Voxy Wins 2016 Brandon Hall Group Silver Award for Best Advance in Unique Learning Technology

Voxy is very proud to announce that it has won a Brandon Hall Group silver award for excellence in the Best Advance in Unique Learning Technology category.Silver-TECH-Award-2016-blog

This award recognizes Voxy’s learning technology, which includes a patented natural language processing tool that enables Voxy to publish new instructional content every day and a flexible approach to language proficiency leveling that allows Voxy’s product to be aligned with any other proficiency scale in the world.

“Voxy is honored to be recognized for its best-in-class technology platform and its personalized approach to language learning,” said Voxy CEO Paul Gollash. “We are committed to delivering superior learning outcomes to corporations and educational institutions around the world, and our ability to develop innovative technology solutions is central to that mission.”

Voxy’s patented content processing tool can turn any type of content into an effective English lesson. This is especially beneficial for organizations that want to digitize their existing curriculum, for example, or turn their organizational content—like onboarding materials, company memos or training videos—into educational content on the Voxy platform.

Voxy has also developed technology to map its proficiency scale and Voxy Proficiency Assessment (VPA®) test results to any scale in the world. This is a major breakthrough in testing technology, and allows Voxy to create custom proficiency scales for any partner without sacrificing the pedagogical integrity of the Voxy platform.

“We congratulate our Technology Award winners, and also thank them for leading the way in designing and utilizing technologies that empower organizations to enhance—and in some cases transform—their organizations,” said Rachel Cooke, Chief Operating Officer of Brandon Hall Group and head of the awards program.

Entries were evaluated by a panel of independent senior industry experts, Brandon Hall Group senior analysts and executives based upon the following criteria: the product’s breakthrough innovation, unique differentiators, value proposition and overall measurable benefits.

To see the full list of Brandon Hall Group Award winners, please visit www.brandonhall.com.

Voxy Goes (Back) to the White House!

Voxy’s Chief Education Officer, Dr. Katharine B. Nielson, PhD, was invited back to the White House last month to participate in an event called English for All: Technology in English, now in its second year. Voxy was one of just five private-sector organizations represented; others included Newsela, Global English, Voice of America’s Learning English and Digital Promise.

Voxy’s Chief Education Officer Dr. Katharine Nielson presents at English for All: Technology in English.

Voxy’s Chief Education Officer Dr. Katharine Nielson presents at English for All: Technology in English.

English for All was originally created to spark a dialogue across disciplines on English language learning and educational technology, and this year’s forum was focused on the American English E-Teacher online platform and scholarship program. One of the main goals of this program is to promote democratic access to education and teacher training, with an emphasis on low-resource areas across the globe.

Because digital resources are inconsistently distributed and prohibitively expensive in some places, there are significant challenges in providing education to both learners and teachers. Did you know that in 2014, only 19% of people in Africa had Internet access, compared to about twice that in Asia and more than four times that in the U.S.? Or that in Egypt, there about 28 million Facebook users, but only 800,000 in Bahrain? These vast discrepancies in Internet and mobile access, preferred social media platforms and limited access to information under restrictive governments can result in major barriers to education around the world. English proficiency is one of the most significant factors affecting economic mobility, but without access to quality instruction online, many lack the resources they need to learn the language.

Furthermore, English teachers themselves are often short on adequate training. Teachers need to learn how to leverage new technologies in the classroom, many need to improve their own English proficiency and there’s a gap in collaboration between teachers who are credentialed and those who are not.

“One of the most exciting parts of the event was getting to hear from the Regional English Language Officers about the different challenges that students and teachers face and how dependent those challenges are on context and region,” said Nielson. “Finding a way to take advantage of the benefits that technology can bring to the language-learning process—while at the same time meeting the needs of learners in parts of the world with limited access to electricity, let alone Internet connectivity—is an exciting opportunity for this working group.”

English for All addressed these issues during a “hackathon,” where small groups were tasked with brainstorming prototype products that could solve problems in the English learning space. For example, Nielson’s group worked on a plan to engage students and teachers through social media and considered ways that social media could be incorporated into the classroom. The ideas generated in these sessions will be piloted by Iowa State University as part of their e-teacher online course in educational technology.

Voxy also offers an online teacher training course called “Teaching English: Pedagogy and Best Practices,” designed to teach instructors the most effective approach to second language acquisition (SLA) for teens and adults.

One of the key takeaways from English for All is the clear potential for collaboration between the public, private and nonprofit sectors to improve the way technology is used for English teacher training around the world, and for empowering English teachers to use technology in ways that will resonate with learners and improve their ability to teach efficiently and effectively.

English for All: Technology in English was made possible by the White House Office of Global Engagement and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Photos courtesy of the Department of State. To learn more, please click here.

Voxy Attends ICEF Berlin, Global Language Learning Event

Last month Voxy traveled to Berlin to attend ICEF, an international conference that in part connects educators with agents who recruit students for immersive language-learning programs. The event is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind, bringing together more than 2,000 professionals and hosting dozens of seminars on current and future trends in the international language-training market.

One of the event’s central themes this year was the growing interest in moving toward technology solutions for language learning. But new technology also introduces new challenges, such as how to sustain online engagement if students are already spending several hours per day studying their target language in a classroom setting.

The Voxy mobile app addresses this concern by allowing students to continue their English courses at their own pace and in small pieces, no matter where they are. Voxy’s flexible platform can also be used as an effective assessment tool, or as an online supplement to be used before and after an immersive English language program.

Another emerging need for travel-based language programs is a way to grow their customer base while maintaining a low-cost solution that keeps students engaged. Because Voxy can produce thousands of real-world learning materials at scale, we can offer a competitive and cost-effective solution—without sacrificing human instruction or effective engagement strategies.

ICEF Berlin sponsors included EC English, INTO, The Language Gallery (TLG), Language Studies Canada (LSC) and the International Language Academy of Canada (ILAC), among others.

ULACIT Takes Control of Its Curriculum by Digitizing Materials with Voxy

Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología (ULACIT), San Jose, Costa Rica.

Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología (ULACIT), San Jose, Costa Rica.

We are excited to announce a new partnership with the Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología (ULACIT), one of the most prestigious private universities in Latin America. Based in San Jose, Costa Rica, ULACIT maintains an English school for university students as well as independent English learners. ULACIT is using Voxy to digitize its entire English curriculum, and to offer its students thousands of additional English resources and powerful learning tools that are available 24/7 through Voxy’s web and mobile applications. Voxy has replaced hard-copy books for the program—removing the burden from ULACIT of maintaining a large inventory of textbooks—and provides much greater flexibility for students to access their course anytime, anywhere.

“Especially because ULACIT is focused on science and technology, we are extremely proud to have been selected as the best online content and technology provider for their students,” said Daniel Lichi, Director of Business Development at Voxy. “Through this partnership, Voxy will help ULACIT move into to the next era of high-tech learning and provide their students with a truly blended English program, a totally integrated curriculum and aligned support from both Voxy and ULACIT’s faculty.”

Voxy will provide ULACIT with the data and reporting it needs to better understand the language learning process and to best support its students. This includes unprecedented visibility into what students are doing outside the classroom, which opens up new opportunities to track students’ progress and identify areas of improvement. For example, ULACIT can use Voxy to monitor specific areas of language development, such as vocabulary or grammar, to understand why and where a student may be struggling.

“By working with Voxy, we can determine what’s relevant to students and what areas of need we should add to in the future,” said Bernal Céspedes Mora, the Dean of the School of Education and General Studies at ULACIT. “But the biggest difference maker is the fact that Voxy allows the university to have control over the academic process rather than have a textbook publisher tell you what to do on a weekly basis.”

By eliminating reliance on textbooks, Voxy also gives ULACIT more control over the learning experience. Most schools follow a path that the book lays out for them, but ULACIT can make all of its own curricular decisions with Voxy’s flexible platform. And unlike textbooks that often don’t offer enough challenging tasks for language learners, Voxy provides the kind of academic rigor and integrity that results in significant, meaningful learning.

Voxy Launches Popular Digital Marketing Course from General Assembly

Voxy is proud to be working with General Assembly (GA), a global education company specializing in 21st-century skills, to deliver its Digital Marketing course on the Voxy platform.

This collaboration will bring GA’s popular Digital Marketing course to the Voxy platform for English language learners around the world. The professional-level foundation course has been taken by more than 10,000 employees at large companies and uses exclusive content from GA’s online curriculum. The online course covers functional and relevant topics including: social media, UX (user experience), mobile strategy and content marketing.

GA addresses the skills gap in today’s tech- and data-focused workforce and provides professional development and training in areas like marketing, data science and visual design. This new offering will allow Voxy’s learners to access applicable skills to further   their comprehension of the English language.

“Voxy’s partnership with GA is 100 percent aligned with our unique task-based approach to language learning, which takes authentic materials and converts them into language lessons that address real-life goals,” said Mari Nazary, Voxy’s VP of Pedagogy & Curriculum. “Thanks to GA’s rich and effective Digital Marketing course, we’re continuing to address our learners’ needs for improving their professional development skills while also practicing the English they need to advance their careers.”

Want to check it out? Visit the Voxy Unit Catalog and choose Courses from the dropdown menu at the top of the page.