SmartTech Roundup


SchoolTube announces launch of personalized educator channels. Educators can now grab their own video channel URL.
Pearson powers Propero, a low-cost higher ed solution that will help colleges complete with low-cost providers. Pearson also launched an online learning exchange (OLE) election series to facilitate political discussion around new learning opportunities.
Altius Education announces helix platform which is supposed to be at least partially “story-based,” an early approach to optimizing on interest and modality.
Opportunity Culture, a great resource from Public Impact, features school models that leverage talent and technology.
SIIA released a free version of their interoperability standards last week. (Send us your review.)
Rosetta Stone and Lodi Unified School District announced a new language-learning program on the iPad.
Adobe will be hosting a launch event today at DeYoung to announce how the company is reinventing creative software with the first release of Adobe Creative Cloud and the new Creative Suite 6.


MIT Sloan School replace its PC’s with Pano Logic zero clients, which could make a good lab addition to a tablet-centric environment.
Moussouri bought an SIS we’ve never heard of from Tyler Tech, but we do like the idea of states using their purchasing power to save schools money.
Texas quietly adopted new math standards.
IBM and Desire2Learn announced new consulting services and software offerings that take the power of predictive analytics to improve outcomes in education.

In the Money

Coursera raised $16 million from Kleiner and others, a real leap of faith for the massively open post-sec movement.
Sterling Partners invests another $5 million in School of Rock.
Core Education will spend $44 million opening 150 VocEd centers across India.  “Construction, automobile, healthcare, retail, hospitality, information technology (IT) and IT enabled services will be the key focus areas.”
2Tor added a $10 million line of credit to the recent $26 million Series D funding.
Alyson Shontell said there are a million education startups and no one to acquire them. We have a different take–there’s a ton of private equity and several strategics just waiting for companies to gain a little traction and some revenue, certainly outstripping supply at this point.
StraighterLine raised $10 million in financing to accelerate its reach.

Testing Treats

SBAC, the Race-to-the-Top funded state testing consortia, picked CTB/McGraw as the lead partner develop 10,000 items.  They released their tech specs a few weeks ago but didn’t mention devices.  We suspect that they and PARCC support big tabs (like iPads) but not little tabs (like all the new 7” Androids).  That means a psychometrician near you will be busy for the next two years contemplating comparability.
Tom’s testing project, the Automated Student Assessment Prize (ASAP) got some press last week including a FT piece.  The demonstration of automated essay scoring should lead to the incorporation of more writing on state tests.  Watch for the May 9 award of the $100,000 prize purse.
Kansas is first to adopt state standards for social emotional health and character development.  We think this is a pretty good idea but hope they don’t apply use old multiple choice test to measure it.  Seems like a Pathbrite portfolio would be a better bet.  We’re pretty sure there is room for online  guidance systems, self-management tools, and decision support for life, work, and college choices.

Blended Learning Conferences

Tom is speaking at the Sloan Conference on Blended Learning in Milwaukee today.
There were more food and furniture vendors than edtech solutions at the National School Board Association meeting in Boston.  School board members grumbled about NCLB, booed vouchers, but gave thoughtful consideration to Digital & Deeper Learning.


Teachscape, an online professional learning content provider, won three 2012 Best Edcuational Software Awards (BESSIE).
PresenceLearning, the online speech therapy service, won the Multi-Level: Special Education Website category of The ComputED Gazette’s BESSIE Awards.

SkySong Highlights

Here’s ten features from the ASU Education Innovation Summit:

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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