LONDON — March 23, 2020 — Today, Pearson, the world’s learning company, announced it is continuing to make an array of digital learning tools, services and resources available to students, educators and parents affected by COVID-19 school, college and university closures.
The sudden upheaval of COVID-19 disruptions is pushing many into full time online teaching and learning for the first time. This urgent learning need is leading to increased usage of digital learning materials and online teacher training, with demand continuing to grow. To assist learners worldwide during this difficult time, Pearson is taking the following actions:
For US K-12 Parents, Teachers and Schools
- Providing free online courseware, teaching platform and training for 100,000 students, for state-level partners of Connections Academy
- Sharing online learning expertise from Connections Academy through live webinars and digital learning to help K-12 parents and teachers make the most of online learning at home. This includes an email “hotline” staffed by expert Connections educators who can offer fast advice for teachers in need of instructional support.
- Due to an increased enrollment demand, Connections Academy, the full time online schools supported by Pearson, has reopened enrollment in many schools for the ’19-’20 academic year. All schools are accepting students for the ’20-’21 school year.
For US, UK and Canada Higher Education Students and Educators
- Accelerating the launch of the new Pearson Advance program, which offers a catalog of short, online courses from leading experts and universities. Students needing to upskill and reskill quickly can earn credentials and “micro” Masters degrees, from many of the world’s most renowned institutions in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost.
- Providing access to Pearson’s e-book library for the rest of the term at no additional cost for higher ed students in the US, UK and Canada who are already using Pearson courseware.
- Providing free access to the Aida Calculus app until June.
- Providing free on-demand webinars, office hours with Pearson digital learning experts and tip sheets for higher education faculty who need help transitioning to online courses.
- Providing course discounts for Pearson’s Unbound, which offers pathways to high quality degree programs at lower costs. Unbound offers advice and academic guidance to help students match their existing learning to credits that enable transfer to their target school and provides online courses with transfer credit at affordable prices.
For UK Schools and College Students
- For primary schools providing free subscriptions to ActiveLearn containing literacy and numeracy resources and also free access for parents, to Carol Vorderman’s The Maths Factor which is proven to improve numeracy.
- For secondary schools, providing free subscriptions to ActiveLearn including ebooks and courseware supporting key stage three and GCSE, A level and BTEC qualifications
- For focused career education programs, access to the Learning Hub which contains a range of short online courses
Nearly 10,000 teachers have already expressed interest in these offers.
For UK GCSE, A level and BTEC Qualifications
- Following the UK Government’s announcement that examinations will be cancelled, Pearson will be working with Ofqual and the Department for Education to ensure that teachers are supported in meeting any requirements for teacher assessment, and will supporting teaching with high quality resources so that students keep learning for the rest of this academic year.
For Adult Professionals:
- Even with the required closing of many Pearson VUE testing centers, we are evaluating local regulations around re-opening sites to address testing services for critical workers, such as health care personnel.
These steps are in addition to resources that Pearson has been offering in affected areas since January at no-cost, including:
- Online courses and learning resources across multiple platforms, including websites, apps and WeChat to support China’s ‘no suspension of study’ policy. These include Longman English, Pearson English, K12 online blended learning from International Connections Academy, Pearson STEM, and Pearson Edexcel. Across all of these offerings, more 700,000 students have taken advantage of this help.
- Online English language and test preparation courses in Australia for those wanting to take the Pearson Test of English Academic as part of their student visa requirements.
- Training for more than 24,000 Italian teachers in distance teaching and learning, along with a repository of teacher training materials on distance learning and teaching. In addition, Italian teachers and students can access Pearson’s online platforms containing thousands of videos and interactive lessons. More than 500,000 online users have accessed this material.
- Courseware and guidance to support online learning in Brazil and Latin America and South Africa.
- Courseware for primary, secondary and university students in key markets such as Turkey and the UAE, with plans to expand these offerings to Qatar. In addition, teachers have been taking advantage of training webinars and tools that offer best practices in digital learning.
- Digital version of some of Canada’s most widely used primary and secondary textbooks for students and teachers in that country.
“Hundreds of millions of students around the world are facing the most significant disruption to education in modern history. It’s more important than ever that learning continues, even if it can’t happen in person,” said John Fallon, CEO of Pearson. “Learners, teachers and families are at the heart of everything Pearson does. If we band together, we can all do our part to keep learning going and ease the burden of this unprecedented time.”
Ensuring the world’s education systems continue to operate online is an important step in helping learners cope with the toll of this pandemic. A recent Pearson poll conducted of adults in the US and UK shows that nearly 80% of learners and parents in the US and 74% in the UK support the closure of schools and universities to slow the virus. But 60% of people in both countries also say that having children learning at home is going to be a significant difficulty for their family and two-thirds are concerned about their children falling behind.
More information about these resources can be found at www.Pearson.com. Additional learning tools to support educators, students and parents are being added daily.
We are the world’s learning company with more than 22,500 employees operating in 70 countries. We provide content, assessment and digital services to learners, educational institutions, employers, governments and other partners globally. We are committed to helping equip learners with the skills they need to enhance their employability prospects and to succeed in the changing world of work. We believe that wherever learning flourishes so do people. For more information, visit www.pearson.com.
Pearson’s Connections Academy courseware and platform offer is made possible with the help of partners who have stepped up to help schools at a time of need.