Alongside Black History Month, February is also Career and Technical Education Month. As part of the month long public awareness campaign we are celebrating with the publication of Generation Do-It-Yourself (GenDIY) blogs — how young people are hacking a pathway to a career they love – on The Huffington Post and GettingSmart.com. If you haven’t already, CTE Month is the perfect time to begin talking about career-tech at your school. Okay now here are the week’s top EdTech news stories.

Blended Schools & Tools

Live and directory. The Christensen Institute released their new and improved directory of blended learning schools that they have visited and interviewed over the last five years. Don’t see your school on this list? Sign up here to be considered. Looking for other next-gen blended, competency-based and forward leaning schools? Here are 65 elementary and middle schools, and 66 middle schools and high schools worth visiting.

Be kind rewind. DiscoveryEd and CUE are releasing the library of presentations from their 2015 leadership symposium. “We hope educators nationwide will view these thought-leadership presentations, borrow these powerful ideas, and apply them to their own school districts,” said Jason Barnes, Vice President of Educational Partnerships at Discovery Education.

Collectors items. Bloomboard launched a new site that combines curated collections of learning resources with micro-credentials. Earlier this week Tom shared his first collection on student agency. Keep an eye out, tomorrow we are also launching a paper produced in partnership with Bloomboard that offers the ‘essential educator’s guide to implementing personalized, competency-based professional learning with micro-credentials.’

Teamwork makes the dream work. Using Knewton’s adaptive learning platform, Pearson has updated enVisionMATH2.0, a digital curriculum that focuses on personalization. Mickey Revenaugh, Director of New Schools Models for Pearson recently joined us for a recent episode of the Getting Smart podcast to talk about the shift to digital and personalization, listen here.

Making the connection. Every student deserves equitable access to anytime, everywhere broadband connectivity. In a recent blog post on iNACOL.org, Susan Gentz shares updates on the Digital Learning Equity Act of 2015, which would require the U.S. Department of Education to create a program for states and school districts to develop, implement, and evaluate innovative strategies to improve out-of-school Internet access for students.

Going global. Global Leadership Week is set for April 25-29. It’s a weeklong convening of virtual and face to face events designed to celebrate leadership through global action in K-20 education. This month we will be kicking off a blog series with VIF International Education! VIF’s Dave Potter recently joined us in curating 366 Global Innovators, Networks, Resources, and Champions.

STEM Gems

Prime. Amazon Education and TenMarks announced a new campaign dubbed “With Math I Can” where they are challenging educators to embrace a growth mindset, while pledging pledge to replace the notion of “I’m not good at math” with “I am working to get better at math.” 

From the top. Obama unveiled his plan to provide students throughout the country the opportunity learn computer science in school. $4 billion for states and $100 million for districts will be included in a budget to increase K-12 access to CS. If connecting every student in the US is to become a reality, we agree with iNACOL in that we must first build a robust technology infrastructure and improve broadband.

Dollars and Deals

Apple acquisition. LearnSprout, creators of software for student performance tracking has been acquired by Apple. Although very little been released about the acquisition, we estimate that LearnSprout software will be rolled into Apple’s education tools that they are producing for iPads.

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

A solid foundation. The new The Foundation for Blended and Online Learning has rolled out with scholarship and grant programs open to graduates of blended and online programs who have demonstrated academic turnaround and success. As part of the announcement Robyn Bagley said, “When a student is given more control over their pathway, a transformation takes place.” Career Path High School, where Robyn is the School Director, is an example a blended blended model that empowers students to take control of their learning. Speaking of Career Pathways, CCSSO announced they will lead a $35M state grant opportunity with National Ass of State Directors of CTE Consortium.

Let’s Get Personalized

Gem Stating. Kelly Brady, the Director of Mastery Education for the Idaho State Department of Education, penned a pair blogs on The EdFly Blog. The first on the background to her work in implementing Competency-based programs, the latter on how Idaho is making competency-based models a reality for students and teachers.

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