Getting Smart, formerly known as edReformer launched this month with a mission to bring fresh ideas around innovation in learning, education and technology. Here are the 10 biggest stories that readers have enjoyed this month on Getting Smart:

1. Infographic: The State of Digital Education

Knewton, a company that specializes in adaptive educational content for learning, recently published a powerful infographic  that evaluates “The State of Digital Education.” Read more …

2. 18 Low Tech Ways to Help Kids and Educators Get Smart

This blog was featured on Alexander Russo’s Scholastic blog post “Five Best Blog: The Brill-Bashing Continues.” Tom frequently writes about new learning technologies, but there are lots of low tech learning innovations. Here’s a list of 18. Read more …

3. Serious Games Promote Engagement and Learning

Game developers, educators and business professionals met at the DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, Wash. this week to explore the ways games and simulations (sims) are revolutionizing learning, professional development, military training and health for the annual Serious Play Conference. Read more …

4. Shiny Smart: Technology & Planning Acquisition

Did you hear the joke about the school district who purchased 500 new iPads? They are now using the unpacked boxes as cubicle dividers for more staff to figure out how to use them. STOP THE INSANITY! It is time to get shiny smart. A shiny smart district or school is possible when you do three things well with technology planning and acquisition. Read more …

5. PDK/Gallup Poll: Surveys Look Back, Innovators Look Forward

Surveys reflect the questions asked.  The annual Phi Delta Kappan International (PDK) and Gallup poll asked a bunch of rear view mirror questions and got unsurprising responses: the public appreciate teachers, local schools, and school choice.  The survey reflects broad concerns about public education and budget cuts in particular. Read more …

6. Madison County: “A great place to be if you’re a kid”

Spend a few minutes with Tommy Floyd, superintendent of schools in Madison County Kentucky, and you’ll be optimistic about public education. Read more …

7. Technology Changes the Way Teachers Keep Parents in the Know

When I was in high school and a teacher needed to contact my parents, it was a pretty straightforward affair. The teacher would call home, leave a message, and I would pray that I’d reach the answering machine before my parents, thus preserving my freedom or my rear end, whichever was in peril. Over time there were two home numbers and two work numbers. Then email came along, and there were two emails and four phone numbers. Then came cell phones, and things got ridiculous. Read more …

8. Responding to Tennessee State Representative Craig Fitzhugh

I couldn’t let this column by state Rep. Craig Fitzhugh (D-TN) titled, “Virtual Schools Bad for Education Reform” go by without responding.  It was so full of errors I almost didn’t know where to start.  I don’t know Rep. Fitzhugh, so I won’t suggest he was intentionally misleading readers.  I’ll just give him the benefit of the doubt and presume that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.  Let me attempt to dissect it. Read more …

9. OpenEd: Changing the Way the World Learns

A New York Times article last week suggested that big ideas are dead.  At Open Education Solutions, we don’t think so—we want to change the way the world learns.  We see evidence of new approaches to learning that work better.  Following are four examples of how we’re helping to deploy new strategies, structures, and technologies. Read more …

10. Demonstrated Competence

The goal of school is learning but we still manage it based on time.  Students still progress a year at a time after a 180 day school year along with other kids their age.  Occasionally politicians call for an end to social promotion, but just mean making struggling students repeat a grade.  We didn’t really have a better way to manage matriculation in the era of data poverty. Read more …

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