SmartTech Roundup: Deals, OER, Tablets, & Awards

Interesting Deals

Countering all the Knewton press, Blackboard launched Blackboard Developmental Education to improve student outcomes and completion rates. DevEd was developed in partnership with American Education (A+), a company acquired by K12 last year.
Atlanta investor Richard Smyth spent 2010 gaining control of a public company.  Last January he launched NewCo4Education which merged with the public shell announced plans to build a platform and a managed charter network.  Last week the company, now Sibling Group Holdings, Inc. announced Education Innovation, Inc., the Atlanta-based platform subsidiary.  Sounds like they are hard at work on a learning management system complete with online testing (we’ll let you know when we get a look at this new entrant in a crowded category).  This is CEO Rob Copenhaver’s third over-the-counter traded public company–sounds like the go-go years of the 80’s.
Naviance acquired PrepMe, adding test prep tools to their get-ready-for-college platform.

OER Gains Increased Footing

Last month, Utah’s State Office of Education announced that it plans to start a program to make open textbooks available to K-12 students. Washington and California are close to jumping on board. Tech Crunch reported last week that that open education resources (OER) is rocking but won’t replace proprietary content.
The i3 apps are out and the competition includes a “competitive preference” priority for “improving productivity” including promoting the use of open educational resources (but it still bans for-profits).


Kristen Winkler thinks Pearson should build their own tablet. The UNC librarian thinks we need a re-do on ebooks, voicing some concerns only librarians could get worked up about but also suggesting easier e-sharing.
Michael Horn said, “India increasingly is looking to embrace disruptive innovations to scale education—and developed countries with more established education systems should take note.”  Watch for a big wave of online colleges powered by inexpensive tablets.
If you want to learn about the mobile cloud, you should be in Barcelona today for Mobile World Congress it’s the hot topic.


Mangahigh and ST Math were both recognized with Reader’s Award  from eSchool News.
You probably missed the Learning Awards in London earlier this month, but they recognize a wide range of achievement in corporate training and development.  The recognized groups are really smart about learning and use sophisticated blended strategies to build rapid pathways to mastery.  This stuff has been going on for twenty years and we’re just beginning to take advantage of proven strategies in K-12.

Hot Tips

See five clever social media campaign tips from Mashable and 34 digital resources you may have missed.
TechCrunch urges developers to become experts at designing user habits.

Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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