EdTech 10: We Heart School

School is back in swing, which means educators and their students are gearing up for another great year of learning together. We’re in that same mode here at Getting Smart- we want our readers to have every resource necessary and have it right at their fingertips in order to learn and grow everyday. That’s why we are assigning you homework this week: be sure to sign up for Getting Smart’s biweekly email blasts. You can enter your email address on our homepage  in the “Get Email Updates” bar underneath our social media links. It’s just a short assignment, but we promise it will be worth your time as the school year ramps up and it gets harder to stay on top of all that’s happening in the world of education.

Speaking of that ever evolving world of education, here are the top ten happenings that caught our attention just this week.

Blended Schools & Tools

1. We’ve been busy profiling great schools that are promoting Deeper Learning, and Tom’s been busy sharing our key findings with the blog-reading world. This week we featured the great work NewTech Network is doing with 130 STEM schools across 23 states and the launch of Digital Learning@NTN last year with 2 online project-based courses with students from 15 different New Tech schools.

2. We’ve been singing Maine’s 1:1 praises for awhile. It’s been an interesting statewide 1:1 strategy to watch develop. The big news out of Maine this week is that tablets are invading the laptop program.

3. Tom declared over a year ago the “i-Ready is Ready for Prime Time.” News out of New York this week confirmed his prediction. The New York State Education Department approved Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready Diagnostic for Reading and Math for Grades 9-12.

Digital Developments

4. Big news from big publishers this week. Knewton and Cambridge University Press announced a partnership (following last week’s Knewton-Pearson partnership news). Tom’s got the latest on McGraw-Hill, noting that Peter Cohen is also bullish on adaptive learning.

5. After its’ initial MOOC launch in the spring, The Alliance for Excellent Education & The Friday Institute released The Digital Learning Transition MOOC for Educators: Exploring a Scalable Approach to Professional Development, sharing the lessons learned and implications from the first iteration. And, registration is now open for the second offering of the MOOC, which will begin at the end of the month.

6. We learned about some cool new launches this week! Zaption launched its new interactive video learning platform. LearnBIG offers students of all ages access to over 14,000 community-reviewed OERs in one searchable spot. Want to hear more about open content in schools, Principal Eric Sheninger has taken the plunge and leveraging the power of OER with his students at New Milford High School over in New Jersey.

Power to the Parents

7. The Parent Power Index (PPI) from the Center for Education Reform revealed that only 5 out of the 50 states plus Washington, DC made real progress in meeting 21st century needs and parent demands.  Parent power elements measured include: charter schools, school choice, teacher quality, transparency, and online learning. Indiana ranked in first place. Where does your state fall?

For the Core

8. The Voices of the Dropout Nation featured Patricia Levesque, a mom who is also CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, who shared her thoughts on silver bullets and the need for Common Core. We think it’s a big Platform for Equity & Innovation.

Policy Praise

9. It wouldn’t be an EdTech 10 without a little education policy fun. This week, the fine folks over at CompetencyWorks reported on ACHIEVE’s Competency-based Pathways Working Group by listing federal policy incentives, barriers and issues surrounding competency education courtesy of KnowledgeWorks. (See our take on the The Shift From Cohorts to Competency.)

Come On Get App-Y

10. We heart time-savers. This week’s solution comes from AppoLearning for iPAD that aims to help parents and teachers determine which ed apps are worth buying. They join eSpark, EdSurge, EdShelf, and Graphite in the search for appsanity.

Pearson, Foundation for Excellence in Education and Curriculum Associates are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners.


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