DURHAM, N.C., Feb. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced online education to the forefront to meet both teaching and learning requirements. With a lengthy history and vast educational library, the Goodwill Community Foundation's® (GCF) online educational portal has been a key to success at home and in the virtual classroom.
Launched in 2000 as part of the North Carolina State Fair's "Technology in the 21st Century" exhibit, GCF Global Learning is a free online, distance learning tool that provides global users with access to courses in basic skillsets. The use of GCF Global Learning's web-based and YouTube platforms has been explosive during the pandemic, including a record-high 63% of users from outside of the United States.
Courses range from Microsoft Office products, algebra, and GED requirements to SharePoint, Facebook for iPhone, and personal finances. GCF Global Learning continues to evolve its content and to regularly implement technological advancements.
During the past year, learning sessions on the website increased by 27%, video views on the YouTube Channel increased by 54%, and the total number of people served increased by 30%. More than 700 requests were received from educators, organizations, and government programs to utilize GCFLearnFree.org content. Inquiries vary from "I plan to use the content for a 7th-grade computer literacy class," to "I'm teaching a college-level math course…I would like to provide my students with resources and tutorials to help them learn Excel." Learners are commenting, "This is education at its peak! Fast but thorough, funny but serious," and "My entire first year of undergrad education is this 6-min video."
"Our goal in 2000 was to create, develop, and fund a venture that would meet the needs of users through an accessible platform," said the Rev. Dennis McLain, GCF president and founder of GCF Global Learning. "The requests and comments we receive indicate that our efforts are meeting those needs, and that further development and updates are paramount to continuing needs globally."
GCF Global Learning is committed to an ongoing process of change and evolution to continue providing free online learning opportunities. As Joanna C., a user said, "You are giving people all over the world skills AND confidence, all for free. In these times, the idea that I will emerge from this pandemic with better skills and be more employable is incredible. Thank you for what you are doing. You are helping people help themselves and you will never know the full extent of the positive impact you [GCF] are having."
About Goodwill Community Foundation (GCF®)
Goodwill Community Foundation (GCF®) continues to be a leader in an era of change by funding the training required for the emerging world where technology is integrated into everyday life. The mission of GCF® is to create and fund education, employment and life enrichment opportunities regionally, nationally and internationally for people who desire to improve the quality of their lives.
A Durham-based tax-exempt organization, GCF® funds employment, fresh produce and volunteer opportunities, support to youth organizations and disaster relief efforts. GCFLearnFree.org and GCFAprendeLibre.org have provided free lessons for people in North Carolina since 2000 to improve their technology, math, and English skills.
All GCF programs are funded through revenue generated from the value of donated items to 42 Goodwill Community Foundation stores throughout eastern North Carolina. GCF® employs more than 400 people who earn an average of $20 per hour with benefits at these stores. For more information on GCF®, visit http://www.GCFGlobal.org.
GCF Global Learning® By the Numbers
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SOURCE Goodwill Community Foundation