Cue the music. It’s less than a week until thousands of educators, EdLeaders, edupreneurs, and the “edurati” arrive in Austin for SXSWedu. It’s vital to make sure you prep accordingly for the four day event with full intention of developing symptoms of “CBS” also know as “Conference Behavior Syndrome.” Symptoms can include: creativity, dreaming big, and excessive tweeting that may last up to four hours… or more. A key to keeping these symptoms in check is to manage some level of uncertainty by informing yourself on what’s the latest education news prior to arriving in the catacomb of conference land.

Here are ten doses of EdTech news to take in as you prep and ready for what looks to be another epic SXSWedu.

Digital Developments

1. #SchoolInfo. States can now use findings, implementation strategies and powerful design examples from a new publication by The Foundation for Excellence In Education, Getting Smart Advocacy Partner, to improve efforts in providing parents with information to make informed decisions about their student’s education, and to inform policymakers with information for reform strategies.

2. All Things Are Created Neutral. There’s been A LOT of buzz around Net Neutrality that has left many in the community asking: What does it mean for EdTech? New America brings those left in the dark up to speed on the issue and shares how the FCC’s decision on Net Neutrality will impact EdTech.  

3. Up For Grabs. A $50K prize purse has been cast out by CDW-G and eSchool News in a new program dubbed “Collaboration Nation” that will award that school and district that can demonstrate outstanding examples of cross-departmental teamwork and successful educational technology projects.

Smart Parents

4. This Time, It’s Personal. Utilize the power of relationships. That’s the driving advice from Cara Thorpe, Founder and President of K-12 Learning Solutions on how parents can engage students in personalized learning experiences beyond the school day.

GenDIY

5. Competency-Based, Career Focused. Competency-based learning environments empower students to design, create, and lead their education journey. This is the focus of a blog by Chris Sturgis, Co-Founder of CompetencyWorks, who also provides examples of schools and districts leading this effort while making the case that CompetencyEd is what GenDIY is all about.

Preparing Leaders

6. Leading The Way. As part of our Preparing Leaders for Deeper Learning effort, this week Carri Schneider penned a blog that highlighted a recent brief by the CRPE, which outlines why principals leading transformational efforts should be “lead communicators.”

The Big “D”

7. Protect Ya Neck. Districts now have a new guide from the DOE for modeling “terms of service” for data privacy that’s designed to support protections that should be required of companies pitching products and systems to schools.

Movers, Shakers & Groundbreakers

8. New Beantown Boss. We know that Boston is a leading example of a smart city with a learning ecosystem that’s rich with leaders like Getting Smart Advocacy Partner, Curriculum Associates, and the Clayton Christensen Institute. That’s why we thrilled to learn that LAUSD assistant superintendent Tommy Chang was picked to be Boston Public School’s new chief. Expect him to tap into the local Edtech scene.

9. Enter The Wu. MIND Research Institute, Getting Smart Advocacy Partner, welcomed Karin Wu as VP of Engagement. With over 20 years of leadership and marketing experience she will lead the organization’s marketing, communications and community outreach team. Congrats Karin!

Blended Schools & Tools

10. Iwau! Japanese startup, LioLoNote released an update for their flagship app LoiLoNote School that will now support improved workflow management and student enabling tools.

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