Spring has sprung and is overflowing with exciting launches and announcements of new products and tools. Here are this week’s 10 most exciting “sprouts” we picked out of the EdTech “garden.”

Blended Schools & Tools

1. Birth to Five- Watch Me Thrive! This week a federal initiative promoting developmental screening and strong early childhood education pointed to BRIGANCE Screens III from Curriculum Associates (@CurriculumAssoc) as one of the recommended screening tools- which is already being used in Kentucky as the kindergarten readiness screener.

2. Advanced Placement Online? Yes, and it works well for students! The AP results from the students at Florida Virtual School (@FLVS) were just released, revealing how FLVS students outperformed the state of Florida in overall averages by 13 percent and exceeded the national overall average by 3 percent in the sixteen AP courses offered by FLVS.

3. Break Out Those Personal Devices.  Students should be able to learn on their own path and at their own pace. Fuel Education (@FuelEducation) announced the launch of their new online Middle School curriculum, that can also be accessed on an iPad, Chromebook and Android. The curriculum is fully aligned to the Math and Language Common Core standards as well as the NGSS (@NSTA) science standards.

Smart Cities

4. More Reasons to Visit New Orleans. We posted our first Smart City update–and EdTech is hot in NOLA! From maker faires to school incubators, the creativity is flowing in startups like TrueSchool Studio, a cool combo of design thinking, PD, and capacity building in blended learning partnership with districts.

5. Getting Techy in the Windy City. Coming out of New Schools Chicago, LEAP Innovations announced a search for innovative tech solutions to solve literacy challenges facing Chicago’s students in preK-8th grade and will run pilots in the fall. Applications are due April 27th.

Is the EdTech creativity flowing in your city? We’d love it if you shared it with us. Chicago and Phoenix are in the queue.

 

Dollars & Deals

6. Platform Play. Weld North acquired two new companies, Imagine Learning (@ImagineLearning), an online tool that uses animation and games to teach English as a second language and Truenorthlogic (@truenorthlogic), a cloud based human resource hardware for schools that is already used in many major city districts. These new additions will help create what  a platform for digital learning, focusing on both student programs and administrative services.

 

What In The World

7. Teaming Up for Global Growth. Ayala Corporation is teaming up with Pearson (@Pearson, @Ayala_1834) to build a new chain of low-cost secondary schools in the Philippines. The new entity is called Affordable Private Education Centers (APEC) and they will manage and scale the schools. Affordable private schools for developing economies was a big part of the #IFCeducation conference agenda last week.

 

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

8. Code With Lynda. Everybody knows that they can learn how to use just about any tech tool on Lynda.com (@Lynda). But now with this week’s $20M acquisition of Compilr (@compilr) a startup cloud based platform for teaching coding, soon Lynda users will be able to learn how to create those tools, not just use them.

9. Funding Affordability. Quad Learning (@QuadLearningInc), focused on making college accessible and affordable, announced they have raised $10 million to expand their American Honors Program. The funding will allow for the expansion of partnerships with community colleges to provide students with rigorous honors programs and helps students transfer to top schools around the country to finish their BA.

 

Let’s Get Personalized

10. One More Thing That Comes to MIND. MIND Research Institute (@MIND_Research) has been busy celebrating Math Awareness Month with all sorts of announcements this week. The creators of ST Math (@JiJiMath), a completely visual (non language-based) method of teaching mathematics, have not only recently announced the extension of their middle and high school math curricula, but they have also released a new white paper, Better Blends with Visual Game-Based Math.

 

Pearson, Curriculum Associates, MIND Research Institute, Rosetta Stone, FuelEd and FLVS are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners.

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