EdTech 10: Bush, Boston and Bukowski

Team Getting Smart spent the back half of the week in Boston at #EIE13, the National Summit on Education Reform (and Bukowski Tavern enjoying a huge selection of beer, epic microwaved cheese dip and our favorite Bukowski poems).

Digital Developments

1. ExcelinEd. After a tour of MIT Media Labs on Wednesday, Tom led a session for policy makers at Microsoft NERDcenter on the Learning Opportunity & What it Means for School Finance. At #EIE13, Jeb Bush urged the gathered to keep students at the center of Edreform.  We recapped a half a dozen digital Digital ExcelinEd Summit sessions, and Tom closed the conference by leading a discussion about how Transparent Student Data Can Transform Education.

2. Speaking of summits. In preparation for the 2014 ASU GSV Education Innovation Summit, Mike Moe and Deborah Quazzo invited a group of advisors to contemplate the burning questions about innovations in learning. Tom covered the 10 Burning Questions About Innovations in Learning they covered.

3. All call for competency. This grant opportunity from the Nellie Mae foundation is to help provide “new information and insights into the contexts, components, outcomes, and potential of student-centered learning approaches to education.” Perfect opportunity for education reformers to influence policy, public consciousness and educational practice. Hurry though, the deadline for proposals is October 30th.

4. Beyond the bottom line. Scholastic’s Richard Robinson sat down with the Wall Street Journal to discuss the future of education and why Scholastic is now “betting heavily on education technology.” His answer has little to do with the bottom line, explaining: “What we can do today is help you adapt to Common Core standards with services that you can use to move your kids from here to there. It’s a different model than what has happened before in education. And it’s a model that will have a much bigger impact on the way children learn and the way that schools perform.” (See our April coverage.)

Start Your Engines

5. Startup Boston. Pearson announced strategic partnerships with Boston’s Exponential TechSpace, LearnLaunch and the associated accelerator that will benefit from Pearson mentorships. There is a 11/22/13 app deadline for the second edtech accelerator cohort.

6. Leftcoast startups.  NewSchools and Zynga (the folks behind FarmVille and other Facebook favorites) showcased their first Co.lab ed-tech accelerator class this week including Kidaptive, LocoMotive Labs, Motion Math, Pluto Media, and Edmodo. Co.lab will begin accepting applications for its second group in about a few weeks.

Teachers and Tech

7. Luis & TED. Here’s a great one from Broad Foundation’s personalized learning evangelist Luis de la Fuente that’s a good one to share with teachers, parents and students on “Making School A Game Worth Playing.”

8. Preparing teachers. The Hewlett Foundation’s is committed to ensuring Deeper Learning for all students–and teacher capacity is an essential component. Tom spent some time last week with a handful of Hewlett grantees mapping out what teacher prep should look like (building on the previous week feature on Preparing School Leaders).

9. Digital citizens. Next week is Digital Citizenship Week and what better way to celebrate than signing up for FLVS brand new elective course in Social Media. Although we might consider this a native language for our students, this course helps them develop an effective voice through social media while  also focusing on online decorum and eradicating online negativity among students.

Higher, Further, Faster

10. ReLMS. Some former Blackboard execs at Gilfus Ventures claim they are taking on Blackboard, D2L, and Instructure with the acquisition of Adrenna, a Drupal learning management system (LMS) that is supposed to be easy to configure. Speaking of next gen platforms, SRI will host an international delegation next week and invited folks from Stanford and Google. More on next-gen platforms (and why we don’t have any) next week.


Digital Learning Now!, FLVS and Pearson are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners, Edmodo is a Learn Capital portfolio company where Tom is partner.


Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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