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LearnED Stories

  • How Early Childhood Assessments Can Help, Not Hinder

    Mom and child playing

    Shawn Hardee regularly leads his wife’s preschool class in a sing-a-long. (“There’s nothing better than hearing kids sing with you!” he says.)

    He’s the father of two young children.

    He’s also one of Pearson’s leading experts on early childhood assessment.

    And—he refers to young students as “kiddos.”

    “These students are not research subjects,” Shawn says. “They’re kids.”

  • How to Make Technology Work for Learners, Not the Other Way Around

    Man using a laptop computer

    Denis Hurley is Director of Future Technologies at Pearson.

    “We explore emerging technologies,” he says. “Often these are technologies developed for other industries, like the military or entertainment companies or medical research firms.”

    Denis actually studied film production in college.

    “I loved telling stories,” Denis says. “I was drawn to the process of developing film, matching it with sound, cutting it all together, and producing something that gave viewers an experience.”

    “It was like creating something out of nothing,” he says.

    “In the same way,” Denis says, “many of the technologies available to learning today can transport students in powerful ways.”

  • Team USA Diver Soars to New Heights With the Help of Online School

    Jordan Windle

    17-year-old Team USA diver Jordan Windle—a specialist in the 10-meter platform event—is afraid of heights.

    “10 meters is three stories high,” he says, laughing. “But the thing I love about diving is being able to overcome the fear.”

    Jordan took his first plunge when he was 7 years old. After 30 minutes on the platform, he finally jumped—and he hasn’t stopped jumping since.

    In addition to being one of the youngest-ever U.S. Men’s National Champion on 10-meter platform (an event he won when he was only 15 years old); he is also a 2-time U.S. National Champion on the 3-meter springboard in the mixed-gender synchronized event – his synchro partner is Olympic Silver Medalist, Abbey Johnston.

  • Higher Ed Online: From ‘Crazy Idea’ to a Modern Student’s Expectation

    Graduate hugging a child

    Todd Hitchock says his work for today’s students seeking a degree in higher education is to help them connect the dots “from Google to diploma.”

    A student might start the whole process by searching online for online degree programs.

    And in his role leading Pearson’s online learning services in North America, Todd’s job is to make their pathway to diploma as easy as possible—from that first click, to graduation day.

  • Life Advice from Story Musgrave: Astronaut, Doctor, GED Grad

    Story Musgrave

    Story Musgrave has a resume few can match.

    He was a NASA astronaut for more than 30 years and flew on six spaceflights. He is the only astronaut to have flown on all five space shuttles (Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, Endeavour and Columbia).

    He was a trauma surgeon and parachuting instructor. He has seven graduate degrees in math, computers, chemistry, medicine, physiology, literature and psychology. And, on top of all that, he has been awarded 20 honorary doctorates.

    But, he never finished high school.

  • Blackjack to Black Ops: New Learners Earning Unique Badges

    Photo of playing cards

    Gone are the days when online education was limited to a few industries and skill sets. Today, alternative credentialing opens access to a wide range of industries students may have never considered, allowing them to gain the skills needed to find a new or better job.

    As digital badging programs become more popular, more accepted, and more diverse employers from many sectors are turning to this technology to fill workforce needs.

  • Goal to Be Greater: Encouragement and Support to Raise Civic-Minded Kids

    Kids recycling

    Jamie Farnsworth keeps her eyes open for lost tourists on the subway as she commutes to work in Manhattan.

    “My final stop is the place where people are getting on the train to go downtown to South Ferry, where they get the Statue of Liberty ferry,” Jamie says. “The entrance is a bit confusing and difficult to find.”

    Earlier this month, she came upon a couple with small kids looking confused.

  • Two Generations of IT Professionals Talk Employability and Proving Your Skills

    by LearnEd

    Man and woman shaking hands

    A few weeks ago, we wrote a story about the 2016 Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship, a global competition that tests students’ skills in Microsoft Office Word, Excel® and PowerPoint®. This year's World Championship was held in Orlando in early August.


    After she brought her son’s resume to a Montana bank so he could be considered for an internship, Tina O'Donnell recalls, "The HR rep told me, ‘I wish everybody had a resume like this.’”

    Her son, Nick, stands out among intern candidates. He is the current U.S. Champion in Microsoft Word 2013, a title he secured in the Pearson VUE Certiport Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship in Orlando earlier this month.

    He has just graduated from high school.

    “We never expected Nick to be named the best in the United States,” she says. “But I do think he’s a rock star.”

    Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 10.44.46 AM
    Nick O'Donnell and his mom at the 2016 Microsoft Office World Championship in Orlando, Florida.

    Making A Resume Stand Out

    Nick’s certifications in the 2010 and 2013 Microsoft Office programs, as well as a long list of other extracurricular activities, help him prove his skills to potential employers.

    “I think you need to have computer skills to be employable because that’s where the job market is going,” says Nick.

    “You also have to adapt because technology is constantly changing.”

    Nick was offered, and took, the internship at the bank, working on their document management system.

    At the age of 18, he also became the resident expert in Microsoft Office.

    “I was really impressed at how he was able to interact with adults more than twice his age. When we had a very technical discussion, something moms and sons don’t usually have, I knew he had changed,” says Tina, who is also employed in IT at a bank.

    “When hiring, I look for those soft skills like teamwork and leadership.”

    After graduating, Nick was hired to work in IT for the Anderson School District in Montana. He is on-site, helping educators with the technology in their classrooms.

    “The Microsoft certifications helped me get the job,” says Nick.

    His experience helping his old high school out also gave him a boost—as well as his passion. “I’m really excited to learn new software.”

    Nick
    Nick O'Donnell with Pearson leaders.

    Looking Forward to a Bright Future

    He’s also studying computer science and business at Montana State University. What does he want as a career?

    “CEO of Microsoft,” says Tina.

    Her son is a bit more modest: “I’d like to be an IT manager."