Do you know the hashtag #TBT- Throw Back Thursday? Well, that hashtag doesn’t apply to us- we use Thursday to look ahead and get excited about the developments and growth in EdTech. Here are this week’s most up to date EdTech on the day the Getting Smart team likes to refer to as “Thinking Ahead Thursday!”

Blended Schools & Tools

1. The Innovation Continues. This week, the Reynoldsburg City School District, already known as forward thinking, rolled out the first of three initiatives that will define ways of doing business. This week Lisa Duty (@LisaDuty1) of the The Learning Accelerator (@LearningAccel) talked about how a new investment program will direct the blending learning roll out as opposed to the central office- truly keeping Reynoldsburg a “system of schools” as opposed to a school system. Stay tuned because Lisa has two more posts to add to Investing in Autonomy, Performance and Innovation to complete the series.

2. Stanford Goes K-12. Just as Stanford (@Stanford) hands off their Education Program for Gifted Youth to expand their services, NYU (@NYU) announced their results of the research done the program proved it to be effective. Since 1990, the program, that started by only serving students considered gifted, now serves students from achievement levels and for a wide range of subjects. In some cases, the report noted, EPGY participants scored an average of 45 percent higher on standardized achievement tests than those outside the program.

3. Blazing Trails Ahead. It might not always go smoothly- but it is going. Districts all over the country are going one to one and although they might not all agree on the devices or the steps, they do agree that 1-to-1 isn’t really about the technology. There are 9 Lessons From 1-to-1 Pioneers that can help districts and schools a little more leery.

4. Michigan Gets An A. Digital Learning Now (@DigLearningNow) released their Digital Learning Report Cards last month and in the same vein, The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute published its effectiveness report, examining the online delivery models for students throughout the state, with strong evidence that virtual learning is working for many.

5. And The CODiE Goes To… Florida Virtual School (@FLVS) has been nominated for 3 different course offerings, both their social media and outdoor education courses and for FLVS student created social media platform, Grom Social as Best Collaboration Solution for Students. The SIIA CODiE awards (@CODiEawards) are the industry’s only peer-reviewed awards recognizing software and information industries product excellence.

Digital Developments

 6. New Device on the Market. Intel (@intel) unveils it’s new 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop, that can open like a typical laptop, swivel around to the screen can face outward and comes with a stylus so the screen can fold flat be used “tablet style.” It even comes with educational accessories like a snap-on magnifying lens for the camera and a temperature sensor probe.

7. Around the World. Scholastic (@Scholastic) launches on a more global scale this week by releasing their edtech and blended learning portfolio programs Scholastic Literacy Pro and Scholastic PR1ME Mathematics to international markets- helping teachers worldwide raise student achievement in both English Literacy and Math, with tools allowing for teachers to make decision and track student progress.

Dollars & Deals

8. It’s Official. The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (which recently hosted a conference on Rethinking Education) will commit up to $20 million for an emerging markets-focused education fund managed by Learn Capital (@LearnCapital), where Tom Vander Ark is a partner. Hallways chats at the IFC conference identified 5 Ideas Likely to Make a Big Impact.

Movers, Shakers & Ground-breakers

9. Warming Up. Like a half a dozen other cities, the EdTech scene has heated up in Phoenix over the last two years. Next week, Phoenix will host a couple key events. The ASU+GSV Education Innovation Summit (#edinnovation) is now the most important learning innovations conference on the calendar. After a day to catch up on email, make sure to attend the Phoenix Startup Weekend EDU (@swphx) April 25-27.

For The Core

 10. Love to Read. As early adopters of the Common Core standards, according to American University Radio, teachers in DC are seeing students not only reading more, but doing more close or deep reads. Students are going back to read their texts multiple times and creating “text sets” that are a series of articles and books around one subject. Give it a listen.

Florida Virtual School, Scholastic, Digital Learning Now and The Learning Accelerator are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners.

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