SmartTech Roundup

Blended Schools & Tools

Online learning is on its way. Results from the SREB Educational Technology Cooperative survey suggested that three-quarters of all districts in the SREB region will offer online learning options by 2015.
Avoid the little spinning wheel, get more broadband now!  The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) released the new report The Broadband Imperative: Recommendations to Address K-12 Education Infrastructure Needs, which recommends Internet connections of 100 Mbps per 1,000 by 2014 and of 1 Gbps per 1,000 by 2017.
Learn step-by-step how to go virtual. Cisco released a free guide outlining a unique model for virtual desktops and applications for large organizations like schools or districts.
Online learning provider gets blended. Connections Education announced that it plans to open new blended high schools in Ohio by Fall 2012. Every district should have small flex high schools (see Classifying Blended Learning) because they are great options for some kids and because the are good examples of individual progress and competency-based environments.
Get savvy about data. Civitas Learning will attempt to boost higherEd outcomes by combining student demographic, behavioral, and academic information with the latest analysis and recommendation technologies, and sophisticated data modeling approaches to transform institutional data into recommendations that support smarter decisions throughout the student lifecycle.
Create a new school. Next Generation Learning Challenges will accept Wave III RFP’s for new districts and charters looking to redesign school models for more personalized and master-based learning. Initial deadline is June 8 with second phase applications July 8. (Tom is an judge.)
Kim on data.“Our goal is to shorten the feedback loop so that teachers can easily access and understand the data to address students’ weaknesses in real time rather than waiting for test scores. That way, teachers can better plan what they will teach the students each day,” said Anthony Kim, Education Elements Inc.
Share your learning. Grockit launched, which will allow educators to build, teach and share learning boards on everything from Calculus, Common Core standards, contemporary art to Cajun cooking – for free.

Steamy STEM Gems

We need standards to meet and exceed in STEM. The K-12 Next Generation Science Standards, an attempt to raise standards and outcomes in science and technology careers, released for public comments.
Let’s get specific about STEM PD. Honeywell Educators announced that it plans to sponsor an innovative professional development opportunity at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center to foster STEM education.
How to reach the bar on STEM standards. Kids Consortium designed a guide to help educators integrate service-learning into STEM content areas to help ensure that STEM projects are developed in line with science standards.
Does STEM create next-generation innovators? announced plans to host a virtual roundtable addressing the ways that STEM education creates critical thinkers and next-generation innovators. The discussion will look at teacher support, hands-on opportunities, curriculum and more.

Getting to the Core

Get literate about Common Core. John Merrow from Learning Matters shared a great 10-minute video on Common Core and literacy. Battelle for Kids released K-12 Common Core Vertical Progression Guides, which are guides for English Language Arts and math implementation in line with Common Core.
Are you ready for the shift? The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released a report that provides the most comprehensive review to date of how schools of education are preparing teachers to use data generated by assessments of student learning. Fordham released a report on Common Core implementation, taking a look at the 2014-2015 Common Core transition and how states, specifically Ohio, are going to prepare for the change. California prepares for Common Core changes starting this fall, which will emphasize project-based learning, critical thinking, problem solving, and more.
Even Asia is going Common Core. The Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC) released an analysis of how the Common Core State Standards relate to the outcomes of Asia Society Graduation Performance System (GPS).

Come On Get App-y

Apps are educational. shared an infographic, which examines the rapid rise of tablets among students. The data shows that 42 percent of kids use educational apps on a tablet or smartphone. U.S. News shared countless teacher-developed, educational apps that go beyond playing Angry Birds.
Check out more app-tastic growth. Carnegie Speech announced rapid first quarter growth in 2012, a significant 85 percent quarter-over-quarter growth in Q1 2012 compared to Q4 2011.

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

Faster, cheaper pathways. Inside Higher Ed broke the news that an online interactive statistics course proved to be a faster and cheaper pathway to mastery than the traditional approach in a recent study, Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from Randomized Trials.
Colleges begin to leverage BYOD. Ohio State University ramped up its technology offerings in its two-year initiative, Digital First, that will leverage devices many students already have, such as laptops, smartphones, or tablets, and to provide support for faculty members who wish to enhance teaching by using them.
Race to the Top fosters personalized learning outcomes. The U.S. Department of Education announced that $400 million in Race to the Top grant money is available to school districts — not states — that show they can personalize education for students.
Kids today are digital savvy. A survey by CourseSmart of over 500 college students found that 98 percent of those who own a device have used it for school and around 53 percent of students read eTextbooks frequently. The study found that 58 percent of students reported taking an online course and 96 percent of students have had online components to a course. While 84 percent of students have had professors post a class syllabus online, 18 percent students have received materials from their professor via Facebook.

Movers, Shakers & Ground-Breakers

Korea goes digital. Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer met Seoul education officials to discuss using digital technology in classrooms as South Korea prepares to replace paper textbooks with digital ones.
Romney gets advice. Good to know Mitt is getting advice from digital learning gurus Bailey, Fleming, Luna, Peyser, Rees and others.  We’re hoping the campaign pays more attention to education and  gets a little more substantive.
This video thing may actually pay off.  Udemy reported that it’s top 10 instructors made a combined $1.7 million last year.
Register nowEdmodoCon a one day PD extravaganza, is August 8.  Sign up now!
Disclosures: Connections Education is an advocacy partner.  Edmodo and Udemy are Learn Capital portfolio companies.

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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