“Shutdown” may be the hot topic this week but definitely not in the education world. There’s no slowing down when it comes to doing what’s best for students. October is Connected Educators Month and that means things are working, probably even faster than usual. With this much great stuff happening in schools, there’s really no time for shutting down.

Blended Schools & Tools

1. The results are in! New Tech Network High School seniors outperformed 68 percent of 4-year college freshmen with similar backgrounds and abilities on key indicators of higher order thinking skills according to the College and Work Readiness Assessment.

2. Three cool schools. The coolest part of our work has to be seeing great schools in action. Here are three school stories that caught our eye this week.

  • KIPP co-founder Dave Levin should be proud- one of his Los Angeles schools, with technology rich classrooms, recently posted such high test scores that it ranked as one of  the highest performing school in the Los Angeles school district, and also the 10th highest performing elementary school in the State of California.

  • Gainesville City Schools in Georgia are addressing chronic underachievement through a systemic, technology-based approach and has dramatically improved student achievement by overhauling its approach to education based on a framework called a Unified and Comprehensive System of Learning Supports.

  • After a great visit to Texas this week, Tom reveals the secret sauce of the IDEA Public Schools charter network. Here’s the recipe.

3. Go JiJi Go. MIND Research Institute’s ST Math gained some well deserved recognition this week with acknowledgement from both Change the Equation as one of four “exemplary STEM learning programs” and Business Roundtable – as one of five “outstanding K-12 STEM education programs.”  Congrats to MIND Research on going full scale.

4. Pearson puts an owl on it. A new support tool for student writers from Pearson is putting curated content at the student’s fingertips with an intelligent search engine integrating content from Purdue OWL, the single most referenced website for writing instruction in the world, as well as Pearson’s premium content for writing, grammar and research.

5. Blended learning can benefit ALL students. Tom really dug deep into this topic while co hosting this week’s webinar “Getting Smarter About SPED: 5 Blended Learning Decisions & Implications,” with our friends from PresenceLearning.

Digital Developments

6.  Attention busy educators! ISTE is making it easy to impact policy and has created an easy-to-complete online form to submit comments or personalize pre-prepared comments on the impact of E-rate funding can have on your districts. Once the government site is back up and running, ISTE will take care of getting the comments in to the FCC before the October 16 deadline.

7. Thinking of the future. “The average American school today looks almost identical to the average American school in the early 1900s.” Check out the new policy brief from Studentsfirst on the future of education in America and the importance of bringing education up to speed.

Movers, Shakers & Ground-breakers

8. In our backyard. Getting Smart is excited to see the rise of EdTech entrepreneurs in Seattle. LearnBIG (who we recently wrote about), Kairos 4 and Actively Learn have collectively raised 6 million to fund their EdTech startups.

Teachers and Tech

9. Making a list, checking it twice. We are starting a list of all the “connected” resources for our all our favorite connected educators. Here’s what we have created so far, MasteryConnect Powers PLC Educators, 10 Apps For Connected Educators, 6 Tools for Connected Educators, Plugging into Professional Learning Communities and Professional Development Powered by Edmodo. Stay tuned all month because this is just the first week!

10. Mark you calendar for the 2014 #DLDay. Our friends at Digital Learning Day are looking to make 2014 the best yet. How do you plan to get involved this year? Watch the video to get inspired and starting planning your school and classroom activities.

 

 

Pearson, Digital Learning Now!, MIND Research, and PresenceLearning are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners.

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