SmartTech Roundup: Tablets, Contests & Edtech Investments

Tab News & Views

Intel launched, Studybook, a cheap tablet aimed at Chinese and Brazilian markets. Sounds like a great move since Chinese schools are replacing course books with tablets.
Ematic’s eGlide Prism is a loaded 3D Android tab available for as little as $157.  Google may launch a cheap 7 inch ‘full-Android’ tab made by Asus and Samsung in May.
These 7 inch tabs will be cheap and tempting, but it is not likely that PARCC and SBAC will support online assessment on these small screens.  Districts buying (or encouraging parents to buy) small screens will need to maintain at least a 3:1 ratio in computer labs for testing, writing, and other production tasks.

Enter to Win

The Saylor Foundation kick off its Open Textbook Challenge, a way for authors – or a group of authors – to develop a textbook for eligible courses and license it under CC BY 3.0 in exchange for $20,000! The foundation is also offering $250 referral bounties to anyone who refers an author whose textbook is subsequently accepted to its Open Textbook Challenge.
Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI), co-led by the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) and Creative Commons and funded by the Gates Foundation, published a survey this week to gauge the experiences of educators looking for learning resources on the Internet. The survey takes approximately five minutes to complete and must be submitted by April 20, 2012. Those who complete the survey will be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card.
The Association of American Educators Foundation (AAEF) announced its National Scholarships and Grants Program award winners for the spring of 2012, with 13 teachers each receiving up to $500 for varied classroom projects and pursuits in education.

Adaptive Power

McGraw released a white paper, Brave New World of Education: Personalized Adaptive Learning Tools Promise One-on-One Tutoring for All Students written by a couple execs about 3 McGraw programs, Power of U, ALEKS, and LearnSmart.  “These tools maintain a continuously updated inventory of what a student has and has not yet learned.”
Curriculum Associate’s new i-Ready is the coolest adaptive product we’ve reviewed lately.  It’s K-8 product compares favorably to NWEA and it has closely coupled instructional units for K-6 math and reading.
Desire2Learn announced a partnership with IBM to build a Smarter Learning Solution. Adding predictive analytics to a leading LMS makes this a deal worth watching.

In the Money

LearnZillion raised a $2.4M Series A round from a syndicate of 17 investors including Learn Capital.
2tor, the online degree program, announced that it raised $26 million in funding.
Boundless, a service that curates free online content for college students, has raised $8M first round funding.
ePals, publicly traded in Toronto (TSXV: SLN), is raising another C$8M in a private placement.
Scientific Learning sells $7.2M equity

Upcoming Events

On Tuesday, April 17, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will kick off “Summer Matters 2012” – a statewide initiative to bolster summertime learning across California – with a 12:30pm launch event at San Francisco City Hall.
Getting Smart will be joining education leaders and innovators at the Ed Innovation Summit 12 in AZ next week.

People On the Move

Rosetta Stone announced Judy Verses as its new President of Global Institutions.
Online education company Penn Foster is taking on Bain Capital Ventures’ EIR Frank Britt as CEO. 

Intelligent Scoring, Intelligent Schools

Despite a preemptive blog decrying the dumb jokes about robots and man v machine, the reporters couldn’t help themselves when covering the release of a report detailing results of a demonstration of automated essay scoring.


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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