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Private companies across the globe are playing an instrumental role in addressing COVID-19 by offering their resources, services and expertise to support customers, employees, partners and local communities. Thoma Bravo is launching a ‘Portfolio Spotlight Series’ to recognize some of these efforts and initiatives taking place across our portfolio of companies.

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COVID-19 has had a significant impact on educational communities around the world. In a matter of weeks, many educators had to quickly rethink their lesson plans to enable learning continuity, and students of all ages had to adapt to using software to collaborate with their teachers and classmates. Today’s Portfolio Spotlight series features Instructure and Frontline Education, two leading educational software companies that are committed to providing innovative tools and solutions to support a distance learning environment.

Through new initiatives, resources and free programming, Instructure and Frontline Education are working to support students, educators and administrators as they adapt to the new realities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Instructure

 

At Instructure, tens of millions of students and educators use the company’s open course platform, Canvas, and during COVID-19, they’ve seen an 85% increase in active online users. Throughout this period, Instructure has worked to ease the transition to a remote environment by facilitating online learning and providing a range of resources to students and educators alike.

  • Resource Center: A variety of resources including blog posts, tips and guides have been made available free of charge to give students and teachers the tools they need to continue to connect, teach and learn from anywhere. These include a quick start checklist for teachers transitioning to online classrooms, an EdTech guide for schools, and tips for utilizing Instructure services during school closures.
  • Video Tutorials: Parents now have access to video tutorials that aim to broaden understanding of Instructure’s suite of tools as parents take a more hands-on approach to learning at home. This includes “Parent Pointers,” a video guide on Instructure’s Canvas service, taught by a parent and expert. All live-stream sessions have been made available for replay, allowing parents to use and implement the resources at their own pace.
  • Free-for-Teacher: Canvas continues to offer Free-for-Teacher accounts allowing anyone to teach online for free. These Free-for-Teacher accounts provide a variety of tools to educators, including all course-level features, such as announcements, assignments, discussions and more.
  • Thanking Educators: Now more than ever, it is vital to recognize and appreciate the hard work being done by educators to support students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Which is why Instructure has worked to develop a video, viewable here, thanking teachers and educators for all they do.   
Frontline

 

Frontline Education is also working to support school administrators as COVID-19 has forced schools to adopt an online learning model, introducing new functionalities on a variety of Frontline platforms as well as free access to Frontline’s Student Health Management platform.  

  • Reopening Schools Safely: Frontline Education authored a white paper for K-12 school systems that identifies the actions essential to navigate a safe and effective new normal, such as studying the incidence and associated level of risk among populations; collecting and utilizing health data in a timely, secure and appropriate manner, adopting and enforcing relevant policies and procedures on mitigation and symptom reporting, and capturing and aggregating data at a state level.
  • Free Student Health Management: Frontline Education is offering free access to COVID-19 tracking and reporting functionality on the Frontline Student Health Management platform through July 31, 2020. The system allows users at a district, regional or state level to collect data on students and staff, as well as members of the community, who are exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19, thereby providing administrators the tools needed to better track, report and collaborate with local and state officials.
  • Introducing New Functionalities: A variety of new functionalities to support virtual human capital management (HCM) have been added across Frontline’s platforms, including Frontline Absence & Time, Frontline Professional Growth, Frontline Central and Frontline Special Ed & Interventions. These new tools, designed to help administrators manage their responsibilities virtually, as well as the unique tasks for responding to COVID-19-related situations, range from tracking staff completion of COVID-19 training activities to sending and tracking employee acknowledgement of new guidelines.
  • Highlighting Existing Features: Resource overviews have been collated that breakdown not only new COVID-19 functionalities, but also lesser used existing functionalities, such as extending school year dates or reports on highest absence dates, which may prove useful during the switch to distance learning.

 

Instructure and Frontline Education have also partnered to integrate Frontline’s Professional Learning Management (PLM) solution with Instructure’s Canvas platform. This partnership allows school districts to access, manage and track completion of courses and professional development, and it fills an important need as organizations strive to manage, personalize and deliver comprehensive professional development opportunities virtually.

We are so proud of the work Instructure and Frontline Education are doing to support educators, students and families during this period of distance learning. Thank you, Instructure and Frontline Education!