EdTech 10: Innovation on the Brain

Team Getting Smart has “ innovation on the brain” this week (even more than usual) as we gear up for next week’s ASU/GSV Education Innovation Summit (#EIsummit). The Getting Smart crew will be there learning, speaking, and blogging about eduinnovation.  We’re excited and hope to see you there!  Take a break from packing for the Phoenix heat to check out this week’s Top Ten.

Blended Schools & Tools

1. The Philanthropy Roundtable released Blended Learning: A Wise Giver’s Guide to Supporting Tech-assisted Teaching. It’s a great complement to Digital Learning Now!’s Blended Learning Implementation Guide.

2. Webinars are the way to more info about blended learning implementation. Check out the on-demand webinar Intelligent Adaptive Learning: An Essential Element of 21st Century Teaching featuring Join Cheryl Lemke of the Metiri Group along with Tim Hudson of DreamBox Learning. Join Tom and Tim next week on Thursday, April 25, 2013, 2 to 3 p.m. ET for the Education Week webinar “Blended Learning & Your School” to walk through implementation decisions.

Digital Developments

3. This week brought a brand new iNACOL website and the announcement of the newly-named iNACOL Blended & Online Learning Symposium (AKA “the conference formerly known as VSS).  In other new website news, have you checked out the shiny new GettingSmart.Com yet? Let us know what you think!

4. It’s all about interaction and functionality. Compass Learning announced that its CompassLearning Odyssey software is now available for Google Chromebooks and other tablets and devices running the Chrome browser. Edgenuity announced tablet capacity and an improved student-centered online learning platform that will be available this summer. School Improvement Network launched LumiBook, the first-ever collaborative and interactive eReader platform for educational resources, that allows users to engage with the author, comment, share, build discussions and upload video and text content within the LumiBook itself.

5. Bertelesman signaled intent to spend $3.9B in the space, suggesting that the spree of acquisitions won’t slow down anytime soon.

6. Accessibility & connectivity are getting increased attention.  ISTE is circulating a petition to boost access to broadband Internet in schools. Help ISTE reach 100,000 signatures to get the attention of the White House.  FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel called for an overhaul of the E-rate program in order to ensure Web access for students and schools amid rising demands for online access.


7. The Next Generation Science Standards were released this week and include a greater focus on engineering, the interconnectedness of nature, critical thinking and demonstration of ideas. There will be less emphasis on memorization and learning scientific facts. Sounds like a great opportunity for me Deeper Learning to us!

Getting to the Core

8. In Core-alignment news, Pearson’s WriteToLearn™ unveiled some cool updates this week that take its integration with CCSS to the next level – adding 60 new, engaging writing prompts and new teacher features to support them. Curriculum Associates added updates to the BRIGANCE Inventory of Early Development (IED) to include new content, up-to-date validity and reliability research, and strong alignment to early learning and Common Core standards.

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

9. In the emerging “Blended MOOC” category, check out this free, for-credit MOOC from NextGenU that teaches emergency medicine, in partnership with Emory, and uses local mentor (a doc or prof) for hands-on skills like CPR or treating wounds.

Listen Up!

10. A joint OpEd from Gov. Jeb Bush and Gov. Jan Brewer details how linking student performance and funding works, telling their stories from Florida and Arizona.  Performance-based funding is just one of the four design principles for a student-centered funding system that will be highlighted in the next Digital Learning Now! Smart Series white paper that we’ll release next week. Stay tuned.

Movers, Shakers & Ground-breakers

Bonus: David Coleman continues attracting top talent to the College Board. Last week the former ACT president Cydie Schmeiser was named head of assessment; this week we learned Mark Luetzelschwab, SVP at Agilix, is new SVP of Digital Solutions.

Disclosures: Pearson, Compass Learning, Dreambox Learning, Curriculum Associates, and Digital Learning Now!, are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners.


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