News & Events

Read the latest Pearson education news and see how learning is building character, shaping dreams, and strengthening communities across the country.

Press Releases

  • Pearson Releases First-of-Its Kind AI Enabled Mobile Tutoring Experience

    Aida Calculus App Helps Students Overcome Major Barrier to STEM Careers

    LONDON, UK (November 12, 2019) – Pearson, the world's learning company, today announced the launch of Aida Calculus, the first AI-powered tutoring app, designed to help students tackle one of the most difficult and frustrating math disciplines. At least one semester of calculus is required for almost all science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. But nearly one-third of students fail or drop the course, turning calculus into a major leak in the STEM pipeline. By helping students tackle calculus, Aida can be one solution to this challenging education and employment problem.

    Aida is a first in the education industry and an important milestone in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for learning. It’s the only education app that uses multiple AI techniques from deep learning and reinforcement learning, customized for the purpose of tutoring students. The use of similar advanced AI algorithms is only seen in major consumer apps. Pearson is the first to apply that level of innovation in the education space.

    “Aida is a groundbreaking use of AI to enable learning. It’s the first step we’re making in redesigning education for the talent economy by addressing a major, and often unseen, barrier to STEM careers,” said John Fallon, CEO, Pearson. “With millions of STEM jobs going unfilled, we can’t afford to leave talented students behind and the world can’t afford to lose much needed engineers, economists and computer scientists.”

    Aida teaches students how to solve problems and shows why calculus is important in the real world. Students type in an equation or take a photo of their hand-written work. Aida uses advances from deep learning to analyze a student’s work and provide feedback on each line of their hand or type-written problem. Aida immediately gives students hints and recommendations based on best practices from cognitive and learning sciences. Over time, Aida learns what approaches work best for each student by using customized models from reinforcement learning. The app then serves up the most effective suggestions for practice problems, related examples or videos explaining how the concept works in the real world. This allows a student to better understand the material and gives them a truly personalized experience.

    Aida contains more than 30 original explainer videos to teach students how calculus underpins concepts like infinity, acceleration and tangents and how those are used in fields such as aerospace or game design. It also includes more than 150 short instructional videos focused on helping students master specific computational issues.

    Aida Calculus is the first of Pearson’s family of AI products under the Aida product brand and is the latest milestone in Pearson's digital-first strategy. Pearson is committed to lifelong learning, with the goal of giving everyone affordable and easy to access digital education materials and assessments. 62% of Pearson revenue now comes from digital or digitally enabled products and services that make lifelong education possible.

    Aida is available for download on iOS 13 devices through the Apple App Store in the US, UK, Canada, Switzerland, Netherland, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland. Aida will be free to download and use during November and December and available in a subscription model in 2020.

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    Contact

    Scott Overland, (202) 909-4520

    Scott.Overland@pearson.com

    About Pearson

    We are the world’s learning company with more than 24,000 employees operating in 70 countries. We combine world-class educational content and assessment, powered by services and technology, to enable more effective teaching and personalized learning at scale. We believe that wherever learning flourishes so do people.

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  • Global Survey Reveals Major Shift in Education Toward Do-It-Yourself Learning

    91% of Canadian learners say people need to keep learning or re-training throughout their career to stay-up-to-date.

    TORONTO, Ontario (SEPTEMBER 17, 2019) — Pearson, the world’s learning company, today released the results of its Global Learner Survey, a new study capturing the voice of learners worldwide, including Canada. The findings point to massive global transformation in education driven by the shifting economic landscape of the new talent economy, the vast influence of technology and perceptions that education systems are out of step with learners. 

    The study shows that learners around the world are now taking control of their education through a “do-it-yourself” (DIY) mindset, adding to their formal education with a mix of self-teaching, short courses and online learning to keep pace with the talent economy. The survey also shows that learners are thinking beyond the traditional notions of learning, signaling a massive opportunity for education providers to reinvent learning to meet the needs of a new economy. 

    Pearson conducted the study with The Harris Poll to give learners in 19 countries the opportunity to voice their opinions on primary, secondary and higher education; careers and the future of work; and technology. More than 11,000 people, ranging in age from 16 to 70, participated in the poll. The survey is the most comprehensive and wide ranging global public opinion survey of learners to date. In addition, Pearson released today Opportunity for Higher Education in the Era of the Talent Economy, a guide to the survey’s implications and opportunities for higher education.  

    “Gig jobs, unconventional careers, tech disruption and lifelong learning have ushered in the talent economy. Now more than ever, learners understand the need for lifelong education,” said Marlene Olsavsky, Managing Director of Pearson Canada. “People are meeting the demands of this new world of work by taking control of their own learning. Now, technology and innovation are giving educators, governments and companies the greatest opportunity in human history to rise to the occasion and improve lives through education.”

    The Global Learner Survey’s top Canadian findings include: 

    • A DIY mindset is reshaping education: People are layering on to their traditional education by mixing and matching what works and what they can afford to get trained up for the new economy. Globally, 81% of people say that learning will become more self-service as people get older. When they have to retrain for work, 35% of learners in Canada self-taught using internet resources. When asked what learning methods they prefer when upskilling, about 52% of learners in Canada cited professional short courses or online tools.
    • In the next decade digital and virtual learning will be the new normal. 79% of Canadians believe that smart devices and apps will be used to help learners. Globally, 76% of people believe that college students will be taking online courses within 10 years and 67% believe more primary and secondary students will too. 67% of Canadians believe that print textbooks will be obsolete in five years. Nearly 68% of Canadians believe that AI will have a positive impact on education. 
    • Lifelong learning is not just a philosophy, it’s the new reality: Globally, there is wide agreement that people need to keep learning throughout their career to stay up-to-date in their careers. 91% of Canadians embrace lifelong learning, believing that learning doesn’t stop at school. That belief rises to 96% of people in China and 94% of people in South Africa. 73% of Canadians like to reinvent themselves by learning new skills, and 48%% intend to “retire” the traditional concept of retirement by pursuing a second career or part time job, starting a business or taking classes. 
    • Learners in Canada have their own concerns: 74% of people in the Canada say social media has made the school environment more difficult for students, while less than half say it actually improves learning. 43% of those in Canada would rethink their higher education decision and get vocational training or go straight to work. About 42% of Canadians felt higher education didn’t prepare them for their chosen career. 
    • Confidence in education systems is wavering in many parts of the world. Unlike other parts of the world, only 45% of Canadians say education systems are failing the current generation. However, 64% of Canadians believe college is getting more out of reach for the average student and 55% of Canadians don’t believe their education systems are teaching the right skills for today’s jobs.
    • Gen Z thinks you can be successful without a traditional university education. Despite statistics showing a higher lifetime earnings with a university degree, about 45% of Gen Z learners in Canada think you can do “ok” in life without it. Globally, 68% of learners think you can do just as well with an education from a college, vocational or trade school.  
    • China, India, Brazil and Hispano America are outpacing North America in the upskilling race and defining a new global economy.  More than anywhere else in the world, people in China, Brazil, India and Hispano American believe education is driving the global economy. More than two-thirds of learners in these countries have been looking to re-skill in the past two years, compared to only 25% of Canadians, 31% of Americans and 24% of British learners. Workers who do upskill are enrolling in short courses, taking courses offered by their employers or professional associations, degree programs or are self-teaching. 
    • Soft skills have an advantage over automation: While STEM skills aren’t forgotten, many also realize that uniquely human skills will give them the edge over machines and that they are very hard to learn. Globally, 78% of people say they need to do more to develop soft skills like critical thinking, problem solving and creativity, while 85% of Americans and 91% of Chinese believe universities need to increase their focus on teaching these skills in preparation for the job market.

    To view the full findings of the Global Learner Survey and Opportunity for Higher Education in the Era of the Talent Economy visit: go.pearson.com/global-learner-survey

    About Pearson

    We are the world’s learning company with more than 24,000 employees operating in 70 countries. We combine world-class educational content and assessment, powered by services and technology, to enable more effective teaching and personalized learning at scale. We believe that wherever learning flourishes so do people.

    read more
  • AI-Driven Language Testing Growing Across Canada

    Pearson, the world’s learning company, today announced that five new colleges will be utilizing the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic). With this announcement, PTE Academic is now recognized by 90 percent of all post-secondary institutions across Canada.

    Unlike other tests, PTE Academic is a 100 percent computer-based test. Designed and monitored by people, the examination is administered and evaluated by leading Artificial Intelligence technology to ensure accuracy and lack of bias in its test results. Pearson’s PTE Academic test is now recognized at:

    • Holland College (Charlottetown, PEI)
    • Coast Mountain College (Terrace, British Columbia)
    • Focus College (Kelowna, BC)
    • Oulton College (Moncton, NB)
    • Northern Lights College (Dawson Creek, BC)

    “We are looking forward to working with Pearson Canada and the PTE Academic test as a means for prospective students to meet the English Language Proficiency for access to the College. Having reliable results will enable us to better support our students as they begin their academic adventure at Coast Mountain College,” says Stephen Salem, Director, Institutional Research and Registrar.

    Other leading Canadian institutions which recognize PTE Academic include the University of British Columbia and McGill University. The test is also recognized by more than 2,000 universities worldwide.

    Pearson’s platform enables test-takers to schedule a test at their convenience, and test results are returned within five days, with 85 percent of results returned within a two-day period in 2018.

    “We believe PTE Academic offers a huge advantage to test takers,” said Marlene Olsavsky, Managing Director at Pearson Canada. “Our use of leading AI technology means colleges can trust that students’ English proficiency levels are scored accurately and with no bias. We also know students like the flexibility of booking and fast results we offer – making PTE Academic the increasingly popular English language test worldwide.”

    Explore the full list of the Institutions which recognise us.

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