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what is edgenuity? The software developed by Edgenuity was never intended to be used in a pandemic.

EDGENUITY

Previously known as Education2020, Imagine Edgenuity is a standards-based online learning resource for school districts produced by Imagine Learning. It teaches kindergarten through 12th-grade students in core, elective, credit recovery, technical, and career subjects through both remedial and accelerated work, and is available in both English and Spanish. As of 2019, Imagine Edgenuity provides services to more than four million students in the United States and the United Kingdom. The software has been utilised for virtual learning during the COVID-19 epidemic, and it has garnered negative feedback from those who have used it.

History

Origins and lobbying convictions (1988 – 2016)

Weld North acquired Edgenuity in 2011 for an estimated US$50 million dollars. Edgenuity was formed in 1988 as Education2020 Inc. (E2020), and was acquired by the business Weld North in 2011. Edgenuity introduced My Route in 2014, a programme learning path option for students in grades 6-12th who are studying reading and mathematics. A partnership with SOPHIA Learning was established the same year, allowing Edgenuity to provide more credit choices.

During the decade of the 2010s, Edgenuity saw a surge in usage; from 2012 to 2014, Edgenuity paid lawmaker Mike Hubbard a total of US$210,000 dollars in an act of lobbying, including a series of weekly checks totaling US$7500 each captioned “lobbying services.”

As Edgenuity executive vice president Michael Humphrey said in court, the conduct was done “to open doors,” and he intended to utilise Hubbard as a vehicle to arrange and engage future meetings with higher-ranking members of the Legislature. According to state statutes, Hubbard was sentenced to four years in jail for ethical infractions, which he admitted to. Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice received an email from state school board member Mary Scott Hunter about the situation in March 2015, but never responded and left the position less than a month later, citing personal reasons.

what is edgenuity? The software developed by Edgenuity was never intended to be used in a pandemic.

COVID-19 pandemic and spike in popularity (2019—present)

As a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, Edgenuity quickly gained popularity as a remote learning tool.  As a result of stay-at-home orders and schools in need of an alternate teaching source, Edgenuity had a large jump in traffic, resulting in sluggish servers and site crashes; several schools reported issues with the site during the pandemic’s early phases. The influx of additional users resulted in a shortage of course teacher workers, which was eventually remedied. The fact that Edgenuity was a popular choice among school districts was mostly owing to a lack of other choices.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 500 school districts were admitted to the service by 2021, resulting in a profit of US$145 million dollars for the company—more than double the profit earned by that same company in the previous year—due to an increase in the use of Edgenuity and other learning platforms that had been acquired by the company before the pandemic began.

Education style

Imagine Edgenuity is a virtual alternative that employs pre-recorded videos and is especially focused on struggling students who are having difficulty keeping up with the speed of the course. In addition to pre-recorded lectures, Imagine Edgenuity incorporates interactives and real-world situations into its curriculum. In addition to assisting students who want more assistance, the programme is frequently used by colleges to assist students who have failed courses in obtaining the credits they are owed.

what is edgenuity? The software developed by Edgenuity was never intended to be used in a pandemic.

Reception

The site received a lot of attention during the epidemic, and both parents and children expressed frustration with it. They complained about issues loading the site, grasping topics, and being unable to skip freshly given material. The majority of the pass/fail content is derived from tests at the conclusion of each class, and parents have expressed concern that pupils were memorising the answers to reoccurring questions rather than learning the topic.

Parents have also emphasised the importance of tutoring assistance, which allows pupils to receive assistance from a real teacher when they are stuck on a question. Some students expressed dissatisfaction with the length of time they had to wait for virtual tutor assistance, with some even waiting hours. The parent of a 13-year-old student interviewed by Erik Carter of Buzzfeed News, Angie Richardson, stated that virtual tutoring and emails were frequently slow and sometimes completely unresponsive, and that her child was ultimately required to return to a brick-and-mortar school due to falling behind.

Among the criticisms levelled about Edgenuity are the standardisation of their exam questions, as well as the ease with which students were able to discover test answers online while taking tests. Furthermore, because of the nature of standardisation, students who fail a test are given a very identical set of questions on their second attempt, making it simple to predict answers through trial and error. According to a research released by Slate Magazine, students who used Edgenuity received on average 37 out of 50 identical questions on their second try to pass a test.

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In another study published by The Verge, researchers revealed that short answer questions are scored using artificial intelligence, and that students have discovered methods to cheat by utilising keywords that the AI is looking for to award passing ratings. One instructor whose kid was using the site, according to The Verge, entered words in a sequence that was patent gibberish, but contained terms that were involved in answering the question, called a “word salad,” and gained full credit for his or her student’s response.

Teachers have also expressed dissatisfaction with the way Edgenuity manages student organisation in their agreements with the company. When instructors were assigned an average of 52 kids to handle each, they were unable to interact effectively with all of them in a timely way, according to the city of Providence, Rhode Island. In St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, some instructors were even assigned up to 600 pupils to handle through email, with some professors receiving as many as 800 students.

Sari Factor, the company’s CEO, issued a statement in 2021 in response to the concerns raised by the public. She explained how some districts were use the site in unforeseen ways, and how schools who were following protocol were reaping the benefits of the initiative, among other things. Additionally, she stated that the student-to-teacher ration was out of balance owing to a shortage of employment at the school and that student challenges were the result of COVID-19’s struggles with system and education.

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