EdTech 10: Innovation and Education in the Same Sentence

By: Carri Schneider and Alison Anderson

It’s Coming! The newly updated Blended Learning Implementation Guide is almost here! On Wednesday, the “BLIG 2.0” will be live and ready for download. Why update a paper we wrote less than a year ago? Because we often see blended learning working wonders, like at Jeffers Elementary school in Las Vegas where the students use ST Math daily and have seen huge gains in their state tests scores and their student math abilities in general.  So much is evolving in this space, we are committed to keeping up with what are the best tools and methods available for our students. This week’s EdTech 10 alone is evidence that there is so much happening in the blended and digital learning world!

Blended Schools & Tools

1. How can we pick instructional strategies that will actually motivate students? The Christensen Institute Blog grapples with this question this week. Should we blend? What model? Do we wait for more evidence and better tools? If we try blended, which model? Thomas Arnett does a great job turning theory into practice.

2. Great news for parents and kids who want to get a jump on learning a second language at home. Rosetta Stone has launched their Kids Division by introducing Lingo Letter Sounds App, geared toward 3 to 6 year olds, available for free from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

3. The Aspen Task Force on Learning and the Internet wants to hear from you! The Task Force aims to better understand how we can optimize the web to improve learning for our students and you can help by answering some questions and having your voice heard!

4. Blended learning isn’t new. It aligns with how our brains work and good teachers have recognized that even before digital technology started being integrated into the classrooms. Arthur VanderVeen of CompassLearning explains more in Blended Learning Model Helps Students.

Digital Developments

5. Making progress here! A strong coalition of great education organizations are coming together around E-Rate reform to offers six principles to ensure a reformed and revitalized E-Rate program that better serves the needs of all U.S. students. For the full scoop, see the DLN: The Essential Guide To E-Rate.

6. Did someone say innovation and education in the same sentence? Gamedesk, launching Educade.org, was named one of Fast Company’s “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Eduction.”  Educade is an interesting site…and an interesting choice. It joined the growing lessons sharing space with sponsorship from AT&T.

7. Keeping good on our promise. We appreciate the Common Core, digital learning, and deeper learning and the Alliance for Excellent Education and we like their new site!  Check it out, All4ed.org.  Have you made plans for Digital Learning Day?  It’s February 2.

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

8. Deeper not thinner. We profiled high need schools this week that share six practices that promote content mastery, critical thinking, effective communication, collaboration, learning to learn, and academic mindset. We also watched Marc Chun’s TEDx talk, Diving Into Deeper Learning and added to our list of great deeper learning resources.

9. A digital campus? What’s that? Indiana Wesleyan University is partnering with Pearson to create a new suite of digital tools and resources for students and faculty including everything from ebooks to online course development to on-demand online tutoring. Sounds seamless and forward thinking… looking forward to the launch this spring.

10. No more Fs, or at least that’s the word in Milwaukee and many other districts in Wisconsin. Districts will no longer use letter grades on the K-8 reports cards and instead will use “a new scoring system that separates academic progress from social skills.” Admittedly it is hard for some, particularly parents to get used to but we love seeing the shift to competency based education. We like it so much, some of us are visiting this week!


Digital Learning Now!, Pearson, Rosetta Stone, CompassLearning and Mind Research Institute are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners.


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