Teachers can now take their students on virtual reality field trips through Google’s new Expeditions educational virtual reality app. The app works with Google Cardboard, the company’s virtual reality viewer. With more than 200 expeditions to choose from, students can experience historical landmarks, diving underwater with sharks, visits to outer space and more. Teachers act as guides using curated descriptions, talking points and questions for students to get the most out of each experience.

A higher-end version with premade viewers, a teacher device and more is available for those who have a larger budget for their classrooms.

—Learn More: https://vr.google.com/cardboard/apps/


Published in New Products

The U.S. Department of Education is looking to increase regulations for distance educations programs offered by colleges and universities. Under the new regulations, online education providers would need to receive authorization from each state where students live in order to obtain federal financial aid. For example, students living in California applying for financial aid in order to attend an online Arizona-based school would need state authorization from California. A blanket state authorization is all that would be required under the new regulations — not the approval of each individual course or program. The other main component of the plan includes that each institute document each state’s process regarding complaints. The proposed regulations come on the heels of many complaints against distance education programs.

—Learn more: http://bit.ly/2aq49wB

Published in Latest News


Docebo released its newest platform with Coach and Share modules that capture informal and social learning, designed to increase performance, employee engagement and retention, and to drive business results. Docebo’s latest release features its new Coach and Share modules as part of its approach to

integrating informal and formal learning, building on its trusted and effective LMS.

The platform offers many intuitive features:

Docebo Learn: An easy to use Learning Management System (LMS) to organize, track and distribute online courses for formal learning (supports multiple formats including xAPI, SCORM and AICC).

Docebo Coach: Employees can ask questions and get answers from subject matter experts within their organizations by offering informal learning that gives them the power to get the information they need, when they need it.

Docebo Share: Users can capture user-generated knowledge from the experts in their organizations, validate it through peer review and share it across teams, all while building a culture that rewards top performers.

Docebo’s approach tackles business challenges such as resolving the problem of lost or hidden workplace knowledge, helping busy internal experts coach other employees, and deliver learning to any employee at any time the way they learn best.

—More info: www.docebo.com


Published in New Products

Expertus continues to build on its reputation with the release of the latest ExpertusONE learning management system (LMS). The LMS is an enterprise-class system to make learning self-service and accessible to learners where they want to learn. Expertus offers leading mobile, embeddable widgets, a Salesforce app, REST API integrations and an intuitive Groups-based user experience — which deliver targeted information to the learner and lead to an overall lift in learning adoption and productivity.

—More info: www.expertus.com

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A new version of Nitroworld, the Nitrospark’s 3D learning simulation software is available for 3D virtual worlds, simulations and learning programs to be made available across all modern devices.

Nitroworld now simply runs in the browser meaning that Nitrospark’s learning programs can be easily accessed on all desktop computers and many modern iOS and Android devices. Nitroworld has full support for WebGL browsers, the emerging industry-standard technology behind Web-based 3D graphics. Other new features in this release of Nitroworld include a greater and easier ability to edit content without a high level of knowledge of 3D software.

—Learn more: www.nitrospark.com


Published in New Products

Riptide’s Learning Division added WayPoints to its html5 courseware arsenal. In addition to the Elements courseware, that delivers highly interactive e-learning to any device and in any language, Elements released an innovative new courseware product, Waypoints. Elements WayPoints provides an in-line training experience that can work for any web-based software. The major portion of WayPoints courseware involves a unique learning experience in-line with the product and it provides simulations through guided workflows that have the learner directly interfacing with the software. Using xAPI, Waypoints also provides competency based assessments and training activity data.

In only a couple of months Waypoints has seen a measurable amount of success in large enterprise business and for military training systems. Two major corporations, a legal research, technology, and human expertise platform; and a company that provides services to the global airline industry, both multi-billion dollar in revenue, are able to prove software usage competencies with Waypoints. Both companies are using multiple services from the Elements platform. The airline service company is using the entire LMS platform, while the technology and human expertise platform is using a collection of micro-services and Riptide Elements is integrating into their proprietary LMS.

To complement the Waypoints product, Riptide is adding an authoring feature to allow training workflows to be created directly by the end user very rapidly. This authoring component makes Waypoints accessible to non-technical authors allowing them to create their own workflows. In addition, the author can create different types of overlays from popovers, transitions, to modals.

—Learn More: http://learning.riptidesoftware.com/products/
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Celebrating 11 years of success, The Best of Elearning! Awards recognizes best-in-class solutions for learning and workplace technology products and services across 27 categories.

Executives leveraging learning and workplace technologies, including readers, practitioners, and community members from both the private and public sectors, are invited to cast their vote for the Best of Elearning! Awards until September 1, 2016.

All of the nominations are placed by users in an open format. Unlike other awards events, there is no fee to nominate a solutions provider. The only requirement is that the nominations be made by users of learning and workplace technologies.  Winners of selected categories will be revealed in the fall and in Elearning! Magazine’s December 2016 “Best of Elearning!” issue.

“Every year our industry evolves.  In a recent survey, more than 85 percent of respondents have personally recommended an e-learning solution to a peer over the last 12 months,” says Catherine Upton, CEO and Group Publisher, Elearning! Magazine. “Award recognition clearly impacts the decision-making process and our Best of Elearning! program formalizes this process by publishing the recommendations of actual users.”

Since 2004, the Best of Elearning! and Elearning! Media Group have honored more than 300 products and services nominated by more than 25,000 executives. In 2017, the Best of Elearning! honorees will be showcased at a celebration of excellence.

—Learn More: http://www.2elearning.com/awards/best-of-elearning-awards

Published in Top Stories


Missed the summer's show schedule? Well, our editors made sure you don't miss out on the new and the next in learning technology.

In a recent study, 2 out of 3 learning leaders have experienced virtual reality and 62% believe Virtual Reality for Learning is here to stay. A look at the trade show floors still show a surprising low number of VR vendors. But, three stood out to us.

If your are sourcing a partner to create the virtual experience Manzalab showcased a game-like simulated environment. With a nod of the head, you can select (click) and travel down a path. The other end of the spectrum is SilVR Thread founded by Hollywood cinematographers. Their virtual experience simulates the operating room, skiing down a slope with all the twists and turns you would expect in real life. Last, was a surprise at Litmos by Callidus Cloud, who hosted a Virtual Reality experience on their LMS. Yes,  LMSs can host VR for learning, ask Litmos.

Some cool stuff is affordable. 

TruScribe, creators of animation by drawing, opens its library of images for a low $50/year to any e-learning developer or instructional designer. Of course, custom images are quoted separately.

Snappico by Epignosis offers an affordable authoring tool for the undesigner. No need to know HTML, etc. The easy-to-use tool is point and click to create e-learning, mobile content and more.


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By Dennis Bonilla, Executive Dean of University of Phoenix, College of Information Systems and Technology

Technology has disrupted and forever changed the way we do business, and in turn has altered the required skill sets of the workforce needed to run it. Digital technology is a vertical that crosses every industry and impacts nearly every job. Today in the United States, those who are without any tech expertise can find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to professional opportunities.

According to a report by Burning Glass, nearly 78 percent of middle skills jobs require some digital skills, such as spreadsheet and word processing proficiencies. Whether it be jobs that require basic computer skills, or that some of the fastest growing job sectors require advanced tech skills, such as writing and analyzing code to keep sensitive data secure, there is no disputing that technology has fundamentally and irreversibly changed the face of the job market.

These changes aren’t just impacting job seekers. Employers are struggling to build a pipeline of qualified professionals for the jobs they have available. For example, a 2015 Global Information Security Workforce Study estimates that the global shortfall in the information security workforce will reach 1.5 million in five years. Employers are increasingly working alongside higher education entities to tackle this challenge, as education and training must keep pace with industry advancement in order to provide employees with innovative and technology-focused skill sets.

Ensuring we have a workforce prepared to excel in the 21st century workplace is one of the most important challenges we face to remain competitive as a nation. And it’s not a challenge that can be undertaken by higher education or industry alone. Solving these workplace challenges will take collaboration between all interest groups that have a stake in equipping the workforce of today and tomorrow. 

Partnering to Educate the Workforce

The diversely skilled workforce required by today’s rapidly changing workplace calls for robust education and training. Matching educational programs to business and community needs requires higher-level collaboration and partnerships among stakeholders.

Higher education, business and industry must partner to ensure aspiring professionals have access to an educational experience that is agile, relevant and experiential and delivers industry-aligned training designed to immediately benefit both the student and the workforce. Curriculum cannot be developed in a silo and institutions of higher education cannot recycle course material that was previously relevant but now would leave students woefully underprepared for the 21st century workplace. Just as businesses are constantly adapting to the changing marketplace, so too must education adapt to ensure the workforce is properly trained.

These dynamics make partnerships in learning imperative as we work together to prepare the workforce of tomorrow. Innovative partnerships between education, business and industry can provide students of all kinds with access to education, pathways to careers and industry-aligned training. By working together, the student experience is better enhanced and the student is better-prepared when entering the workforce.

Partnerships Are Mutually Beneficial

Partnerships should not be seen as a requirement, but as a mutually beneficial opportunity for education and industry collaboration to improve the workforce. Among other benefits, business, government and industry can gain access to a steady stream of intern candidates and highly-skilled graduates, as well as provide their current staff with education, training and career development that can help with staff retention and elevation. At the same time, educational institutions that partner with employers can benefit from strong enrollment, job opportunities for alumni and access to industry insights and needs that can shape and inform curriculum.

Educational partnerships have broader economic and global impacts. A well-trained workforce sparks innovation, ignites creative thinking and accelerates industries forward.

Partnerships Improve Access to Education

In the education community, we recognize there is little in our work that is more important than ensuring students of all backgrounds have access to high quality educational experiences. It’s a national priority as well — the White House set an ambitious goal of producing a higher share of college graduates than any other nation by 2020, hoping to return the United States to the top ranking after dropping into 12th place.

A critical piece to building America’s bench of college graduates is through providing a variety of pathways to higher education, and one of the best ways to do this is through dynamic partnerships that deliver value, workplace experiences or resources that a university couldn’t do on its own. The following are some of the most important partnership areas we actively pursue at University of Phoenix.

Scholarships and Tuition Reimbursement

As workplace needs evolve, it’s likely that no one degree or training program will be adequate for an employee’s entire career. Consequently, employers and industry associations often find themselves searching for opportunities to upskill their current workforce. Scholarship programs can be one of the most effective ways for education and industry to partner in a targeted effort to help a current workforce gain the skill sets necessary to successfully compete in the job market. They also can be customized to the needs of the employer, and include not just an educational component, but also on-the-job-experience to ensure companies are getting the skills they need.

One such program is the Dream BIG Scholarship Program, conducted in partnership with the National Retail Federation (NRF). The national association is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing thousands of major retailers. Retail is the largest private sector employer in America, supporting one in four U.S. jobs and employing more than 42 million Americans. The scholarships provide those awarded the opportunity to pair education with work experience and ambitions to pursue a wide array of career opportunities within the retail industry. The flexibility of the degree program allows recipients to continue to work and live at home while advancing their education.

In the past four years, University of Phoenix and NRF have provided 50 full-tuition scholarships to deserving retail employees.

Higher Education Institutions Working Together

There are also opportunities for institutions of higher education to partner with each other to improve access to education. While colleges and universities might be competitors in the marketplace, ultimately they share the same goal — to train a workforce that will be successful today and lead us to tomorrow. By seeking opportunities to enhance the student experience and drive student success, higher education and industry come out on top.

University of Phoenix recently joined forces with Thurgood Marshall College Fund to accomplish this goal. Through a unique partnership, University of Phoenix provides students at select Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) member schools across the country with access to career-relevant curriculum and expanded course offerings through flexible online learning options, to further support a path toward graduation.

The partnership allows participating HBCUs to efficiently incorporate online learning options for current students that subsequently increases their abilities to meet the needs of a larger student population.

Access to Higher Education Resources

It’s also important in educational partnerships, that our best and brightest minds — our students — have the opportunity to help improve businesses during their educational experience. From graduate programs to research studies, there is significant opportunity to use the work of students to inform businesses. Companies and organizations who partner in this arena can provide students with access to experts and data which can then be utilized to drive research and propose solutions to current real-world problems. They can reap the benefits of this research and use it to inform their professional practices.

Recently I was named to the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (AZHCC) Board of Directors. The mission of the AZHCC is to promote the success of Hispanic-owned and small businesses in the state. It begins with education. Providing Hispanic students with access to quality education is vital to the success of Arizona’s future economy. By 2020, Hispanic youth are projected to make up more than 50 percent of the K-12 public school student population in the state of Arizona. For the state to remain economically competitive, it must create pathways to post-secondary education for these students. According to the Pew Research Center, as recently as 2012, Hispanics accounted for only nine percent of young adults aged 25-29 with a bachelor’s degree.

Partnerships Build Pathways to Careers

Providing access to education is critical, but it isn’t enough to just provide an education. Colleges and universities must ensure that educational programs create a clear nexus between education and career-readiness. This can be accomplished by forging relationships with a wide range of employers, associations and others to truly understand staffing needs and allow that to inform academic programs. These efforts can provide curriculum, training and other educational opportunities that help prepare students for work with an industry or employer looking for a particular skill set.

Education and Industry Shaping Workforce Standards

While improving access to education and creating pathways to jobs is critical, perhaps the most important partnerships universities are exploring today are those that help to determine in real time the competencies across industries that are needed to keep up with the pace of the 21st century job market.

When education and industry work together, they have the opportunity to transform the way professionals are trained and ultimately hired. By partnering to standardize competencies, education and industry can work together to develop curriculum that can be taught across institutions of higher education. In addition, employers can offer a uniform set of hiring standards that reflect the training students are receiving.

University of Phoenix College of Security and Criminal Justice had the opportunity to do just that last year by working with the ASIS Foundation to develop the Enterprise Security Competency Model. This model, the first of its kind in the security industry, established a core set of skills and competencies required for security positions, ensuring a clear path to education, training and ultimately, competency to address 21st century security risks.

With no previous widely endorsed set of competencies and skills across the industry, the Enterprise Security Competency Model has quickly been adopted by companies of all sizes including Time Warner Cable and IBM. This model is intended to define the foundation for educating security professionals and ensure the consistent education and training of professionals who play a critical role in ensuring the safety and security of our nation.

Incentivizing Continued Education

Many industries can benefit from employees who choose to continue their education. However, cost and time often serve as barriers in the pursuit of advanced training. Education and industry have the opportunity to partner to remove these barriers by incentivizing employees through accelerated programs and course credit for real-world experience.   

For example, University of Phoenix has partnered with the Security Industry Association (SIA) to award students who have completed a SIA Certified Security Project Manager (CSPM) credential with 21 credit hours to apply toward a Bachelor of Science in Security Management from the University. Allowing professionals to apply real-world experience and applicable education toward academic degrees can inspire people to embark on an educational journey in which starting from ground zero may seem too daunting a task.

Helping Military Succeed in the Job Market

There are many resources available to military members as they transition to civilian life. However, having a transition plan is critical for these veterans as they move into new civilian careers, or look to enhance their existing careers. A 2015 online survey from University of Phoenix of 1,007 past and current service members found that less than one-third (31 percent) of past and current service members have made a transition plan.

Industry and education have a tremendous opportunity to help these soldiers by creating programs to assist military members with their career path goals.

Partners Building a Space for Innovation and Collaboration

The RedFlint Innovation Center is a joint venture between University of Phoenix College of Information Systems & Technology, University of Phoenix School of Business and Iron Yard Ventures designed to create hands-on, collaborative, experiential opportunities based on real problems facing communities and businesses today.

When RedFlint opens in September in Las Vegas, it will be a next-generation incubator: a space that brings together the free flow of information, learning and innovation under one roof with the express purpose of not only producing a quality workforce, but reinventing the traditional employee-business-industry model.

Situated in downtown Las Vegas and part of the city’s newly-branded Innovation District, RedFlint will provide businesses and the community the opportunity to explore new technologies and business angles to create solutions for local businesses and industries.

Ventures such as the RedFlint Innovation Center will provide opportunities designed to offer the chance to create and experience new concepts, programs and technology. The Center will be a space for businesses to bring concepts to life by accelerating an idea through the various stages of product development. It will also be a place where solutions that have timely and real business applications are incubated. It will innovate industry, and leverage local relationships to create a showcase of businesses and leaders that puts regional innovation on stage.

At RedFlint there will be an opportunity to partner with businesses and organizations in various ways to ensure the workforce is strong and skilled and maximize the experience. It will create opportunities and a place where partnerships can come together in a tangible way.

A Call to All to Expand Partnership Efforts

Supporting the continually evolving and innovative workplace of the 21st century can’t be done by one entity alone. Strategic partnerships between education and industry are key to ensure that a pipeline of well-trained and skilled professionals is consistently being infused into the workforce, enabling it to keep pace with the growth and innovation across industries.

University of Phoenix encourages institutions of higher education, businesses, government entities and other organizations to seek out opportunities to work together to provide the tools employees need to prosper, innovate and grow.

For more information about each of these programs, including on-time completion rates, the median debt incurred by students who completed the program and other important information, please visit: phoenix.edu/programs/gainful-employment.

For more information about scholarships, please visit: http://www.phoenix.edu/tuition_and_financial_options/scholarships.html


Digital Skills Gap, Burning Glass, March 2015

(ISC) Global Information Security Workforce Study, 2015, page 3

National Retail Federation, “The Economic Impact of the U.S. Retail Industry,” https://nrf.com/resources/retail-library/the-economic-impact-of-the-us-retailindustry

Datos: The State of Arizona’s Hispanic Market 2015, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, page 198

Pew Research Center, “More Hispanics, blacks enrolling in college, but lag in bachelor’s degrees” http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/04/24/more-hispanicsblacks-enrolling-in-college-but-lag-inbachelors-degrees/

Published in Top Stories

The Association for Talent Development hosted more than 10,000 attendees at the premier event in Denver, Colorado.

Taking place May 22-25, 2016, the Association for Talent Development (ATD) brought in 10,200 attendees from 83 countries. More than 400 speakers presented at more than 300 sessions, creating a robust learning experience both on and off the show floor. Emerging developments in virtual reality, microlearning and mobile training solutions were emphasized during the four-day event. Speakers presented on various topics such as what to expect when incorporating gamification into your sales learning programs, the importance of keeping with company culture when implementing learning programs and building successful teams.

Companies continue to strive to attach numbers such as ROIs on their learning and development programs to track progress for themselves and their investors. Other popular topics were training the Millennial workforce, interactive learning and learning at an individual’s own pace.

The 2016 edition of ATD was anchored by three general sessions featuring bestselling author Simon Sinek, Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, and Jeremy Gutsche, the CEO of Trend Hunter, a company that is the leading showcase for innovation and The Next Big Thing. These dynamic speakers will share their perspectives on leadership that inspires, courage, and the power of innovation and creativity.

Virtual Reality is next on the horizon for many learners and learning management system companies exhibiting at ATD -are integrating it into their platforms. Manzalab, known for their serious games and for working with companies such as General Electric, developed a budget-friendly virtual reality application. Learning management company Litmos, is working to develop middle-end virtual reality tools and incorporate them into employee learning, compliance and multi-channel initiatives.  SilVR thread was demonstrating their high-end, Hollywood-designed virtual reality lessons at ATD. Learners were immersed in skiing and operating lessons. Virtual reality helps learning because it immerses the learner and activates emotions in the brain, helping students remember what they learn.

Next year, the event will take place May 21-24 at the Georgia World Conference Center in Atlanta. 

—Learn More: atdconference.org

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