Lifting the lowest 30 state standards to real college and career readiness levels isn’t the only benefit of the Common Core.  The new standards unleashed a timely wave of investment in digital content.

In addition to the passing of textbooks, we’re watching the end of the first generation of flat and sequential digital content.  The timely introduction of the Core is accelerating the introduction of engaging and standards-aligned adaptive content.

Yesterday, EdWeeks’s Catherine Gewetrz wrote a good summary of the wave of new Core-aligned content.  She mentioned McGraw-Hill but left out Pearson’s substantial across the board investment in Common Core resources.

The Core has provided the impetus for providers like Apex Learning, American Virtual Academy, and Compass Learning to update their curriculum.  Compass is shifting from courses to objects and Flash to HTML5 to enable anywhere & any device learning.

MIND Research Institute just launched a touch version of its visual ST Math.  The program has posted great results with twice weekly lab use.  Now that it is available on tablets it opens up a world of possibilities for expanded use—and impact.

Learn Capital portfolio companies leading the shift to the Common Core include:

  • Mastery Connect provides a platform to connect Common Core goals with classroom practice through the innovative use of on-­‐demand micro-­assessments sourced from a nationwide network of educators.
  • Mangahigh makes compelling middle grade math games with embedded Core-aligned assessment and achievement analytics.
  • Bloomboard (formerly Formative Learning) provides online professional development.
  • LearnZillion launched a highly flexible, ultra low cost production model for generating Common Core digital curricula that rapidly iterates and improves through use.
  • StudySync models the deeper learning and rich discourse incorporated in Core standards.

Core standards are also the basis for next generation assessments in development by the Race to the Top funded testing consortia—PARCC and SBAC.  These online assessments provide a useful timeline for the shift from print to digital instructional materials.

Common Core State Standards provide a national platform for innovation.  For the first time, content developers can invest for a national market.  As illustrated above, the Core has triggered a wave of investment in engaging, personalized learning content and tools.


Disclosures: Pearson is an investor in Learn Capital where Tom is a partner.  MIND Research Institute is advocacy partner.

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Tom Vander Ark is author of Difference Making at the Heart of Learning, The Power of Place, Better Together, Smart Parents, Smart Cities and Getting Smart. He is co-founder of Getting Smart and Learn Capital and serves on the boards of Education Board Partners, 4.0 Schools, Digital Learning Institute, Latinx Education Collaborative, Mastery Transcript Consortium and eduInnovation. Follow Tom on Twitter, @tvanderark.


  1. These are great resources! And when you are looking for a curriculum mapping software to plan which of the great resources mentioned above you are going to use as you teach, look to the new Curriculum Map Builder by NoMoCho. Try it out at details.aspx


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