EdTech 10: Superhero News Makers

Edtech is moving faster than a speeding bullet! Organizations are leaping tall buildings in a single bound! Teachers are equipping themselves with the tools to become more powerful than a locomotive!  And, we’re taking note of all the superheroes on the scene. Don your cape, your mask, and your spandex. Here are this week’s edtech super heroes!

Blended Schools & Tools

1. We trust the opinion of someone who left a home in Hawaii to pursue the perfect blended learning school. Check out Wonder Woman Heather Staker’s look at the growing slate of personalized schooling options available to parents across the country this year.

2. The Wonder Twins aren’t the only ones ready to “Activate.” In a partnership that includes Summit Public, one of our favorite “super schools”, Activate Instruction is a new superhero on the edtech scene that organizes resources around students.  Need even more activation? Activate ED is pretty rockin’ too.

3. The Dynamic Duo of The Pearson Foundation & The Partnership for 21st Century Skills have joined forces to launch the Patterns of Innovation: The 21st Century Learning Exemplar Program to showcase schools, educators, and students from around the country that have embraced the P21 Framework.  In another supercool partnership, Pearson is working with HBU Howard University to launch “Howard University Online” with the goal of creating up to 25 online programs in the coming years.

Digital Developments

4. Digital Learning Now!, a strong candidate for The Justice League, released a great policy brief on e-rate.  It’s a topic we should all be learning more about and tracking closely as the NPRM process continues this fall.

5. What’s a superhero teacher without a trusty sidekick? Here are some great updates from some of the tools we hear teachers trust most. ClassDojo announced a new ‘class sharing’ feature (POW!) and Edmodo unveiled a streamlined design during EdmodoCon, which will be archived and shared later this month (BAM!). In tablet news, Intel released android-powered education tablets in both 7 inch and 10 inch options (BOOM!).

6. WICHE has apparently taken a dose of Captain America’s super-strength serum. This week The WICHE Cooperative for Education Technologies (WCET) announced that they will co-host a MOOC on “Badges as New Currency for Professional Credentials” with Mozilla, Blackboard and Sage Road Solutions. WICHE & partners also announced at $2.3 million grant from Lumina to create the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), that will create interstate reciprocity in the regulation of postsecondary distance education.

7. ED is sending up a bat signal and inviting us all to respond. The topic? How to evaluate statewide assessments. Grab your cape and swoop in to help.

Let’s Get Personal(ized)

8. If you could pick your teaching superpower, what would it be? Invisibility? Flying? Easily personalizing instruction in a well-established competency-based system? Here are three stories to help with at least one of those: Competency-Based Transcripts from Inside Higher Ed,  Pace Yourself from Blend My Learning, College & Career Readiness in a Competency-Based System from CompetencyWorks.

Policy Praise

9. Everyone has their favorite superhero right? Or maybe, just maybe, your husband had to spend a hefty chunk of dinner explaining the difference between Marvel and DC. Either way, it’s fun to root for the good guys. That’s why we spend time looking for superhero states who are out there working hard for kids. This week we highlighted Utah’s Student Achievement Backpack Bill (and also believe Robyn Bagley deserves a giant “S” across her chest.”)

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

10. You know how Spider-Man uses his web to nimbly sail across the skies?  Well, Udemy’s announcement of its global reach to more than 1 million students with 8,000+ courses and the launch of sitewide support for 9 languages kind of reminds of that.  And we’re pretty sure there’s at least one student out there willing to give Udemy a big upside-down Spidey Smooch.

Digital Learning Now! and Pearson are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners. ClassDojo, Udemy, and Edmodo are Learn Capital Portfolio Companies, where Tom Vander Ark is a partner.

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