SXSWedu 2017 is just around the corner, and our team will soon be packing their suitcases and boarding a plane to Austin to join the fun and energetic group of education leaders that will be attending. 

There are so many great sessions to choose from, but if you’re going to be there we’d love to see you at our team’s sessions on Social Media, Project-Based World and Place-Based Education.

In honor of this amazing annual conference that focuses on fostering innovation in education, here are this week’s top eight innovative news stories.

#NewSchools & #EdTech Tools

1. Igniting an EdTech Challenge

One of the only things we love more than a good challenge is a good set of EdTech tools to help with special education.

2. Early Literacy Love

Early literacy isn’t just important because it helps kids get ahead–it can also be a major tool in the struggle for education equity.

#GenDIY

3. NextGen Voters

Listening to student voices is crucial in preparing them for novelty & complexity.

Deeper, Further, Faster #HigherEd

4. College Transformed

We’re always excited to see innovative new HigherEd institutions. We highlighted one of our favorite recent examples, Olin College, in a podcast.

Let’s Get Personalized

5. New Blu Tool

Have you seen our guide for blended learning implementation?

#Teachers & #EdLeaders

6. C2D2 Accelerating #PLearning

Good news on the personalized learning front abounds. We recently highlighted a new Personalized Learning Report for Parents and Communities.

Movers, Shakers & Groundbreakers

7. Leaders to Learn From

We were happy to see Patricia DeKlotz on this list–check out our podcast with her.

8. 2017 iNACOL Symposium RFP Webinar

Don’t miss out on your chance to present at one of Getting Smart’s can’t-miss conferences!

Bonus Story

Colorado’s Mesa County School District 51 is in its first year of implementing competency education, and a new CompetencyWorks blog series provides an in-depth look into its year-one progress. Here are links to the latest blogs in this series:

  1. Designing Performance-Based Learning at D51
  2. Building Consensus for Change at D51
  3. The Vision of Performance-Based Education at D51
  4. Holacracy: Organizing for Change at D51
  5. Growing into the Framework: D51’s Implementation Strategy
  6. Laying the Foundation with Climate and Culture
  7. Supporting Teachers at D51: A Conversation with the Professional Learning Facilitators


Be sure to also check out our podcast with D51’s Superintendent Steve Shultz and Executive Director of Performance-Based Systems Rebecca Midles about their journey.

Have a news item you’d like us to consider for next Wednesday’s edition? Tweet us @Getting_Smart using #innov8 or to email [email protected] with “Innov8” in the subject line. For more ideas on what type of stories we run, check out the full Innov8 series on our blog.


Stay in-the-know with all things EdTech and innovations in learning by signing up to receive the weekly Smart Update. This post includes mentions of a Getting Smart partner. For a full list of partners, affiliate organizations and all other disclosures, please see our Partner page.

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