EdTech 10: Feel The Heat

Here at my home base in the balmy midwest, we’ve hit the peak of summer heat.  Teachers and tech-ers must be feeling inspired by July, because edtech news is hot, hot, hot this week! Lather up in SPF 50 and grab your shades – our top 10 shows the future of education is bright!

Blended Schools & Tools

1. NGLC announced $6.6M in funding to 38 grant recipients that are “working to personalize learning through whole-school models” in grades 6-12. Tom shared 10 signs from NGLC winners that reveal “where the blended universe is headed.”

2. We’ve been busy busting myths about online learning lately. One such myth is that online learners work in isolation on a computer all day. The FLVS launch of a high school outdoor education/PE course – now available free to all Florida students – is just one of many examples that proves otherwise. And, get this, successful completion yields a Florida Boating Safety ID card and/or credit towards Florida Hunter Education Certification.

Digital Developments

3. Our friends and fellow mythbusters at Digital Learning Now! have been cranking out great resources to help anyone who is spending their summer learning more about digital learning.  Check out the DLN Smart Series page for the latest papers and infographics.  Short on time? Soak up the highlights with the “Busting Myths about Online Learning” infographic. Have a little longer? Spend 40 minutes getting inspired by this conversation with Sal Khan, Jeb Bush, and Condi Rice.

4. In this week’s digital deals, ebook publisher Inkling announced a $16M round and partnerships with Pearson and Elsevier. Grovo, provider of more than 3,500 video lessons on internet tools & cloud services landed $55M in a round led by eHarmony’s Waldorf.

Teachers & Tech

5. It was a good week for coverage of teachers and technology. Our team really enjoyed Carving a Place for Blended Learning in the Era of Teacher Evaluation by Paul Roen – so much that we had to share it with our readers on GettingSmart.com. The fine folks at EdSurge showed What Real Collaboration between Teachers and Techies Looks Like. Pew Internet released a study that showed teachers believe digital tools encourage more sharing and collaboration. KQED Mindshift covered Khan’s summer roadtrip to train teachers across the land.

For the Core

6. A new website called Conservatives for Higher Standards highlights the support of most current and many former Republican governors and builds the conservative case for the Common Core. The site offers a useful myths vs. fact page, tools for parents and more. Read our coverage of the site’s launch here.

Policy Praise

7. This one goes out to all my policy peeps in the house. There’s much to celebrate this week in the world of policies that support access to innovations in teaching and learning. Demand for Louisiana’s CourseChoice pilot program has exceeded expectations and is now full. Idaho’s state dept of ed announced a $3 million pilot program to evaluate different tools that will guide future edtech decisions by putting them to use in current classrooms.

The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) and the College and Career Readiness and Success (CCRS) Center recently hosted a webinar on implications for state policy in competency-based education systems.

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

8. Don’t let anyone fool you! Blended is just as big in higher-ed as it is in K-12. This year’s Sloan-C Conference proves that. NGLC’s Nancy Millichap shared what we can learn from the this year’s conference. Eduventures offered thoughts on the “trend to blend.” If you don’t believe me & Sloan-C, here’s more from HuffPo who offered up “Blended Learning: College of the Future” this week.

9. In marketplace coverage from EdWeek, Sean Cavanagh explained how recent developments at Blackboard and Amplify reflect a “shifting landscape for MOOCs.” Head to Cavanagh’s piece for more on the implications for K-12.

The Big “D”

10.  There was big coverage of big data this week my friends. Check out NY’s data dashboard design deal (then say that three times fast.) Visit the “knerds” over at Knewton to hear Jose waxing poetic about big data in education.  Head to my local newspaper for a story with national implications from The Strive Network’s Jeff Edmondson, who has something to say about data as the key to problem solving in education. And if your big craving for big data still isn’t satiated, we’re sure DLN’s vision for the “Data Backpack” will leave you feeling satisfied.

Disclosures: Digital Learning Now!, FLVS are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners. Tom is a director at iNACOL.

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