EdTech 10: News Before Crossing the Pond

Are you headed to London for BETT this coming week? We are. Don’t worry, we’ll give you the roundup of the best happenings while we sip a cuppa, spread some clotted cream on a crumpet, and salute to Big Ben. But before we get too lost in our warm pints, we’ll share with you that this week, blended learning was off the charts and MOOCs are making headway in higher ed.

Blended Schools & Tools

1. This week Education Elements posted Creatively Funding Your Blended Learning Program on their blog. Check out their 30+ page toolkit for more on costs and implementation. Then mark your calendar for February 2013 when the next DLN Smart Series paper on blended learning implementation releases.
2. The Silicon Schools Fund, aiming to raise $25 million to create 25 blended learning schools in the region, announced its inaugural round of grants, worth $1.7 million, to two charter school organizations: Summit Public Schools will receive $1.4 million, Alpha Public Schools will spend its $300,000 to grow one of its existing blended schools.
3. Dreambox released the blended learning paper “Leveraging Intelligent Adaptive Learning to Personalize Education,” which is another big push in adaptive learning as of late.

Digital Developments

4. The fine folks over at EdSurge sure have been busy, releasing a Student Bill of Rights and Principles for Learning in the Digital Age (open for comment using the hashtag #learnersrights) and a map of recent education technology events.

Getting to the Core

5. Scholastic announced the launch of a new “Common Sense for the Common Core” – a website that aims to “unpack” the standards and offer instructional and professional development programs to implement the CCSS.
6. Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE) released Strengthening High School Teaching and Learning in New Hampshire’s Competency-Based System the case studies of two New Hampshire high schools that adopted the competency-based system. New Hampshire is one of the states highlighted in the upcoming DLN Smart Series paper “The Shift from Cohorts to Competency” that will release next week, co-authored by Chris Sturgis.

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

7. Academic Partnerships, collaborated with many of its 40 public university partners to launch MOOC2Degree, a major innovation in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). MOOC2Degree will allow students to earn academic credit toward a degree for their performance in the course. Stay tuned on Tom Vander Ark’s EdWeek column this week for an exclusive on MOOCs by KnowledgeWorks’ Lisa Duty.
8. This week marked some interesting big investments in adaptive higher edtech. In the “going global” category, HigherEd platform WizIQ raised $4M from Kaizen, an Indian private equity fund along with German Bertelsmann. In the “spend it” category,  Desire2Learn bought Degree Compass – in its third recent acquisition. In the “what they hope is” category, McGraw-Hill Education today announced a deal to acquire a 20 percent equity stake in Area9, the Denmark-based adaptive learning company to develop new adaptive learning products, both within and outside the higher education market.

The Big “D”

9. Schoology bets $250,000 to promote the open exchange of data, which challenges Student Information Systems (SISes) to create APIs. Stay tuned next week for an exclusive interview with the CEO of LearnSprout on the ways they’ve made data more accessible and manageable for schools and districts.

Movers, Shakers & Ground-breakers

10. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) announced the selection of Dr. Steve Paine as P21’s incoming President and Dr. Helen Soule as Executive Director.
DLN 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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