Between the NCAA National Championship football game, the Golden Globes and frigid temps in most of the country, this week kept many of us pretty busy. With all of fanfare and snow shoveling you may have missed this week’s big developments on the EdTech front. Here’s the latest and greatest from this week. Or should we say à la the Golden Globes, “And the EdTech 10 goes to…”

Blended Schools & Tools

Next Gen in New York. Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School opened last fall with help from a Getting Smart Advocacy Partner, Next Generation Learning Challenge (NGLC) (@nextgenLC), grant is supportung their work in personalizing learning and providing a next-gen learning environment for students in Brooklyn. To learn more about NGLC grants and schools, check out Lighting the Path to Personalized Learning.

Better Assessments, Better Acceptance. Clayton Christensen Institute Research Fellow Thomas Arnett (@ArnettTom) shares why we need better ways of measuring, such as competency-based assessment systems in order to power personalized learning models.

Dollars & Deals

Show Me the Money.With GenDIY on our minds, we’re excited about Roadtrip Nation’s announcement of investments led by USA Funds to expand the reach of their career exploration tools and content, helping millions of students connect interests to career pathways.

Count it. The giant online learning video library lynda.com announces a whopping $186 million investment led by TPG.

Venture funding for EdTech startups reached $1.8 billion mark, up 55% from last year. Investment in companies such as Remind (@RemindHQ), Pluralsight (@Pluralsight) and Edmodo (@Edmodo) helped create the surge.

Smart Cities

Leadership Tools for Schools. Tom Vander Ark (@tvanderark) joined the iNACOL (@nacol) Leadership Webinar Series to break down how a Smart City cultivates successful blended learning environments.

Tom and Carri Schneider joined a couple hundred world language teachers online to discuss their efforts to discuss Elevate & Empower, a report describing the next gen learning leadership of world language teachers.

Big Moves in Beantown. Cengage Learning (@CengageLearning) and LearnLaunch (@LearnLaunch) join forces in new partnership to boost the Boston already burgeoning EdTech ecosystem.

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

From The Top. President Obama announced that he would like to make community college free, or as cost free and universal as high school. We think this is great and also want to point out that many adults are accessing school in different ways – think learning alternatives such as code school. Online course provider Udemy (@Udemy) CEO Dennis Yang said: “Learning is not only for higher education institutions, it’s important for adults, whether or not they attended college, to continually develop their professional skills. The announcement by President Obama today is an important recognition of that reality and I hope that long-term and flexible learning solutions are widely embraced.”

The Big “D”

The Power of Data. Andrew Kossack of The Foundation for Excellence in Education (@ExcelinEd), Getting Smart Advocacy Partner, learned all that he needed to know about  the power and impact of student data in kindergarten. In fact he learned of this importance in his son’s kindergarten specifically during a student-led conference.

Movers, Shakers & Ground-breakers

And the Award Goes To. PresenceLearning, Getting Smart Advocacy Partner and provider of online speech and occupational therapy as well as behavioral and mental health services was recently awarded the 2014 Tech & Learning Award of Excellence in the Best New Products category.

Co-op for EdTech. Wanda Barker will join the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) next week as the director of SREB Educational Technology Cooperative. Barker’s work will help states use tech to impact student achievement.

 

Udemy and Edmodo are portfolio companies of Learn Capital  where Tom is a partner.

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