Shakespeare, who would’ve celebrated his 449th birthday this week, famously noted that April puts “a spirit of youth in every thing.”  The Bard was right. (One of our Smart Teachers even celebrated Shakespeare’s birthday with her class.) We’re seeing lots of new ideas springing forth in k-12 and higher ed. The blended learning blooms are bursting! The digital developments are just lovely this time of year. Take some time to tiptoe through this week’s top ten with us.

Ready, Set, Nominate!

1. Getting Smart kicked off an initiative to collect nominations for schools that provoke deeper learning including critical thinking, collaboration, effective communication, and learning how to learn.  We look forward to learning more about powerful schools and will profile great examples in a collection of case studies and blogs. Nominations are currently being accepted here.

Blended Schools & Tools

2. EdSurge co-founder and blended learning-implementer Matt Bowan posted the first in a series of blended learning “recipes” videos featuring Achieve3000 and Compass Learning that address personalization, motivation, and alignment for effective administration in an in-class rotational model.

3. Edgenuity launched a new suite of CCSS-aligned, tablet-ready middle-schools courses with interactive features, graphics, virtual labs and simulations.

Blended Bonus: Tom presented an EdWeek webinar on Wednesday and posted a blended learning Q&A. He also recapped a Denver high school summit, including 10 notable quotes from Larry Rosenstock on developing great schools.

Digital Developments

4. Accelerator Imagine K12 announced changes that include an increase to $100,000 funding for each startup upon acceptance and a move to rolling admissions.

5. Pearson acquired Harvard-developed interactive feedback and student polling company Learning Catalytics.

6. PresenceLearning, online speech and occupational therapy service rockstar, received $8 million in funding to continue the growth of its online therapy services and to offer additional special education services.

STEM Gem

7. Google, Math For America and the Broad Institute issued STEM Teacher Corps white paper that provides a vision for the corps generated with input from over 80 groups. Tom and the Getting Smart team were excited to sign onto this paper. More on the campaign on Google’s Official Blog.

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

8. Inside Higher Ed published an overview of the growing trend of universities who are exploring competency-based pathways by profiling some leaders in the movement. Interested in learning more about competency education in K-12? Head to the “The Shift From Cohorts to Competency” paper and “Show What You Know Beats Batch Processing” infographic from Digital Learning Now.

9. Florida approved the nation’s first fully-accredited, online-only public research university. With all the great digital learning activity in Florida’s K-12, it’s exciting to see these opportunities extended to higher ed.

Movers, Shakers & Ground-breakers

10. Chiefs for Change announced the election of New Mexico Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera as the organization’s chair and Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Deborah A. Gist as vice chair.

Disclosures: Compass Learning, Pearson and Digital Learning Now! are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners.

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