5 Permanent Skills We Didn’t Learn at School

Thomas Oppong

 

By: Thomas Oppong

 

Source: 5 Permanent Skills We Didn’t Learn at School | by Thomas Oppong | Personal Growth | Jun, 2021 | Medium

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Critics:

Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, morals, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion and directed research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, however learners can also educate themselves.

Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. The methodology of teaching is called pedagogy.

Formal education is commonly divided formally into such stages as preschool or kindergarten, primary school, secondary school and then college, university, or apprenticeship.

There are movements for education reforms, such as for improving quality and efficiency of education towards applicable relevance in the students’ lives and efficient problem solving in modern or future society at large or for evidence-based education methodologies.

A right to education has been recognized by some governments and the United Nations. Global initiatives aim at achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 4, which promotes quality education for all. In most regions, education is compulsory up to a certain age.

See also

Safeguarding Importance In An Ever-Growing Online Education World

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With the introduction of the digital age, online safety for children has become subject to an influx of threats from a whole host of intimidatory factors.

Unsurprisingly, COVID has heightened safety concerns, especially for children and it is our mission to ensure that their online safety is secured to the best standard ultimately to save lives.

The harsh facts about safeguarding online

The BBC produced an article stating that:

“child deaths increased from 89 to 119 and those seriously harmed rose from 132 with 153 compared with the same period in 2019.”

This is according to data from The Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel when conducting a report on the number of serious incidents reported from April last year. So why is this a concern?

Evidently, an increase in child deaths is the significant issue as another child death becomes an additional statistic yet, it doesn’t correlate to what effect it has internally on all parties concerned. With the emerging digital age, it is vital that everything online is scrutinized and it is our responsibility as educators to guarantee a child’s safety.

Reducing the number of deaths is the obvious priority but subsequent factors of the online world such as crime, county lines, sexual abuse and grooming all have increased. A survey produced by Children’s Commissioner for Wales Professor Sally Holland stated that:

“four in 10 of the 17-year-olds taking part in her survey said they felt lonely most of the time while 30% of 17 to 18-year-olds said they felt worried most of the time.”

Isolation and loneliness will lead young children to become involved in dangerous predicaments as their intrigue is raised. This is where online safety is paramount as it is an accessible route for criminals to target potential victims to exploit.

According to the Children society:

“County Lines has contributed to 807% increase in children referred for support by councils in relation to modern slavery.”

With this excessive increase, it demonstrates how important safeguarding is in online education. Gangs will utilise social media as a ploy to flaunt a lavish lifestyle and lure young children into Country lines due to their naivety and inability to comprehend that they are indeed victims.

Not only will children be exploited for financial gain, but online it allows predators to seek out young vulnerable people for their own gratification through grooming. Last year the NSPCC stated the Police recorded:

“over 10,000 online child sex crimes in a year for the first time.”

But not only in the UK is this prevalent, the problem is increasing Internationally. The Times reported that in Thailand during the pandemic:

“Police and child protection organizations say that cases of abuse, including the extracting of pornographic images from children, increased last year by as much as 40 per cent.”

With less school time because of recent lock downs, it has led to less education whilst increasing vulnerability. With schools now reopen it is critical that children are being supervised.

In addition to this, the UK has seen an increase in radicalization. COVID has led to more seclusion resulting in close relatives and friends taking advantage of young children. Sky reported that over the past 2 years there has been:

“more than 1,500 children under the age of 15 [who] were referred to the Prevent counter radicalization programmer.”

Ultimately the diminishment of social interaction due to COVID that young children will have with their peers and teachers leaves them exposed, further highlighting the importance of safeguarding young children online.

Educational barriers need to be broken online

Online education is a valuable asset as it enables learning remotely and breaks down the barriers at home unveiling a glimpse of what may be going on behind close doors.

Unfortunately, not all children can be monitored online due to a number of factors, one including, inadequate resources due to socio-economic backgrounds.

A tragic example of safeguarding importance lies with Chadrack Mbala Mulo, 4. Had there been sufficient communication between his school and home prior to his mother’s death, he may still be alive. He died from starvation as a result of being unable to feed himself due to him being mute and having autism.

His unexplained absences, which were not pursued in thorough depth, ultimately led to his death. Remote online education would have ensured that his scarce logins on education portals would have raised flags and an investigation would have occurred properly.

Sadly, this is just one case of thousands who are at risk in similar situations exemplifying why safeguarding children who are learning online is vital.

Educating children about the dangers online is the key

Our opinion is that educating young children before they can be exposed to the dangers will be the best option to minimize exploitation.

Here at EdClass It is our mission to guarantee that every child home or abroad gets the chance to learn safely with our DBS checked staff ensuring remote learning is completed in a correct and secure manner.

All chats are recorded and sent to their corresponding schools’ server to guarantee safeguarding elements.

Our EdClass Designated Safeguarding Lead Cara Radford said:

“Safeguarding online is massively important especially during COVID when everyone is online. Pre-COVID, a lot of parents were looking into what their children were doing online but now parents are busy balancing working from home and parenting which has meant more opportunity for people that are looking to groom children.

So, educating children into not befriending people they don’t know on forums and not disclosing personal information is really important, more so now than ever.”

Source: Safeguarding Importance In An Ever-growing Online Education World – EDBlog

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How to stop your students from arriving late to lessons

What is digital poverty?

How do pastoral and academic leaders differ in their approach to school management?

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Online safety is now part of the wider safeguarding requirement for schools but it is a fast changing and sometimes seemingly inaccessible world for staff. However, all members of the staff team should have at least a basic awareness of online safety so that, should an incident occur, they can respond appropriately and quickly.
This is the first in a free series of videos that will not only help raise awareness in the team but also has a partnering child-friendly version of the principles discussed to extend the training into the classroom. The content is appropriate for everyone from Senior Leadership to new to education staff in any role and can be used to support a combined staff and classroom awareness campaign. In this first episode, we look at some key elements of online safety and some of the safeguarding responsibilities of the team will need to be aware of.
Our team at the Child Protection Company have been creating high quality training solutions since 2008 and every one of our courses draws on the experience of expert safeguarding professionals. Our training courses are developed in house, and are regularly updated to remain in line with the latest government guidance and legislation.
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Why Learner Centered Education Is The Key To Meaningful School Improvement

Effective educators have long known that one-size-fits all approaches to teaching and learning are insufficient. Through extraordinary effort, they have figured out ways to differentiate and personalize learning for their students. They have done so despite an industrial-era education paradigm that makes it very difficult to do so. Over time, some of their efforts were named, systematized, and scaled.

Today, building on these approaches, some believe (count us among them) that a shift to an entirely new education paradigm is within reach. Harnessing new technologies, aided by advancements in transportation and communication, and required in order to adequately respond to deep and disruptive social, economic, environmental, and political forces, we envision a fundamental shift in how learners experience their education.

Specifically, we envision moving from a school-centric, industrial-age model akin to factories and assembly lines, to a learner-centric, networked-age model characterized by lateral connections and flexibility. In short, we envision learner-centered education. But what does the movement towards learner-centered education mean for the many methods for designing learning and differentiating support to students developed in recent decades?

In this piece, we identify some of the most-broadly adopted methods developed by educators to differentiate support, improve learning design, and meet the individual needs of learners. They include Response to Intervention (RTI), Positive-Behavior Intervention Systems (PBIS), Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS). Then, we seek to compare learner-centered education to these approaches, exploring the implications for each. Ultimately, we will make the following arguments:

  1. Learner-centered education is about a paradigm shift, not a specific methodology.
  2. Learner-centered education requires learning design that is flexible and adaptive, similar to or expanding upon the principles of UDL.
  3. Learner-centered education may include specific methodologies for differentiating support (e.g. RtI or PBIS), but it is more likely to extend and/or replace them.
  4. Learner-centered education is additive to and inherently strengthens existing systems-level approaches such as MTSS.
  5. Learner-centered education is fundamentally adaptive and outcomes-focused (rather than technical and process-focused).

All of the approaches we name above recognize the same problem. The current industrial model for teaching and learning was designed based on an assembly line metaphor, expecting students to move through school in the same amount of time with more or less the same amount of support regardless of where they enter, unique challenges they may be facing, or strengths they may bring.

Within this rigid system, educators have sought ways to differentiate support. Over time, some of the techniques educators developed to provide each student the support they need have been built upon to create school and systems-level approaches. Tiered systems of support and intervention such as Response to Intervention (RtI) and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) were developed to introduce achievable levels of differentiated support (e.g. 3 tiers) within the constraints of the industrial paradigm.

  • Response to Intervention is a multi-tier approach and framework for instruction that screens all students for learning needs, and then provides progressive levels of intervention to students on an as needed basis. Interventions scale-up in the level of intensity such as supplemental instruction within the large group (typically Tier 1), targeted small group instruction (Tier 2), and individualized, intensive instruction aimed at skill deficits (Tier 3), though tier definitions and strategies differ by school. In practice, RtI models may call for individualized interventions (problem-solving models) or preselected interventions (standard protocol models). The three essential components are tired instruction and intervention, ongoing student assessment, and family involvement. RtI originated from the goal of proactively identifying and providing special education interventions to students before they fall too far behind.
  • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports is also a three-tier approach and framework but focused on student behavior and social-emotional development. The goal of PBIS is to proactively promote positive behavior. Similar to RtI, PBIS typically scales interventions starting with universal and proactive routines and support provided to the full classroom or school (Tier 1), then targeted behavior support (Tier 2), and lastly individualized, intensive support (Tier 3).

Recent innovations with tiered systems of support by organizations such as Turnaround for Children expand these models to include an understanding of trauma and adversity as well as taking into account how to adjust for hybrid and remote learning options.

These systems were developed based on a recognition that all students are capable of reaching similar outcomes, but require different amounts of time and support to get there. They were helpful steps towards providing each student with different amounts of time, support, and attention based on their needs. They have positively impacted tens of thousands of students in achieving desired standards however this often comes at the cost of removing students from their peers and narrowing the curriculum and will continue in such a manner as long as the traditional paradigm exists.

At the same time that these methodologies proliferated for differentiating and targeting support by pulling students out, complementary methodologies were developed for designing learning in a way that was flexible enough to meet the needs of learners with different motivations, interests, (dis)abilities, and needs. One example is Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL is an approach and framework for designing instruction and learning environments that are accessible to all students.

UDL emphasizes providing flexibility in how students access content (e.g., visual, audio, hands-on) engage with it, and demonstrate knowledge or mastery. The goal is to remove barriers to learning. UDL is rooted in the premise that while accommodations and flexibility are necessary to ensure learning accessibility for some individuals, they in fact benefit all individuals (sometimes in unforeseen ways) and therefore should always be in play.

More recently, attempts have been made to create overarching systems that build on and integrate these into an overall coherent framework for systems change. One example that has gained widespread interest and adoption is Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS). MTSS is a framework for meeting the academic, social, and emotional needs of students. It builds upon and may include data-driven, tiered intervention strategies such as RtI and PBIS as part of the approach.

However whereas RtI primarily focuses on academic learning and PBIS focuses on behavior and social/emotional development, MTSS aims to bring a more comprehensive lens and integrated approach to meeting the needs of learners. Moreover, MTSS is often described as a system-level approach with implications for aligned leadership, resource allocation, professional development and more.

This now brings us to the term that is at the center of our inquiry: learner-centered education. Like MTSS, learner-centered education has been growing in popularity. Learner-centered attempts to define an alternative to the industrial-era education model itself. The graphic below, borrowed from Education Reimagined, makes this clear.

Learner-centered education is about a paradigm shift, not a specific intervention methodology. It pushes education leaders to critically consider the purpose of school and to re-envision how the complete education ecosystem prepares students for the future. Learner-centered education demands that we move away from the traditional industrial model towards a transformative one that designs learning in response to the diverse needs of students.

This future-oriented paradigm requires a new set of student outcomes and aligned success metrics as part of its vision, whereas most of the above can function within the traditional set of outcome metrics. Lastly, learner-centered education goes beyond schools as the unit of change. Instead, it looks at the needs and goals of the individual learner and macroscopically at opportunities for learning within an education ecosystem.

Read More……

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Source: Why Learner-Centered Education is the Key to Meaningful School Improvement | Getting Smart

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4 Scaffolding Strategies To Improve Literacy Skills

As an educator with 30 years of experience in North Dakota’s public schools, I’ve witnessed students enter my classroom with varying degrees of readiness. In an effort to create more equitable instructional opportunities, I have started to integrate scaffolding into my regular classroom activities.

According to Pauline Gibbons (2015), a scaffold is a temporary support a teacher provides to a student that enables the student to perform a task he or she would not be able to perform alone.

The goal of scaffolding is to provide opportunities for accommodating students’ individual abilities and needs as they learn and grow. It is important to note that scaffolding is fundamental to all effective and equitable teaching, and that the edtech resources many educators currently have access to support the integration of scaffolding into instruction.

Here are four scaffolding techniques I use, and some of the resources that support them

If you want students to internalize new information, you need to expose them to it several times. Robert Marzano found that it was critical for teachers to expose students to the same word multiple times to enhance students’ vocabulary. When exposure is coupled with an explicit comment about the word and its meaning, vocabulary acquisition doubled.

1. One technique I’ve used to design supportive instruction in the areas of vocabulary and reading is practice, repetition, paraphrasing, and modeling. If you want students to internalize new information, you need to expose them to it several times. Robert Marzano found that it was critical for teachers to expose students to the same word multiple times to enhance students’ vocabulary. When exposure is coupled with an explicit comment about the word and its meaning, vocabulary acquisition doubled.1. One technique I’ve used to design supportive instruction in the areas of vocabulary and reading is practice, repetition, paraphrasing, and modeling.

2. Teacher modeling is another great scaffolding technique. Model thought processes (think-alouds) and skills every time you teach new vocabulary or critical thinking. This includes reading aloud to your student picture books and novels (including texts above grade level), so you can model correct pronunciation of new words and reading with prosody.

I like to use Flipgrid when using paraphrasing with teacher modeling. With Flipgrid I can record myself instructing students and giving directions, as well as provide written instructions. Another nice feature of Flipgrid is that I can attach files, upload video from digital platforms, link from Google Classroom, Wakelet and more! Finally, I can group students as needed by topic or readiness and invite co-teachers to my grids and topics.

3. Integrating digital content into lessons is another learning scaffold that I use regularly. I use Discovery Education Experience regularly, and one of the best things about its high-quality digital content is that you know students are accessing safe digital assets that are multi-modal (audio, pod-cast, text, video and more). This provides students multiple ways to experience the content.

Even more exciting than the vast number of assets, is the convenient way they are organized in Channels curated by topic, asset type and more. Frequently-used channels in my planning for students include: English Language Arts, Audiobooks, and SOS Instructional Strategies. To model paraphrasing with students, I love to use the SOS Instructional Strategies Six Word Story and Tweet Tweet. Once we use these together several times, students can be gradually released to use them for repetition and paraphrasing of new learning, vocabulary, and to summarize text.

4. Also, I like to use augmented images and video to further scaffold instruction. One tool you may find helpful to support this is ThingLink. This tool makes it possible for teachers to share content by augmenting images and videos with information and links. ThingLink makes it easy to create audio-visual learning materials that are accessible in an integrated reading tool. All text descriptions in an image or video hotspots can be read in over 60 languages. Finally, it is an easy-to-use platform for students to show their learning and understanding as a creative productivity tool.

With all the diverse learners in our classrooms, there is a strong need for new scaffolding strategies and with the latest edtech resources, it really is easier than ever to do. But most importantly, at the end of a scaffolded lesson, the educator has created a product that promotes educational equity, delivers a higher quality lesson, and built a learning experience much more rewarding for all involved.

By : Jessie Erickson, District Assessment Coordinator, Grand Forks Public Schools

Jessie Erickson is the District Assessment Coordinator for Grand Forks Public Schools, and holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Specialist Diploma in Educational Leadership. She is the NE Director and President Elect for the North Dakota Association of Technology Leaders, is a Discovery Education DEN Ambassador, a member of the DEN Leadership Council. She is certified educator, trainer, or ambassador for several edtech platforms including Flipgrid and a Breakout EDU.

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Decolonising Study Skills & The Role of Learning Development

At Newcastle this year, we’ve been beyond fortunate to have an incredible Student Union exec, a team of formidable and inspiring Sabs who have not only worked their hardest to support their fellow students through what they couldn’t have known would be one of the hardest academic years ever due to the pandemic, but who have also somewhere found the reserves of energy to engage with another critical and timely issue, decolonizing the curriculum. Their Decolonise NCL campaign has to date included a series of online events attracting a seriously impressive array of speakers, as well as pulling together resources and pushing the University to pledge a commitment to decolonisation and anti-racist work at all levels. It’s simply awe-inspiring.

Their work has got me thinking about the place of decolonisation in what’s commonly called ‘study skills’, and how it impacts on the role of Learning Developers. I wrote a while ago about coming to understand the related and tricky value of emancipatory practice, a related concept, which I feel is the defining Learning Development value, but even at the time felt I was only just beginning to get a handle on it. Since then, my Leeds colleague Sunny Dhillon has written eloquently both about his ambivalent feelings about emancipation in LD as well as questioning whether universities can feasibly decolonise themselves. Working on projects around student induction this year, at the time of the Black Lives Matter protests, I’ve also examined ways in which an uncritical approach to inducting students to our academic community could be oppressive. The Student Union campaign has prompted me to further this thinking and tie these disparate threads together in the context of my own profession.

To this end, I offered to contribute a session to their programme of Decol NCL events, NOT because I have any expertise in this area, but because I wanted to pick up the challenge they had thrown down and explore how this ‘well-meaning middle class white woman’ might begin doing her own anti-racist work within her professional context. I’ve since taken this discussion to a meeting of my own profession of Learning Developers in Scotland (ScotHELD). This post draws together some of the questions and avenues I explored in those sessions. Our NUSU sabs talk about brave spaces as well as safe spaces, about the need to let people take risks to step outside their comfort zone, and I’d like to take that idea up and step out.

“…universities remain white middle-class spaces. They require students to adopt particular ways of being and doing – those which conform to middle-class practices that define success in higher education – ways of writing, speaking and the use of academic language. Universities measure a particular type of success that is possessed by those from white middle-class backgrounds.”

(Bhopal, 2018)

As I’ve written before, my role is often understood as teaching students to write ‘properly’. Implicitly, that means as white, middle class and male. I’d extend this understanding of ‘academic literacy’ also beyond just academic writing to other practices covered by a Learning Developer, from seminar participation to independent study, reading to critical thinking, time management to revision, which are equally situated in socio-cultural expectations of what it means to be a “good” student – the default norm being a white, middle class, male student with all the resources, privilege, cultural capital and opportunities they possess.

“Academic practices are usually presented as neutral, decontextualised sets of technical skills and literacy that students from socially disadvantaged backgrounds are seen to lack”

(Lillis, 2001). 

These practices are not neutral, and those of us who teach them must interrogate what it is that we are doing, and whether it is reinforcing a colonial, oppressive education system rooted in white, middle class, western norms of how we should think, act and communicate at university, thereby positioning Black, Asian, working class etc students in terms of deficits to be remediated. While it may be true as Bourdieu says that ‘academic English is […] no one’s mother tongue’, it’s a language closely related to my own RP middle class English, and one I can learn with greater ease and inhabit more comfortably without challenge to my identity and sense of belonging.

“Through taken- for-granted academic practices, constructions of difference are formed, often in problematic ways. The tendency is to project a pathologist gaze on racialist bodies that have historically been constructed as a problem, and as suffering from a range of deficit disorders (e.g. lack of aspiration, lack of motivation, lack of confidence and so on’)”

(Burke, 2015).

What I’ve learned from the speakers at NUSU’s events so far: Decolonisation is not synonymous with other concepts such as diversity, inclusion, equality or widening participation, laudable as those initiatives may be. They imply an extension of the status quo, an affirmation of it, additive rather than transformational. Decolonisation, while related to these concepts, demands a fundamental change, a dismantling, decentring, disruption, a relinquishing, restitution, restoration. It has a revolutionary quality. “Decolonisation”, we are told, “is not a metaphor” (Tuck and Yang, 2012). Moreover, decolonisation cannot be achieved simply through inclusion or widening participation measures, as the structures and processes of an oppressive system are ill suited to fundamentally dismantling its underlying issues: “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house” (Lorde, 18984). To decolonise the HE curriculum means

an underlying transformation from a culture of denial and exclusion to a consideration of different traditions of knowledge. To diversify our curriculum is to challenge power relations and call for deeper thinking about the content of our courses and how we teach them.

James Muldoon

How does this relate to Learning Development? Well, by extension, to decolonise the curriculum means not only what we teach and how, but also how we expect students to learn. Lea and Street’s tripartite framework of approaches to the teaching of academic writing offers us a lens to examine our practice. The second level, the academic socialisation model, maps onto ideas of inclusion and widening participation: “ [it] is concerned with students’ acculturation into disciplinary and subject-based discourses and genres. Students acquire the ways of talking, writing, thinking, and using literacy that typified members of a disciplinary or subject area community” (Lea and Street, 2006). These ways also typify the ideal or assumed white, middle class, male member of that community, for whom that system was created and in whose interests it operates. This is Academic Literacy as The Thing That We LDers Teach to students.

A Learning Developer whose primary guiding model is an academic socialisation approach is upholding this status quo. No matter how welcoming the gatekeeper, no matter how wide we throw open those doors and how helpful we are in orientating those we admit within the walls, we are still insisting that students enter on the terms of a white, middle class academy. We are also closing our ears to our students’ experiences; what is just a surface feature and linguistic or practice quirk to us is a troubling challenge to their identity or weighty burden to enact, for some students.

Colonialism assimilates or destroys; this is Learning Development as colonial assimilation. Become like us, or fail. We don’t want the bits of you that don’t conform. But not only does a predominantly academic socialisation approach assume that “once students have learned and understood the ground rules of a particular academic discourse, they are able to reproduce it unproblematically”, it also assumes that those ground rules are unproblematic.

‘Inclusion tends to be more about fitting into the dominant culture than about interrogating that culture for the ways that it is complicit in the social and cultural reproduction of exclusion, misrecognition and inequality.’  

(Burke, 2015)

The third model identified by Lea and Street maps more closely onto the decolonisation agenda. It not only notes that academic writing is not homogeneous but a multiplicity of practices or meanings, but also acknowledges that these meanings are bound up with epistemology and identity, that they consist of socio-cultural practices situated within hierarchies of power and authority and are therefore contested on unequal terms. I’d like to raise an observation I’ve frequently made when listening to or reading accounts of Academic Literacies as a model, both in Learning Development and EAP. Very often, these accounts focus on one implication of Academic Literacies, that academic writing is not generic or monolithic and therefore our work needs to differentiate multiple discipline-specific discourses and tailor provision, at the expense of the other: that these discourses are situated in hierarchies of power and authority. That critical, radical observation is right there in the model, and yet is frequently downplayed or overlooked.

Similarly, it positions study skills not as surface tools to be adopted at will, but fundamentally entwined with identity, and therefore belonging. Education is supposed to change you, but not to the extent that you can only learn if you become someone else entirely, or fragment your identity, your self. And if Learning Development’s defining value is its emancipatory practice, then it is these more critical implications that we need to foreground, or what we have is a tailored academic socialisation model (Ivanic’s 2004 four tier model acknowledges this better perhaps than Lea and Street’s, separating out writing as a contextualised event from writing as a sociocultural and political practice).

The principal function of student writing is increasingly that of gatekeeping.

(Lillis, 2001)

Due to the nature of our work, Learning Developers have a special relevance to the project of decolonisation in Higher Education. Decolonisation is often spoken of in terms of adding a more diverse range of authors to a reading list, or including broader topics in a module, mostly applying to Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Put a few Black authors on the English Literature curriculum, hire a couple of BAME lecturers and be done with it. But decolonisation applies to the whole system of how we teach, the way we expect students to learn, and how we recognise and assess that learning, a system which, if it’s not designed for you, makes everything harder, if it doesn’t exclude you outright. It forces you to learn on someone else’s terms, and ‘Study Skills’, the core remit of Learning Development, cross-cuts and underpins all aspects of the curriculum at every level, in every discipline.

It’s our role to not only to help students better understand their curriculum, institution and discipline better, but also to negotiate it successfully. Negotiate – it’s a wonderful word in this context, meaning both to find your way through obstacles, but also to bring about a desired outcome through discussion between parties. Negotiation demands dialogue and change on both sides to progress. I’m not sure decolonisation is something Learning Developers can really choose to disengage from or remain neutral on.

How should we respond to decolonisation? Do we need to decolonise study skills? I think it’s clear that we must, and that Learning Development has a key role to play in this. I’ll look at how we might do that in my next post…

By: RattusScholasticus Head of Writing Development Service and Learning Developer at Newcastle University. View all posts by RattusScholasticus

Related

Decolonising Learning Development: Doing the WorkIn “LD Values”

Emancipatory practice: the defining LD value?In “LD Values”

A Manifesto for Learning DevelopERs

SOAS University of London

Dr. Meera Sabaratnam and SOAS students talk about the university’s efforts to decolonize the curriculum and provide a more global education. Our blog: https://www.soas.ac.uk/blogs/study/de…​ Study at SOAS: https://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/

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How Educators Can Master Working In a Hybrid Learning Environment

Unfortunately, time management is far more difficult now versus pre-pandemic. The findings from Doodle’s “Time Management in Education” study support this, with over a third of the surveyed college students (37 percent) saying it has been harder to manage their time and stay productive now that lectures have moved online. This is a serious issue, as a majority of students (66 percent) say that time management is extremely important in regards to their ability to meet their academic goals.

On top of this, nearly half of students (42 percent) say that they’re working more now that classes have gone virtual. And they’re very concerned about the long-term impact on their academic success, with 71 percent of students saying that they’re either extremely worried, or somewhat worried, that the shift to online-only education will negatively impact their academic success.

On the surface, these stats might seem like they paint an abysmal outlook for the future of education in a COVID-19 world. But I think there’s a way to right the ship and technology will play a huge role in doing so. This is a great opportunity for academic institutions to change their processes and implement new technologies. It’s not about stripping away all existing processes and systems that have been in place for decades.

Rather, it’s about making small, impactful changes. It’s also about implementing the right technology solutions to facilitate the kinds of change that will allow academic institutions to deliver the best experience possible to students, faculty members and administrative staff, while helping them to be highly productive, focused and successful in achieving their goals.

For students who are already digital natives and accustomed to using upwards of 15 digital tools/apps daily, technology can be tremendously useful in cutting down on administrative tasks like coordinating office hours with their professors, 1:1 guidance sessions with faculty advisors and group study sessions with classmates. That’s time that can be refocused and reinvested into studying, writing papers and devising their graduation strategy.

Not only does technology make learning more flexible and convenient as 55 percent of the surveyed students reported in the Doodle study, but it also creates a more engaged and collaborative environment. For example, 16 percent of students say they value how technology makes it easier to collaborate with classmates and 13 percent see it as being useful in increasing access to their professors and faculty members.

Now consider introverted students who may have once shied away from speaking up in front of their classmates. They can be more active participants in their online classes in the safety of their homes and with the option to turn off their camera to reduce their anxiety and shyness of being ‘seen’ while participating. It takes some of the pressure off, allowing them to focus on learning and excelling in their classes.

Technology can also add efficiencies for busy educators by cutting down on context-switching. For example, using a scheduling tool that is integrated with video conferencing software like Zoom will eliminate the need to toggle back and forth between both solutions. It can also address the all-too-common problem of forgetting to create, copy and paste a Zoom link into each calendar invite. If it’s integrated into your scheduling tool, then the Zoom link is automatically populated and added into each calendar invite. That’s less tedious work for educators and more time spent on guiding students to academic success and achieving their own goals.

To help, I have outlined some useful tips for professors, faculty, administrative staff and students.

Tips for teachers/professors, faculty and administrative staff:

  • Use a communication platform, like Slack, to interact and pass essential messages on to students, fellow professors, faculty members and administrative staff. Answering questions in a way that all can see means you won’t be asked the deadline for that paper 40 times. Having an open, real-time communication link between students and professors means more questions are likely to be answered online, rather than during lengthy one-to-one meetings, while students get answers when they need them.
  • Schedule one-to-ones with individual students whom you teach or advise. Use this time to gauge how they’re feeling. Don’t talk about the class curriculum, their grades or academic performance. Focus on their emotional wellbeing.
  • Set up group meetings with your department heads and administrative staff to understand how everyone’s workload is being affected. Does anyone have concerns? Are everyone’s needs being met? Does everyone have the necessary resources and tools to be effective educators? Asking these questions is critical to empowering your faculty and staff to do their jobs well and support your students.
  • Record key sessions so students can revisit them when studying for exams, catch up on them if they missed a lecture and even use the recordings for future study groups.

Tips for students:

  • Slice and dice projects into smaller, manageable chunks.
  • Focus on one task at a time. Don’t switch back and forth between assignments. Only move to a new task once a single task has been completed.
  • Automate administrative tasks, like scheduling study sessions and office hours with professors, so time can be better spent on engaging in class, studying and getting feedback from professors.
  • Pay attention to your productivity flows and energy levels. When your productivity is highest, use that time to focus on a larger, high-priority assignment.
  • Use time blocking to make yourself unavailable for meetings, activities or anything else and dedicate that time to important tasks/projects. So if anyone tries to book time in your calendar, it will appear as unavailable.
  • Set up assignment/project deadlines in your calendar so your grades don’t suffer simply because you forgot a deadline.

By: Renato Profico

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Next articleFlyOnTheWallApprentice – Bringing the Apprenticeship into the 21st CenturyRenato Proficohttps://doodle.com/

Renato Profico is the CEO of the leading enterprise scheduling tool, Doodle. A qualified executive with 20 years of professional experience in digital companies, he most recently held the position of CEO for four years at a leading job platform network in Switzerland, JobCloud. In addition to his extensive leadership experience, Renato is an expert in B2B sales, marketing, business development, customer relationship management, as well as organizational structure and development.

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December 16, 2020

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Why Choose Continuing Education Through All Stages of Life

At certain moments in anyone’s life, it is tempting to think of education as a thing of the past. Maybe you’ve graduated high school, college, or even a master’s or doctorate program. Maybe you’ve found yourself securely in the workforce. Whatever your situation, you can benefit from continuing education.

In every stage of life, a commitment to continuing education brings benefits you may not have considered or thought possible. Whether you are learning a new musical instrument, a second language, or new technical or vocational skills, revitalizing your skills and knowledge will benefit you throughout your life.

After all, the world is constantly changing and progressing — shouldn’t you?

Here, we’ll explore how continuing education can be utilized in every stage of life, from young adulthood, middle age, and even retirement. 

Continuing Education in Young Adulthood Beyond the Classroom

When you’re young, it can be difficult to think of education as anything but an obstacle, a stepping stone for future goals. However, a commitment to lifelong learning can have immense benefits through every stage of your life.

Creating the attitude of a lifelong learner in young adulthood gives you a step up in life, raising your prospects and improving your outcomes. Continuing education as a young adult — from adolescence into adulthood — means going beyond the classroom in various avenues of education.

Continue your education beyond the classroom through learning life skills, expanding your talents and hobbies, and participating in vocational training programs. In the process, you will transcend academic learning and pick up usable skills that will translate across every stage of your life.

1. Life Skills

Life skills are anything and everything that help you maintain a healthy, highly-functioning lifestyle. This can mean the daily living activities that have aided in your development since childhood or skills learned in adulthood, like the process of filing one’s taxes or investing for the future.

Many young adults exiting high school and even college are often astounded by the level of complexity in adult life. They find that little of that complexity is discussed and taught in the classroom. This is where a commitment to lifelong learning can be immediately beneficial in your day-to-day life, and it’s easier than you might think.

There are many options available for learning life skills. From signing up for a community class, enrolling in a course on a digital learning platform, to even watching a series of useful YouTube videos, you can learn a lot about life and how to navigate it.

Online courses that are not affiliated with traditional academia are gaining in popularity. This is a market expected to swell to a $350 billion industry by 2025, boosted by the increased importance of digital learning caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Platforms like Udemy, Lynda, or Skillshare serve users in thousands of fields to navigate life skills and progress their abilities. You can find anything from generalized soft skills to highly specific topics in the ranks of courses available online.

The availability of learning opportunities in an easily navigable digital marketplace makes continuing education a breeze. Why not give yourself a leg up in life by progressing your learning outside of the classroom?

Your Employees Traits - Love with Your Job-Work

2. Talents, Passions, and Hobbies

Learning is easier when the subject is something we are really passionate about. Often, we don’t even think of developing our talents, passions, and hobbies as an educational experience. However, everything from learning an instrument to building model cars has real-world applications that you can carry with you throughout your life.

Take music for example. Listening, playing, and experiencing music can have profound effects on the development of our brains. Studies have shown that when we accompany our lives with music, cognitive ability, neural processing, and even high school retention rates are improved. 

Engaging our passions and hobbies in creative ways lend benefits that last a lifetime, growing our minds and bodies:

  • Physical activities boost our health and well-being.
  • Hobbies can reduce depression and improve mental health.
  • Social opportunities through hobbies increase social and interpersonal well-being.
  • Hobbies can stimulate our creativity.
  • Creative and constructive activities allow for introspection and self-improvement.

However minimal you may think it is, your talent or hobby can provide a phenomenal avenue for continuing education and self-improvement. In turn, you’ll receive social, mental, and emotional benefits that can help you across a lifetime. 

3. Vocational Programs

No matter what your education level or career aspirations, looking into vocational training can ensure you have a fallback and a way to securely make money and invest in your future.

Interested individuals can take advantage of hands-on learning opportunities rarely offered in a classroom while working side-by-side with industry professionals in a field that interests them. Because of their significant disparity in cost and time commitment compared to a traditional university degree, vocational programs are a way of expanding your exposure to real-world experience and helping you find a career and interests that truly suit you in an affordable capacity.

Additionally, vocational training can offer you an environment in which to meet new people with shared interests. Making friends as an adult isn’t always easy. Expanding your skillset with like-minded individuals is a great place to build a community.

Taking the time to participate in vocational training can be a fun, educational, and social experience that also provides you useful tools to begin a potential career in a field you are interested in. For any young adult expanding their skills through continuing education, vocational training offers paths to success that could last you a lifetime. 

The Lifelong Benefits of a Commitment to Education in Middle-Age

Perhaps you are established in a career field or maybe even looking for a new one in your middle age. Continuing your education is paramount in any case. Offering opportunities for career advancement, social networking, and developing new technical skills, education in your middle age will give you the tools to thrive and grow. 

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1. Education for Working Individuals

Whether you are a boss or an employee, you can learn and help others learn through useful training programs and vocational opportunities for self-betterment. Continuing education makes for the greater potential within a workplace, with a reported 218% increase in average income per employee among companies that integrate employee training programs in the workplace.

Education has a real financial value that can help you or your employees advance and grow, bettering their prospects and hope for the future. With continued training in and out of the workplace, you can build a substantial nest egg for your retirement all while advancing your current or future career. 

2. Social Learning on a Busy Schedule 

A great way to continue your education even with a full-time job and a committed family schedule is through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). These tools enable many people to receive education through a flexible online platform, and in a post-COVID world, they are all but a necessity in ensuring the continuing of education at all.

MOOCs offer a plethora of benefits for anyone in any stage of life. In middle age, the flexibility they present can be a lifesaver. With weekly lectures in short form — less-than-ten-minute videos and quizzes — and accompanying assignments, continuing education students are able to glean what they need in a way that is conducive to any schedule.

The best part of MOOCs is that they do not require a compromise in education quality. Top-notch universities like Harvard and MIT are even participating in these platforms, allowing students to find quality instruction for a variety of topics ranging from professional development to cultivating new skills.

For anyone looking to expand their abilities and prospects later in life, MOOCs are worth joining. 

3. Learning New Tech

You may find it difficult on the job to keep up with all the new developments and inventions, especially if you work or hope to work in a field that utilizes a lot of technology. In any field, however, you won’t be able to escape a greater shift towards technology and digital platforms. This can be strenuous for many for whom new tech does not come easily.

To keep up on the tech your company is using — or to learn how to use new tech that can benefit you or your company — continue your education into your middle age and beyond.

In the next 10 years, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in nearly every workplace is expected to change a variety of roles. Understanding how this new tech is used and integrated can help ensure you maintain relevance in your field or build it in a new one.

Through continuous education, you can pick up skills and knowledge of new technology that will translate into a more secure and empowered present and future. In a world as rapidly changing as our own, maintaining a firm grasp of new innovations and their place in business processes is all but a necessity. 

A Fulfilling Retirement through Learning 

It’s now easier than ever to continue your education into your retirement. With programs across the country designed to assist older folks in their dedication to never stop learning and growing, you can find the perfect social and educational outlet for you.

In fact, more retirees than ever are returning to college through programs like the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. These programs are created to accommodate those on a fixed income. That means fees far below those of traditional college course tuitions. Retirees can learn and pick up new skills as it best suits them.

Whether you choose to learn through teaching, pick up a new hobby, or take community classes for a social outlet, continuing your education in retirement can be just the stimulation and entertainment you’re looking for. 

Recruit Millennial-Boss-Make Your First Impression Last

1. Learning by Teaching

An amazing tool of the digital age is the ability to share one’s knowledge and create a community of reciprocal learning through online education platforms. These handy tools are relatively easy to use and can provide an additional income for educators looking for an outlet.

One of the best aspects of these online education platforms like Udemy or Lynda is that they do not require a specific set of qualifications. Regardless of the path, your life has taken, you likely have knowledge that others will find useful. Structuring that knowledge into a data-driven course can help others while also teaching you the valuable skills needed in setting up a digital course.

Introduce yourself to online learning through the tools provided by online learning platforms. You can even take courses designed to help you create your own. The process of learning how to teach will give you the means to grow your income while also building your skill set, no matter your age and experience. 

2. Picking up New Hobbies

You are never too old to pick up a new hobby. Doing so will benefit you mentally, emotionally, and physically while offering new opportunities to meet people and grow. Additionally, consistent participation in stress-reducing or physical hobbies has been shown to boost the immune system and even prevent chronic illness.

Many retirement and senior centers offer options for seniors looking to pick up a new skill or trade. Additionally, you can venture online or explore opportunities in your greater community for the advancement of your passions and interests. 

3. Taking Community Classes

Almost every state and city offer some varieties of community classes designed for and around senior needs. These classes can help you maintain an active, interested learning lifestyle that will benefit you in every aspect of your healthy life.

Since many organizers of these classes understand the challenges posed by living on a fixed income, free and cheap options exist to help you maintain a commitment to lifelong education. Whether you are painting, creating pottery, writing, exercising, or so much more, you will reap the benefits of a stimulated and social outlet on a budget.

Nearly every community offers courses that could be an option in continuing education that you can use throughout your retirement. Check out what is available near you or consider taking on a digital education experience to gain familiarity with the rapidly changing world. It’s never too late to pick up the skills and knowledge that you can use throughout the rest of your life.

The Benefits of Being a Lifelong Learner

From adolescence to retirement and beyond, learning helps invigorate and sustain our lives in healthy and fulfilling ways. Continued education can be utilized in every stage of a person’s life, providing them skills, opportunities, social networks, and increased well-being in every facet of life. 

Continuing education can have benefits for every pillar of your health, including but not limited to:

  • Mental.
  • Emotional.
  • Spiritual.
  • Physical.
  • Social.

There is never a time in which these aspects of life cease to be important. By committing to continuing education, you can live a longer and better life with more of what you love in it.

It is never too late to learn new skills, grow your talents, and become the person you’ve always wanted to be.

By: Sam Bowman

Sources:

Small Business Association of Michigan, Career Metis, McKinsey, Replicon , Inc. ,Connect Solutions ,Dynamic Signal , Learning Hub , The Wall Street Journal , Forbes , Connect Solutions ,On the Clock , Atlassian ,EmailAnalytics

How Education Technology Calmed the Storm for Students Amid Coronavirus

1

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a direct swipe across several industries such as manufacturing, finance, and healthcare among others. It has also affected the education sector. Around 1.2 billion students and youth are or were forced to study from home as a result of the virus that has already killed more than 483,000 people globally.

But this is not where the story ends. For some, it’s where it begins. A crisis likes this requires us to question our methods of teaching and learning. Big and small companies are coming up with novel solutions for the education challenges posed by the virus. The future of education is unfolding right before our eyes as digital learning takes center-stage.

Education institutions and stakeholders form partnerships.

Students have to continue learning even if it means using alternative methods. Over the past several months, we have seen governments, private and public companies, publishers, educators, and technology providers forming partnerships to find a temporary solution to the ongoing crisis. China launched a remote program to keep students learning. Primary school students received their educational material on national television.

When governments began locking down their countries, many tech giants such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter encouraged their employees who could work from home to do so. Twitter and Square employees will continue working from home even when the coronavirus is contained.

Working from home was only a temporary solution. However, it has become permanent for some employees. This, in turn, will have domino effects that can potentially extend beyond the tech industry. While the online education sector has been growing even before the start of the virus, we are likely going to see a scenario where more students opt to learn from home. It is still very early to say goodbye to onsite learning. There will always be students who prefer mortar-and-bricks classrooms.

Ed tech companies prepare for an influx of users.

Technology has become a very important factor in the delivery of education. Existing edtech companies know that. The majority of them are preparing to handle an influx in the number of users on their platforms. Education Ecosystem has been scaling content on its platform to give users a variety of practical projects to learn from. Users can complete a variety of practical projects such as using machine learning in stock trading or creating a login system for a game in Unity among others. These vary in nature and they are provided by vetted experts who have many years of experience in their career fields.

Other growing edtech companies are knocking on the doors of venture capital firms to raise funds to sail through these times. New Markets Venture Partners, an edtech VC, has seen an increase in the number of education companies reaching out to them for investments, said the firm’s general partner Jason Palmer. The bottom line is that education companies see an opportunity that extends beyond the coronavirus pandemic.

The future of online education.

Here in Europe and across the globe, education companies have become a lifeline for the millions of students who can’t attend physical classes due to the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic pushed the world toward an experiment of working or learning from home.

It is no longer just an experiment. It could be the future of education. There is still a long way to go before remote learning becomes the major norm internationally. But this pandemic has shown us what the possibilities are. And with education companies coming on board to save the day, they have set for themselves a future where anything is possible.

By: Michael Jurgen Garbade  CEO of Education Ecosystem

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How Education Technology Calmed the Storm for Students Amid Coronavirus

1

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a direct swipe across several industries such as manufacturing, finance, and healthcare among others. It has also affected the education sector. Around 1.2 billion students and youth are or were forced to study from home as a result of the virus that has already killed more than 483,000 people globally.

But this is not where the story ends. For some, it’s where it begins. A crisis likes this requires us to question our methods of teaching and learning. Big and small companies are coming up with novel solutions for the education challenges posed by the virus. The future of education is unfolding right before our eyes as digital learning takes center-stage.

Education institutions and stakeholders form partnerships.

Students have to continue learning even if it means using alternative methods. Over the past several months, we have seen governments, private and public companies, publishers, educators, and technology providers forming partnerships to find a temporary solution to the ongoing crisis. China launched a remote program to keep students learning. Primary school students received their educational material on national television.

When governments began locking down their countries, many tech giants such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter encouraged their employees who could work from home to do so. Twitter and Square employees will continue working from home even when the coronavirus is contained.

bestmining780

Working from home was only a temporary solution. However, it has become permanent for some employees. This, in turn, will have domino effects that can potentially extend beyond the tech industry. While the online education sector has been growing even before the start of the virus, we are likely going to see a scenario where more students opt to learn from home. It is still very early to say goodbye to onsite learning. There will always be students who prefer mortar-and-bricks classrooms.

Ed tech companies prepare for an influx of users.

Technology has become a very important factor in the delivery of education. Existing edtech companies know that. The majority of them are preparing to handle an influx in the number of users on their platforms. Education Ecosystem has been scaling content on its platform to give users a variety of practical projects to learn from. Users can complete a variety of practical projects such as using machine learning in stock trading or creating a login system for a game in Unity among others. These vary in nature and they are provided by vetted experts who have many years of experience in their career fields.

Other growing edtech companies are knocking on the doors of venture capital firms to raise funds to sail through these times. New Markets Venture Partners, an edtech VC, has seen an increase in the number of education companies reaching out to them for investments, said the firm’s general partner Jason Palmer. The bottom line is that education companies see an opportunity that extends beyond the coronavirus pandemic.

The future of online education.

Here in Europe and across the globe, education companies have become a lifeline for the millions of students who can’t attend physical classes due to the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic pushed the world toward an experiment of working or learning from home.

It is no longer just an experiment. It could be the future of education. There is still a long way to go before remote learning becomes the major norm internationally. But this pandemic has shown us what the possibilities are. And with education companies coming on board to save the day, they have set for themselves a future where anything is possible.

By:

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com

2

AcademyPro Create Beautiful E-Learning Sites With built-In Authority

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In Just Minutes, you can make your academy live and start selling unlimited copies of your courses to unlimited students and build a huge list all at the same time.No Installation,No coding or Designing, No Techie Stuff. AcademyPro enables you to convert your knowledge into passive income stream and sell courses on your own branded Academy marketplace.

The best part, you’ve got 100% control on your traffic, leads & profits which you could lose by selling your courses on other 3rd party marketplaces. This is a worthy investment guys. E-learning industry is growing at exponential speed and showing no signs of slowing down. WithAcademyPro, you’ve got your chance to tap into it & become the master of your own destiny.

  • Sell your courses on your own branded marketplace while building authority at the same time. Plus, there’s no need to share any of your profits with 3rd party marketplaces.
  • A personalized members area in your brand color theme. Students can learn with courses, check their support tickets, purchases & also can buy more courses with 1 click. A blog is important for getting visitors updated and engaged with your brand and AcademyPro creates it for YOU.
  • A branded home page with a beautiful slider & separate sections for top courses & top articles of the month to convert visitors into buyers. AcademyPro comes with a beautiful slider that includes an attractive full width image, headline, description & CTA buttons to impress visitors and promote your best courses or offers.
  • Give your academy site a professional look according to your niche & brand with multiple color themes. (No designing necessary).All necessary page templates are included such as about us, terms & conditions, and privacy-policy pages
  • Comes with your LOGO, links to your marketplace, blog, help desk, as well as with login & signup buttons.Make it easy by allowing students to sign up and sign in using their existing Facebooktm & Googletm accounts.
Add unlimited videos, PDFs, e-books & reports as Lessons to create an engaging course so students can progress systematically. With the lessons option, we’ve made it super easy for you to create courses that wow your students and help them to understand your concepts better. AcademyPro enables you to list all your courses & sell them on your own, branded marketplace. You can even divide your courses into different levels such as beginner, intermediate & advanced levels, This way you’ll increase customer lifetime value & ROI.
When you combine traffic with engagement, the result can be massive sales for your business. That’s why you’ll love Academy Pro. These sites are designed to help you convert every single visitor from social and search engines into paying customers. With an Inbuilt SEO module – you can set pages meta tiles, make any page do follow or no follow, create XML sitemaps and much more. Plus, you can create a professional blog and generate fresh content which will help boost search rankings even further.
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To help you get the best out of your leads we have integrated AcademyPro with some of the major Autoresponder service providers. You won’t need to worry about exporting & importing your leads from one platform to another as this integration will directly send your leads to your Autoresponder automatically.
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