EdTech 10: Summer Off? No way!

Our blog stats are telling a compelling story this summer. Teachers this summer are soaking up more than sunshine!  We’ve noticed that our recent posts with teaching resources are making their way around the internet faster than a barefoot kid running across hot pavement!  We’re happy to be a resource for teachers who are spending their summer “on” the hunt for new tools to shape their classrooms come fall.  Here are some of the hottest recent posts for teachers: 10 Tools Every Teacher Should Master, Experts Weigh in on K-12 Coding & CS Resources, 3 Tech Tools For the First Day of School & 40 Sources of Curated Educational Videos.

Blended Schools & Tools

1. The Learning Accelerator is looking for help in creating a national pricing database for ed tech hardware (desktops, laptops, tablets) to improve purchasing efficiency and save school districts time and money. Interested? Participating districts get early access (info is anonymous via aggregation) and will be included in discussions/news of findings. Contact TLA for more info!

Digital Developments

2. Heavy-hitters and change gurus Michael Fullan & Katelyn Donnelly released “Alive in the Swamp: Assessing Digital Innovations in Education” this week to a warm reception from the ed community. We’ll add to the great coverage the report has already received with a summary of our chat with Michael Fullan that will run Monday on EdWeek.

3. Recent activity on the road to E-Rate reform has garnered lots of support from leaders in the edtech policy space. The FCC held an Open Meeting late last week to approve the NPRM.  Keep an ear to the ground for ways you can contribute to shaping E-rate reform as the comment period moves into full swing over the coming weeks.

4. “These are kids that are going to change the world.”  Pearson, launched its Catalyst startup accelerator program earlier this year and received over 200 applications from EdTech startups. “It’s a slightly different approach to what people have done traditionally. We looked internally for challenges in the business that we knew could be addressed by partnering from the outside,” says Diana Stepner, head of future technologies at Pearson. Six were chosen in June to start & they’re now on a three-month pilot, building out the apps and services solving challenges specific to Pearson.

5. Last month our friend and partnership guru Greg Butler left Microsoft to launch Collaborative Impact. Their first initiative is the Collaborative Assessment Alliance, a multi-stakeholder partnership between Intel, Microsoft and Promethean, which builds on the work of the Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills project. The aim is to help education systems provide the measures to guide teaching and learning of 21st century skills. This week they released a great paper, New Pedagogies for Deep Learning, written by Michael Fullan, Maria Langworthy and partners.

6. K12 Launched EmbarK12 – a comprehensive, all-in-one pre-K program offering both online and offline activities for kids ages 3-5. This curriculum program helps parents to play an active role in their children’s learning and is aligned with state and national standards and with core principles of early childhood education established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and Core Knowledge Foundation.

Let’s Get Personal(ized)

7. Achieve, the leading advocate for college- and career-ready standards, posted an important policy resource this week:Advancing Competency-Based Pathways to College and Career Readiness: A State Policy Framework for Graduation Requirements, Assessment and Accountability. Check out Getting Smart coverage of the report.

Teachers & Tech

8.Three cheers for next-gen PD! Ohio’s Board of Regents announced a partnership between PD-provider edWeb and  ilearnOhio that will allow teachers “to engage, network and collaborate with their peers and national education thought leaders; as well as gain access to free professional development resources and training.”

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

9. The Chronicle reports that “The Future Is Now” and points to 15 pieces of innovation evidence. This week we spotted evidence in Florida, where Broward College was selected for a $300,000 grant for the development of MOOCs in foundational subjects.

The Big “D”

10. Big partnerships make big sense when it comes to big data. This week Big Campus and Clever announced a partnership to enhance SIS integration.  Clever CEO Tyler Bosmeny explains, “My Big Campus is a huge step forward in creating student learning communities, and we’re proud to provide SIS integration, so that teachers can focus on developing these communities and not updating student accounts with accurate roster information.” (Hey Tyler, you’d be amazed to know how many people ask where I got my Clever t-shirt.)  Are you anxious to get work behind the scenes in big data? Check out UC Berkeley’s the nation’s first fully online Masters program for Data Scientists.

Disclosures: K12 and Pearson are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners.

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