EdTech 10: Bigfoot, Behavior, Broad Prize & Blended Learning

All B’s this week.  Only a month into school and we’re learning about promising efforts to blend the best of face-to-face and online instruction.

We love the opportunity to share what we are hearing with you, so check out this week’s top ten “B” rated stories, and that’s “B” as in best for anyone that’s wondering!

Blended Schools & Tools

1. BLIG Takes #1 This Week – you can just say BLIG for short, but we also know it as the Blended Learning Implementation Guide Version 2.0. The absolute most current paper available today on best practices for blended learning also comes with a brand new updated infographic. Taken together, you’ve got everything you need to get started now.

2. Big Blended Gains in Indy: Students at the Carpe Diem Meridian campus in Indianapolis posted results on the NWEA assessments that demonstrated schoolwide average growth of three instructional years in reading and English language arts, four years in math, and three years in science in the school’s first year. Their state test results also showed striking student gains. Chief EduNeering Officer Rick Ogston says “I am more thrilled at the students’ lives that have been changed because of their newfound success. Great teachers who leverage technology can do extraordinary things in the lives of their students.” Read more about the reason why Carpe Diem is so proud of their students’ progress.

3. Bigfoot Spotting: this post didn’t just catch our eye because most of us call the Pacific Northwest home – it’s really because our good friend Alex Hernandez covered the great blended learning happening in Shane Donovan’s 9th grade Physics classroom at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School in Washington DC. With a combination of Google Drive and MasteryConnect, the things happening in Shane’s classroom are even more epically legendary than the spotting of a mythical monster!

4. Blended Leaders: we looked 10 promising next-gen school models and outlined what we think it means for developing next-gen school leaders.  Next week, we’ll take a stab at licensure–does it matter? How should it work?  Who should pay for leadership preparation?

Digital Developments

5. Broad Prize Goes to Houston ISD. Congrats to Terry Grier and the team at the Houston Independent School District, winner of the 2013 Broad Prize for Urban Education–for the second time. Check out our Smart Cities profile, an overview of the Apollo 20 school improvement initiative, and 1:1 plans–High School Students Get Laptops Next Year.

6. Broadband for all Students: thanks to roughly 800 educators, libraries, advocates, representatives from the telecommunications industry, and others weighing in, the FCC’s proposal to overhaul the federal E-rate program has passed.

7. Behave! ClassDojo Goes Global: The fast growing behavior mangement software introduced versions in 15 languages. There are already teachers using Classdojo in 120 countries in English but will be much more accessible world wide.

Teachers & Tech

8.Being Connected: It’s almost October and that means it’s time to celebrate connected educators once again. Sign up now & be ready to go on October 1st,  There are more than  170 events listed. There’s more great information in EdWeek.  #CE13

9. Better conditions & careers.  Like our friends at Public Impact, we’re always thinking about ways to improve conditions & careers for educators. This week they released a new brief,  An Opportunity Culture for All: Making Teaching a Highly Paid, High-Impact Profession. It explains how extending the reach of great teachers can start a virtuous cycle of excellence and higher pay for all teachers. We think it’s great to see focus on, “a new way forward—one that focuses on excellent teachers, but takes us to a brighter future for everyone.”

10. Boston Investment. NewSchools announced they will invest $1.6 million in 3 Boston networks: City on a Hill, Match Education and Unlocking Potential, showing continued commitment to high-performing charter schools. ”These three entrepreneurial organizations have proven that they can deliver great results for some of Boston’s highest need students,” said NewSchools’ Managing Partner Jim Peyser. “Through their expansion, these charter school operators will have an even greater impact on the transformation of Boston’s public school system.”

Digital Learning Now is a Getting Smart Advocacy Partner. Tom Vander Ark is a director at iNACOL. MasteryConnect and Class Dojo are Learn Capital portfolio company where Tom is a partner.

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