This week this spotlight of NBC’s Education Nation shined on innovations in learning–the stuff we focus on everyday at Getting Smart. Tom was excited to attend and contribute. Pearson launched a new site, The Parent Tool Kit- filled with tools, tips and guides to help parents navigate their children’s journey from PreK to High School. And CodeHS took the prize in the Innovation Challenge.
At Getting Smart, we are happy to continue to shine that well deserved spotlight on the interesting developments in education every week with the top 10 stories in EdTech.
Blended Schools & Tools
1. Hot off the epress. This week our team published the ebook, “Navigating the Digital Shift: Implementation Strategies for Blended and Online Learning”. The ebook brings together the best parts of the DLN Smart Series featuring updated sections and new forewords. Governor Jeb Bush introduces the new ebook saying, “Blended and online learning offer a new universe of content, opportunity and differentiated instruction, truly placing the student at the center of the learning experience.” To download the new ebook, “Navigating the Digital Shift”, visit the DLN Smart Series site or download it from Amazon, and soon from iTunes or Google Books.
2. Blended case studies. Check out two new case studies on schools leading the way in the shift to digital:
Mooresville Graded School District, one of our favorite 1:1 district models, is using Pearson’s 1:1 learning framework to find success at every level.
It’s Not Just About the Model: Blended Learning, Innovation, and Year 2 at Summit Public Schools, explores how Summit Public Schools (another Getting Smart favorite) have developed a rigorous, thoughtful process for innovation to continuously improve its blended learning model.
Keeping Tabs on Tablets
3. Not just about the device. The iPad challenges of LAUSD hit the media hard this week and Amplify Education’s specially designed Android wasn’t immune to challenging program launches either. “Dumbo drops don’t work,” as Frank Catalano notes in “Tech Happens: When Tablets and Schools Don’t Mix”, “Tech just can’t be imposed. It has to be integrated.” The education community is seeing a rise in Chromebooks, but we keep hearing the little voice in our heads saying the device alone isn’t the answer, it is how you prepare your teachers and what students do with it that counts. Still unsure how to accomplish that? See the new and updated Blended Learning Implementation Guide.
4. Smart leadership. If you haven’t had a chance yet, be sure to read Tom’s post this month, “Preparing School Leaders.” After a couple days of considering best practices and new opportunities, the experts outlined a 10 point plan to make leadership preparation more effective. In “Principals Changing Public Education”, Tom highlighted the great work School Leaders Network is doing to helping principals go from good to great.
5. Adding to their cart. Amazon is doing some shopping and picked up an interesting new item, TenMarks, the math instruction startup that provides K-12 personalized math curriculum. Looks like those Kindles might be moving from English class over to Math class, too.
6. Raising funds. Gobstopper has come a long way since we first shared a candy bar with them at SXSWedu last year. This week they announced they’ve raised $1.8M in seed funding to accelerate the development of its interactive digital reading platform for teachers and students.
For the Core
7. The results are in. Scholastic polled more than 20,000 teachers and found three-fourths of them think the Common Core State Standards will improve students’ abilities to reason and think critically. Only 8% say Common Core will have a negative impact on the classroom as schools retool to comply with the new standards.
8. Adding to your playlist. OpenEd Institute launched the largest collection of online education resources created to help teachers and parents of students find the best standard-aligned videos and games available on the web. Teachers can easily create playlists of videos to share with students and fellow teachers.
Teachers and Tech
9. Run, don’t walk! As if we didn’t have enough motivation already, New Milford High School is definitely at the top of “Must See Schools” list! Not only are they taking full advantage of open courseware for students, they are at the leading edge of professional development for their teachers, too. Read how Library Media Specialist, Laura Fleming introduced World of Learning to the NMHS staff, a digital badge professional learning platform with “a pinch of gamification.”
Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning
10. We finish with the tale of The Three MOOCs:
The first MOOC, Desire2Learn, came from Canada to start OpenCourses in which learners can take courses taught by professors from schools all over North America.
The second MOOC, launched by Harvard Business School is hoping to make HBS the world’s top provider of online business education.
And the third MOOC, Coursera is following up on it’s promise to offer courses globally as they announced the partnership with NetEase, a China-based Internet company, in order to expand course offerings across the ocean.
Hopefully the big bad wolf will leave them all alone and let them continue to contribute to providing access to high quality education for all.
Digital Learning Now! and Pearson are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners.