EdTech 10: Post-ISTE Grooviness

I’m thinking we can divide our readers into two categories this week: those who went to #ISTE13 and those who didn’t. Either way we’ve got something for you in this week’s EdTech 10 – whether you’re unpacking this weekend or still recovering from conference-envy.  For starters, check ISTE’s Top Ten Conversations from the Getting Smart Editor and ISTE-veteran Alison Anderson.

Blended Schools & Tools

1. Clayton Christensen Institute asked this week, What does blended learning really look like? and pointed to their beta Blended Learning Universe (BLU) as a great source that can help to answer that question. Check out BLU – The Getting Smart team gives it our “Groovy Seal of Approval.”

2. I’m guessing we aren’t the only people that have ever been asked for research that supports blended learning. Here’s another study to add to the running list. A new study from RAND and ETS for the USDOE – with involvement of more than 17,000 students and 375 teachers in 147 schools in 7 states – found that Carnegie Learning’s Cognitive Tutor Algebra I “nearly doubled” math learning.

3. Ready to hop on the Blended Learning Implementation Bus? Tom has 10 tips for launching a blended high school or phasing blended strategies into an existing school. In need of some additional inspiration? Check out what’s new in NYC’s iZone.

Digital Developments

4. Uh-oh, I feel the need to use the word “groovy” again, because Graphite from Common Sense Media is just that. Yelp for teachers? Consumer Reports for teachers? This free online tool for teachers evaluates and rates a wide range of learning apps, games, websites and other digital tools. Tom gave Graphite a big thumbs-up at Iowa ASCD (#IAcomped)

5. Apple announced iOS7 updates that will focus squarely on supporting educational applications of its devices included app store volume purchasing, streamlined setup, single sign-on and more.


6. iNACOL recently released OER State Policy in K-12 Education: Benefits, Strategies, and Recommendations for Open Access, Open Sharing. The report will be helpful to policymakers who are looking for ways to promote collaboration and deeper learning with OERs.

7. In other OER news, OpenClass Exchange from Pearson launched this week and includes  a catalogue of over 635,000 items, including videos curated from YouTube EDU, Khan Academy and TED Ed.  The OpenClass Exchange also includes a collection of complete OER college courses from the Open Course Library.  This week we also learned about a new OER resource from OpenEd Institute. (Track #OER for more.)

Teachers & Tech

8. BetterLesson is teaming up with the NEA to build on the success of the Master Teacher Project with the goal of transforming teacher development. They’re looking for top teachers to share the “how” and “what” of great teaching.

The Big “D”

9. There was ed data news in K-12 and higher ed this week. An update on two of the districts awarded RTTD dollars from T.H.E. Journal shows how Lindsay Unified and Charleston County are making better use of student data to monitor student progress, guide professional development and more. In #HigherEd news, Civitas Learning announced a $8.75M round that will help them expand to additional schools and build out its services. According to GigaOm coverage of the announcement, Civitas Learning “helps schools aggregate their various data streams – including Student Information System data on student enrollment and withdrawal patterns, learning management system data on how students are interacting with digital content, professors and peers, financial aid information and even swipe card data that reveals the school resources students are using. Then it analyzes the entire universe of data (both historical and current) to pull out helpful patterns and insights.” Cool.

Announcement Avalanche

10. Ed conferences tend to bring out the announcement in all of us. This week’s ISTE conference was no different. Head to these links for the deets on updates from CoSN, Dreambox, Edmodo, Promethean, Schoology, Scholastic, K12 Inc, GoClass, Kno, McGraw-Hill Education, and Teachley.

[Disclosures: Dreambox, K12 Inc, and Pearson are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners. Edmodo is a Learn Capital Portfolio Company, where Tom is a partner. Tom is a director at iNACOL. ]

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