were willing to help me out.  This community of fellow classmates set the tone for the amazing experience I would have as I moved through the GPS program.

The strength in this program is the experience of the Professors, I was impressed with their knowledge in the course they were teaching and they were willing to share that knowledge with us to help us improve and build on the course material and apply it to our personal and professional life experiences.

The material was relevant and dealt with current issues we face with virtual teams, how to communicate and negotiate with them, how to manage projects and the software that we are using now, and organizational and operational strategies. program-hero-itm1

Finally, I don’t know what I would have done without my student advisor, Janice Steinberg, who kept in touch with me, answered me promptly every time I had a question (and I had a lot of questions), and was a great support system.  The Brandeis GPS program has forever changed my life and I am very grateful that I was able to be a part of such an incredible and wonderful program and community of people.”

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