Changing the Equation: Randstad US Invests in STEM Education to Help Close Skills Gap

Randstad partners with Nepris to virtually connect STEM professionals to U.S. classrooms


ATLANTA, Sept. 15, 2015 For many young people, the decision to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) begins well before college. As part of its commitment to educate and encourage more students to consider STEM-related careers,Randstad US has partnered with Nepris to virtually connect STEM professionals and other experts with K-12 classrooms throughout the United States. Through a dedicated portal on the Nepris website, Randstad’s network of clients and talent have the opportunity to register as subject matter experts and volunteer to present interactive, cloud-based sessions with students on their areas of expertise.


In addition to providing a platform for industry professionals to serve as virtual career experts, Randstad’s pilot program will sponsor 50 Atlanta and Philadelphia-area teachers by offering complimentary access to the platform during the 2015-2016 school year. Randstad North America Chief Marketing Officer Kristin Kelley explains how the Nepris partnership allows Randstad to directly impact the future workforce by contributing to the nationwide effort of closing the STEM skills gap:


“As a leading human resources provider, Randstad is acutely aware of the talent shortage in high-growth fields such as engineering, information technology, healthcare, life sciences and some areas of finance and accounting. This partnership aligns with our long-term goal of bolstering America’s STEM talent pipeline by integrating our networks’ real-world expertise with students’ STEM-based curriculum. We’re excited to introduce our experts to classrooms and to provide invaluable learning opportunities uninhibited by barriers of distance, time or cost of field trips,” said Kelley.


Over the past 10 years, growth in STEM careers has been three times greater than that of non-STEM careers, and constitutes 80 percent of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S.The Nepris partnership showcases Randstad’s commitment to corporate social responsibility by providing educational opportunities to address a critical need in an ongoing effort to shape the world of work.


As a global industry leader, Randstad plays a key role in contributing to the simultaneous promotion of all interests, social and economic growth, and the general well-being of societies around the world. To learn more about our corporate social responsibility initiatives, visit:


About Randstad US

Randstad US is a wholly owned subsidiary of Randstad Holding nv, a $22.9 billion global provider of HR services. As the third largest staffing organization in the United States, Randstad provides temporary, temporary-to-hire and permanent placement services each week to over 100,000 people through its network of more than 900 branches and client-dedicated locations. Employing over 5,300 recruiting experts, the company is a top provider of outsourcing, staffing, consulting and projects and workforce solutions within the areas of Engineering, Finance and Accounting, Healthcare, Human Resources, IT, Legal, Manufacturing & Logistics, Office & Administration, Pharma and Sales & Marketing. Learn more at and access Randstad’s panoramic U.S. thought leadership knowledge center through its Workforce360 site that offers valuable insight into the latest economic indicators and HR trends shaping the world of work.


About Nepris

Dallas-based Nepris brings STEM to life (and now STEAM, which adds the Arts to science, technology, engineering and mathematics) by connecting professionals with teachers and classrooms who need speakers, project mentors or evaluators for interactive, cloud-based sessions. Nepris makes this a turn-key process: identifying and registering professionals and teachers, matching professionals’ skills to the teachers’ needs, advising on best practices for classroom interaction, hosting the interactive sessions and tracking all the data in a social platform. See Nepris in action at or sign-up as a teacher or STEM professional at


Learning Upgrade Expands Elementary English Courses in Time for Back To School

New English Upgrade courses support standards-aligned lessons for grades 3, 4 & 5


(SAN DIEGO, CA) September 15, 2015 – Just in time for back to school, Learning Upgrade has launched three new and engaging English courses to serve students in grades 3, 4 and 5. Each of the standards-aligned English Upgrade courses is designed by educators and integrates exciting songs, video and games that engage even the most reluctant students.


“Teachers have been anticipating the release of English Upgrade 3-5, since the courses provide more comprehensive learning and motivation than traditional passage and question reading software,” said Vinod Lobo, co-founder and CEO of Learning Upgrade. “We are excited to provide them with new courses for the start of the school year.”


Similar to the English Upgrade courses for grades 1 and 2, English Upgrade 3, 4 and 5 are designed to support student mastery in reading literature, informational text, phonics, decoding, foundational writing skills, language skills, listening, and grammar. Interactive lessons allow students to actively engage in their education by practicing until a concept is mastered. Students follow a differentiated path to proficiency in grade level ELA standards.


In each course, students are guided through 60 step-by-step lessons to ensure they meet the rigors of the Common Core and State Standards. Each lesson provides practice problems accompanied by immediate intervention and remediation with multimedia supports.  Students repeat low scoring lessons to mastery, earning a gold certificate when proficient on each of the standard’s benchmarks. Each full course takes students 20-25 hours, both in the classroom and at home, to complete and earn a certificate.


“Districts across the country are working hard to prepare students for the new standards and rigorous tests. Providing practice lessons that engage all levels of learning abilities and learning styles to reach each student is a challenge shared by educators nationwide. The new English lessons from Learning Upgrade are a great way to help a wide variety of students including special needs and English learners reach mastery at their grade level,” said Lobo.


About Learning Upgrade


Founded in 1998 by educators, musicians, artists and programmers in San Diego, Learning Upgrade designs innovative, engaging lessons to support struggling students in reading and math. Through the incorporation of songs, video, games and educational research, Learning Upgrade has helped over 1 million students make learning breakthroughs.


For more information about Learning Upgrade, please visit them online at

SIIA Opens Nomination Period for 2016 Ed Tech CODiE Awards
Peer-reviewed awards program features 29 categories, including four new options, for ed tech developers

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 15, 2015) – The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, is accepting nominations for the 2016 SIIA CODiE Awards. Developers of educational software, digital content, online learning services and related technologies across the K-20 sector are invited to nominate applications, products and services.

To view the full list of categories and application information, visit Please contact me if you have any questions about the CODiE Awards.


National Alliance Issues Statement Supporting Lawsuit Filed to Lift Massachusetts Charter Schools Cap 

Washington, D.C. — Todd Ziebarth, senior vice president of state advocacy and support at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, released the following statement on a class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday that seeks to lift the state’s caps on the number of public charter schools in Massachusetts:

“Among the 21 states that impose artificial caps on public charter school growth, Massachusetts has the most restrictive ones in the country. It is therefore not surprising that frustrated parents – desperate for high-quality schools for their children – have filed a lawsuit asking for the caps to be removed.

“In several school districts in the state, including Boston, charters have already reached their artificial limits — which means no new public charter schools can open. These restrictions directly affect students’ access to the strong academic programs in public charter schools and leads to growing wait lists. In Boston, for example, there are 25,700 students on wait lists – nearly three times more names on wait lists than there are public charter school students in the city (see report here). Nationwide, there are over one million names of charter school wait lists.

“We urge policymakers to meet the growing demand of parents by enacting legislation that removes all caps on the growth of high-quality public charter school options.”

About Public Charter Schools

Public charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, many research studies have found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit


Research Shows Blended Learning Increases Student Achievement

New white paper on effective instructional models and course customization benefit Odysseyware users


(CHANDLER, Ariz.) Sept. 16, 2015 –Odysseyware, a leading provider of online curriculum for digital learners, is pleased to announce the release of a new research report, developed by Arizona State University (ASU).  The paper focuses on various evidence-based instructional models and strategies integrated within Odysseyware courses and Learning Management System, as well as how they lead to increased student achievement and engagement.


Research conducted by ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and Technology Based Learning and Research division proves that the instructional strategies put in to practice within Odysseyware courses consistently demonstrate the largest effect of success as a supplemental instructional strategy, especially when implemented within a blended learning model. Odysseyware provides an engaging learning solution for schools seeking the flexibility and customization of online courses, as well as those looking to offer students a virtual learning environment. On average, students taking partial or entire courses online outperform students taking the same course solely through face-to-face instruction.

Titled, “A Research Report: Odysseyware Instructional Design & Strategies,” this research report provides an overview of research conducted in these areas:

  • Transforming the learning landscape with pedagogical flexible models
  • Standards-based, personalized learning using customization
  • Systems of assessment, instruction, intervention, and monitoring tools
  • Use of frequent, meaningful interactions and embedded feedback
  • Interactive content including visualizations, virtual labs, and simulations

“By 2016 a projected 5 million students will be enrolled in online courses. Many schools have a difficult time finding a standards-based, effective online solution that is easily customizable and adaptable to learning models such as blended learning,” said Odysseyware President Beth Te Grotenhuis. “We are extremely proud of the content we create and take great care in doing so. This research shows that with careful implementation planning, professional development, and adequate resource planning, student engagement and success with increase.”


Odysseyware empowers teachers with unprecedented flexibility to customize entire courses including individual lessons, projects, and quizzes to better serve the students learning experience. With more than 80 Career Technical Education courses, Odysseyware also has the largest collection of CTE options in the industry in the industry.


For more information, visit


About Odysseyware

Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Odysseyware is an innovative, multimedia-enriched online curriculum. Completely web-based, Odysseyware provides 21st century educational solutions by offering the core subjects of history and geography, math, language arts, and science along with enriching electives, CTE, placement testing, diagnostics and professional development. This curriculum is sold directly through regional education specialists. To learn more, visit or call 877-795-8904.


Scenario Learning Unveils Training to Help Prevent ‘Active-Shooter’ Events on College Campuses

Evidence-based courses teach administrators and staff key techniques for keeping students, faculty and visitors safe
Cincinnati, Ohio (Sept. 16, 2015) – With thousands of students returning to college campuses to start a new school year, many parents are left worrying, “How safe are my children?” College administrators and staff must ensure their campuses are as safe as possible.

September is also National Campus Safety Awareness Month and to support higher education administrators and staff in their ongoing efforts to increase safety, Scenario Learning announces two new SafeColleges Online Training System courses: Active Shooter for Administrators and Active Shooter for Staff.

To view the full news release, visit