Happy Saturday! We are half way through November and definitely feeling thankful for so many interesting and good things happening in the world of education this week.

Blended Schools & Tools

1. Blended Videos. To complement the Digital Learning Now! Smart Series papers, the team released a few videos that paint a picture of the school models and learning opportunities referenced in the papers. The videos also feature passionate education leaders trying to make a difference. We also enjoyed The Learning Accelerators answer to what is blended learning in a video they released this week.

2. Anywhere from 25 to 35. We love a good list at Getting Smart, and this week we have two good ones. The US Dept. of Ed announced the 25 district winners slated to share $135 million in the latest round of i3 grants. On Getting Smart, we updated our list of now 35 blended and personalized high schools worth a visit– we can’t offer them millions but sure wish we could because we know they are doing great work!

Digital Developments

3. Broadband for All.  “40 million of the nation’s K-12 students are being left behind without the Internet access and WiFi they will need to succeed in the global economy.” Evan Marwell knows fiber optics is the key to bridging this divide and every school needs it to get their wifi up to speed.

4. Gen X, Gen Y and Now Meet Gen Z. Last year, Adam Renfro defined for us who our students are in one of Getting Smart’s most read posts ever, Meet Generation Z. (We even added a Haiku Deck for our visual learners) This week, Adam took it to the next level with his post Z-enders Game– a post we recommend to all teachers and would love to hear their thoughts on why it’s this generation that has such potential to change the world.

Dollars & Deals

5. Investing in Learning for ALL. Early-learning curriculum and assessment developer Kidaptive.com raised $10.1 million in a round led by The Social+Capital Partnership and Greylock Partners. San Francisco’s CreativeLive receiving $21.5 million in a round led by Formation8, joined by Menlo Ventures, Stanford StartX Fund, NewSchools Venture Fund and Prana Studios.

Teachers and Tech

6. What Can the Government Do? Public Impact released its answer to that question this week with the new report: Giving Every Student Access to Excellent Teachers: A Vision for Focusing Federal Investments in Education, suggesting four ways the feds can dramatically increase access to excellent teaching.

7. Profession Development, Smithsonian Style. Why accept boring, useless PD when an institution like the Smithsonian is offering free, online training for teachers to help relate curriculum to real-world and current events. Sounds like a social studies teacher’s dream come true.

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

8. Be a Pioneer! Education Pioneers increased their fellowship opportunities by 25% and are now looking for 550 top emerging leaders for prestigious education leadership fellowships across the country in 2014.

9. Keeping Up With Our Kids. Sometimes it feels like these kids are just getting too smart these days. We can’t let them have all the fun. No worries! Lynda.com is partnering with LinkedIn to allow users to post their course completion certificates directly to their profiles. For those who aren’t registered at Lynda, check out this comprehensive list of 75 MOOCs for teachers and parents, there is something for everyone.

For the Core

10. Teachers Love to Pin. This is a MasteryConnect feature we have been anticipating. Resource Pins, the Pinterest-style platform for teachers to share lesson plans and anything else to enhance the learning experience was officially launched on Wednesday. Be sure to check it out!

Next Week

Tune in to this Must-See Webcast: Steven Hodas and Diane Tavenner will share what has been done to apply Lean Startup methods in New York and California schools in this upcoming (11/21) webcast from the Lean StartUp Conference. Their conversation will be followed by live Q&A with the webcast attendees so sign up now.

Tom is joining Tim Hudson from DreamBox for an EdWeek Wednesday Webinar (11am PT), Personalized Learning and the Power of Adaptive Instruction.

MasteryConnect is a portfolio company of Learn Capital where Tom Vander Ark is a partner.

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