Ann Arbor firm offers free resources for online education

ANN ARBOR—With school closures caused by concern over the coronavirus pandemic, an Ann Arbor online learning developer, Amesite Inc., announced it would offer free expert-moderated discussion portals and other resources to K-12 schools, higher education institutions, and businesses, to aid their transition to online training and education.

Company officials say one bright spot of the pandemic is that it’s breaking down resistance to remote work practices and online education.

The resources available will include an open community of experts to share best practices and information on topics including roadmaps for transitioning college courses online, best practices for online teaching K-12, and best practices for professional learning.

“The coronavirus pandemic isn’t just changing how we live, it is also changing how we learn,” Amesite CEO Anne Marie Sastry said. “More than 300 million students worldwide are currently not attending physical schools, and that number is expected to increase over the coming weeks, as more governments and institutions shutter schools indefinitely. We are creating a community of peers to help ease the disruption schools and businesses are facing and create an always-on and sustainable infrastructure. With this offering we hope to help all those affected by this crisis to transition quickly and easily to an online learning platform that will help students continue learning and ensure meaningful, adequate education. We have been sounding the alarm for years that education was behind the eight ball. Now something once deemed ‘impractical’ is a reality. The sector has little time to catch up but Amesite is here to help any institution that needs it. It is at times like these that we need to band together as those who care deeply about what’s best for education to empower students and teachers and preserve the fundamentals on what our education system is built on.”

Amesite’s online learning products for enterprises, colleges, universities, faculty, and students use artificial intelligence technologies, including machine learning and natural language processing, to deliver cost effective, cloud-based digital versions of courses. Amesite’s online platform includes customized user messaging and tracking as well as integration of updated topics and materials into traditional course curricula.

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Sastry has been CEO of Amesite since 2017, Earlier, she was co-founder and CEO of Sakti3, an advanced battery technology company acquired by Dyson in 2015 for $90 million. From 1995 to 2012, she was Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of mechanical, biomedical, and materials science and engineering at the University of Michigan. She earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Delaware and a PhD from Cornell University, both in mechanical engineering.

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