SMARTtech Roundup: Edmodo, Rapping Teachers & Math Apps

Blended Schools & Tools

Be heard. The USDOE’s Karen Cator wants to know what ED can do to support teaching and learning over the next four years. We think this is a great chance to tell Karen about all the great blended learning happening across the country. Add your comments.
Staker’s two concerns. Blended Learning expert Heather Staker shared her thoughts on what parents worry about most when it comes to schooling, noting that she’s “optimistic” since “parents are on the cusp of accessing a broad new set of options that will allow them to breathe easier about both their custodial and instructional worries.”
Put your wallets away. Looking to blend but don’t know where to start? Doug Johnson offers a “don’t buy” list so you don’t waste your money.
Flip it. Check out Tom’s piece on Nexus Academy for a look at how flex schools differ from traditional ones: What’s Next? A Flex Plus School Model by Connections Education.
Trick out your page. Check out Adam Renfro’s advice on how to Customize Your Edmodo Account.

Digital Developments

FLVS goes global. Florida Virtual School is hosting WorldFest 2012, a free collaborative international showcase, on Nov. 14th & 15th.  The event will include more than 45 sessions from FLVS students and teachers across the globe.
Getting a facelift. Blackboard Inc. unveiled a major new release for its flagship LMS Blackboard Learn™, marking a significant milestone in the company’s effort to bring new innovation to its core teaching and learning products.
New York and LA get blended. CFY, a nonprofit organization that uses digital learning in an effort to improve educational outcomes for low-income students, has received a $1 million grant to study and develop its whole school blended learning model.  Check out their grade level collections at
Pay to Play. Flatwork is fleeing from free but Pearson is embracing OER through a search partnership with Gooru and showcased new OpenClass features at Educause.

Getting to the Core

Where’s the money? As the time for online assessments is quickly approaching, school districts are getting creative with funds to cover the costs.
Lucky 7. A new report from ASCD covers potential barriers to implementing Common Core State Standards and approaches to improve efforts throughout the nation.

Come On Get App-y

Not for wimps. Math just got cool thanks to the Funbrain™ channel on Pearson’s MyMathUniverse. Middle-grades math skills are reinforced on the website that also brought us “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”.
Winning continues. Development of Read With Me App has continued since June and is currently in a private BETA. The co-founders of first place winner Read With Me App at the AT&T Mobile Education Hackathon were awarded second place Best General Social Good App Saturday night for a new educational web application called School Office Pal.
Phones getting smarter. The Open University in the U.K. is creating apps stocked full of undergraduate course materials that can be downloaded on smartphones and tablets. Stay tuned for e-books with embedded audio, video and HTML5 in future apps.
Portal of learning. Anywhere anytime learning platform Udemy launched an iPad app.

The Big “D”

Aspiring work at Aspire. Data warehousing and business intelligence don’t conjure up images of students engaged in deep learning, yet the real vision of Aspire’s work is very much about students and setting more of them up for success in school and life. Checkout these real-life stories from a handful of Aspire principals, teachers, and coaches about how our data tools had impacted them and their classroom.
States on the ball. The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) is set to release its annual state analysis, Data for Action 2012, which highlights states’ progress in supporting effective education data use to improve student achievement.

Movers, Shakers & Ground-breakers

In the money.  Khosla Ventures invested $1 million in LearnStreet, an online coding school with about 30 lessons on JavaScript, Python and Ruby.  In addition to funding nonprofit CK12, Khosla also coinvested with NEA, Omidyar, and LearnCapital in African school developer Bridge International.
Acquired. Hotshot online STEM tutoring shop Sapling Learning was acquired by Macmillion.
Up for sale. Sounds like Apollo (the private equity shop not the U of Phoenix) will acquire McGraw-Hill Education.
Rapping teachers get the win. Compass Learning awarded $15,000 to Westerville, Ohio Teachers for Creative Video About Interactive Learning, Engaging Content and Collaboration.
Pearson, FLVS and Compass Learning are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners. Edmodo is a portfolio company of Learn Capital where Tom Vander Ark is a partner.

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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