SMARTtech Top 10: Nearing the New Year

Can you believe it’s December? Neither can we. We’re on the count down to the New Year and the news is still alive and kicking with innovation. The market is on full speed ahead to 2013 with some exciting possibilities in education.

Digital Developments

1. Udemy announced the completion of a $12 million Series B financing round led by Insight Venture Partners, MHS Capital and Learn Capital, bringing Udemy’s total funding to $16 million.
2. Epic-Ed launched cool new tool for schools and districts moving up the digital transition path. The School/District Locator for educational innovation, using Google Maps technology, will enable schools and districts to easily find other schools and districts with similar educational technology profiles to share experiences and collaborate with.
3. CourseTalk launched a Yelp for Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) where students can identify top rated, popular, or upcoming courses.
4. Grunwald Associates with support from Adobe launched  “Student Performance in Career and Technical Education,” a study that correlates technology classes with improve achievement outcomes.

Steamy STEM Gem

5. The Cisco Foundation awarded MIND Research Institute $102,000 to expand math education improvement in Silicon Valley schools.

Getting to the Core

6. Michael Horn published an article on Forbes this week asking, “Could Competency-Based Learning Save the Common Core?”
7. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching announced a $460,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to study the Carnegie Unit, which forms the basis of a time-based measurement of student learning.

Movers, Shakers & Ground-breakers

8. Five states – Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee – announced plans to add at least 300 learning hours to the calendar in 2013 to boost student achievement and make U.S. schools more competitive on a global level.
9. Microsoft announced its U.S. winners from this year’s Partners in Learning Global Forum, which honored teachers for their creative use of technology in the classroom to enhance student success. The winners included the following:

  • 1st Place: Collaboration: Pauline Roberts and Rick Joseph; Birmingham Covington School (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)
  • 2nd Place: Cutting Edge Use of ICT: Robin Lowell and Sherry Hahn; Washington State School for the Blind (Vancouver, Wash.)
  • 3rd Place: Educator’s Choice: Todd LaVogue; Roosevelt Community Middle School (West Palm Beach, Fla.)

10. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan outlined priorities for the next four years through President Obama’s second term, which largely include aggressively improving teacher and principal quality.
Tom Vander Ark is a partner at Learn Capital. MIND Research Institute is a Getting Smart Advocacy 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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1 Comment

Tom Vander Ark

late breaking news: Amy Anderson is leaving the Colorado education department and will rejoin the Donnell-Kay Foundation where she will be leading an initiative to engage local, national and global partners in the design of a next generation education system.

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