The NFL, Super Bowl and football in general might seem completely unrelated to the world of ed and EdTech. However, after this week’s top stories you’d be surprised how similar they really are.

First, some quick correlations between the two in addition to this week’s news:

  • NFL players have unique pathways into their profession, much like GenDIY.
  • With references and phrases like Beast Mode, Revis Island, and LOB, football and ed both have a nomenclature problem.
  • Like players and coaches, students and teachers are from very different generations that makes communication tricky.

Still don’t believe there is a connection? Here’s the top 10 news stories from this week that might make you change your mind.

Blended Schools & Tools

1. The playbook. Like EdLeaders, GMs are judged on how they spend their budget. Often, the wrong decisions can get you fired if your don’t do your procurement research first. Thankfully in ed, EdLeaders have resources like the Smart Series Guide To EdTech Procurement and CRPE’s new Blueprint for Effective and Adaptable School District Procurement.

2. Making the connection. From fantasy football to the sideline, the coordinator booth to the stands, football in 2015 is online. This level hyperconnectivity has found its way into classrooms many next-gen schools, but not all. Thanks to EducationSuperHighway, superintendents have support in making decisions that can help in upgrades vital to the future of learning.  

3. #SBMediaDay = BETT. Equivalent to the Super Bowl’s Media Day (#SBMediaDay), is EdTech’s BETT. Check out the highlights including videos, images, and updates from the four day event in London.

4. Game changers. Schemes, strategies, and techniques have changed a lot overtime for educators in the classroom, and players on the field. When an educator succeeds with a instruction technique, or a team innovates with new formations, when the changes stick, you know they’re potential game changers. Such is the case for competency-based learning, education, and pathways. Achieve released an infographic that visualizes the growing model.

Digital Developments

5. Sideline learning. Nowadays you’ll find tablets in the hands of almost every coach on the sideline, loaded with innovative apps that help them improve performance between the hashes. Similarly, students with access to iPads now have another innovative resource from Curriculum Associates, Getting Smart Advocacy Partner, to help improve performance in fact and computational fluency called Door 24 Plus. Download it here.

6. Partner up. NFL partnerships have enabled the league to do amazing work in providing access to children to exercise, like with the Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative. Ed is much similar in that partnerships can increase access to tools essential to digital learning. Such is the case with Communities in Schools (CIS), Microsoft, and COMPAREX who have announced that 1 million students will receive Microsoft Office 365 for no cost. Stay tuned in, Tom is addressing Microsoft’s Global Education Partners Summit this Tuesday.

7. Open practice. MOOCs are like open workouts in football. They’re great for learning new skills, everyone is welcome, and those who do show up are usually the ones who are most committed to improving their performance. Beginning February 9, MOOC-ed.org is launching an open course designed for teachers in their first three years of practice to skill up titled Learning Differences. A great resource we suggest for teachers looking to skill up is the Blended Learning Implementation Guide 2.0.

Stem Gems

8. Code of conduct. Coding powers the software that we use everyday. Especially the devices that football fans use to stay connected to the game. In partnership with Microsoft, we launched Getting Smart on Coding for College & Career Readiness to shine a light on the importance of coding knowledge.

Movers, Shakers & Ground-breakers

9. Hometown hero. For football fans, seeing a player from your hometown make it and succeed in the NFL can be a heartfelt experience. As Seattleites, when Jessie Woolley-Wilson, CEO of Bellevue-based DreamBox Learning, Getting Smart Advocacy Partner, was awarded Seattle Business Magazine’s 2015 Executive Excellence Award, we couldn’t help but be feel proud and ecstatic about the announcement. Here’s 10 major trends in blended learning that we examined with DreamBox.

10. Pro bowling. If BETT is the #SBMediaDay in EdTech, SXSWedu is the Pro Bowl. In its fourth year, finalists were announced for SXSWedu’s LAUNCHedu competition, an amazing venue for ed startups. In March Team Getting Smart will be in Austin for SXSWedu, stay tuned for details!

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