Wow, it was a big week in education news. During this busy (most wonderful) time of the year, we’re helping to save you time by pulling together the Top 10 stories from this week, wrapping them up and tying them with a big red bow. Just for you. Enjoy!

Blended Schools & Tools

1. Arne Duncan announced the 16 RttT-District Winners this week including our friends from Puget Sound ESD!  It’s a bummer for the 356 applicants that didn’t win, but the well developed application drove a valuable learning process.  The direct and indirect benefits of RTTD will advance personalized and blended learning in 2013.

2. Public Impact has launched new tools that describe specific strategies for extending the reach of effective teachers.  Check out the slide deck with speakers’ notes, video  and two-page introduction to Opportunity Culture.

Digital Developments

3. Getting Smart launched “How Digital Learning Contributes to Digital Learning” this week. The report, infographic, executive summary and accompanying article detail how technology can help schools to promote deeper learning at scale. Check out the 15 deeper learning roles for students in tech-powered environments.

4. According to a new survey, Best Practices for Implementing Online Learning in K-12 Districts, released this week by K12 Inc., the essential elements of a successful online learning program include: progress monitoring tools, teacher availability and training, and challenging curriculum.

5. This week Edmodo, the free social network for teachers and students, hit 15 million subscribers. Check out this infographic describing their users.

Getting to the Core

6. SETDA released a great document and assessment readiness website that offers guidance on tech readiness for the Smarter Balanced and PARCC assessments. We agree wholeheartedly with SETDA that minimum requirements for assessments should just be one part of a broader instructional shift. Look for our “Getting Ready for Online Assessment” paper and timeline next week!

Come On Get App-Y

7. EnCompass Education Solutions announced the closing of a $900,000 seed round for myEdGPS, an online solution designed to serve as a virtual advocate to help parents of the more than 19 million children with Autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, or other exceptional needs.

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

8. Lumina Foundation announced sponsorship of a new Innocentive Challenge that seeks solutions to improve information accessibility for prospective community college students.The Challenge requests fully coded examples of a front-end user interface for deployment by community colleges. The key requirement is that the interface should be organized and presented in a way that focuses on meeting the information needs of students who are exploring a range of avenues of study.

The Big “D”

9. TechCrunch featured Ontract in a story about the potential of realtime analytics in education, revealing that Ontract Wants To Do For Student Data What Mint.com Did For Financial Data. The Digital Learning Now! Smart Series paper: Data Backpacks: Portable Records & Learner Profiles explores this issue deeply.

Movers, Shakers & Ground-breakers

10.  Indiana’s former State Superintendent Tony Bennett has been selected as the new Florida education commissioner. It’s a real win for Florida to get Bennett, who is a true champion for the CCSS and next generation of online assessments.

 

Digital Learning Now! and K12 Inc. are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners. Edmodo is a portfolio company of Learn Capital where Tom is a partner.

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