EdTech 10: News From “The Space”

Whether you’re focused on policy or parenting, a teacher or a student, thinking kindergarten or college, the innovations in learning just keep coming–it’s getting easier to learn anything anywhere. Here are the top ten EdTech stories of the week.

Blended Schools & Tools

1. Click Here to Update. Our lives are filled with automatic updates–on our computers, our smart phones, even our Google accounts. Shouldn’t that be what schools want when they think about investing in tech? Here are 5 reasons software as a service beats a content buy, a post inspired by the Smart Series Guide to EdTech Procurement Hangout. Don’t forget the infographic that pulls it all together!

2. ReFuel This Summer. Fuel Education (@FuelEducation) announced a variety of options for districts looking for online learning programs to offer through their summer school programs. The FuelEd summer school program provides the curriculum and support they need to have students catch up, get ahead, explore language or complete electives during break.  Also don’t forget to add Fueling a Personalized Learning Revolution in Secondary Education to your summer reading list.

Dollars & Deals

3. A Dream Come True. AltSchool, (@AltSchoolSF) a blended private school network based in Silicon Valley, raised $33 million from Founders Fund and Andreessen Horowitz to build money saving administrative systems.

4. This May Require a Field Trip. Media Company, Bertelsmann (@Bertelsmann_com) and Brazilian investment company Bozano Investimentos have partnered to launch a new $40 million fund for investing in innovative Brazilian EdTech.

5. Job Passport. As learning options expand, transcripts and credentials grow in importance. This week, transcript management service Parchment (@parchment) announced $10 million of expansion funding. In related news, we’re getting ready to share a paper on next-gen guidance systems for K-12 students and a paper on competency-based teacher prep.

Let’s Get Personalized

6. Walking the Walk in Maine. Nellie Mae Foundation (@NellieMaeEdFdn) funded case studies looking into district implementation for the Maine Department of Education (@mdoeNews). ComptencyWorks (@CompetencyWorks) posted a summary, Threads of Implementation: A Thematic Review of Six Case Studies of Maine School Districts Implementing Proficiency-Based Systems.

7. Projects to Scale. Known for their effective digital conversion, the Mooresville Graded School District announced plans for multimedia projects in 3rd, 6th, 8th and 12th grade. The projects will promote deeper learning and allow students to show what they know.


The Big “D”

8. Sailing the Data Ocean.  A new report released from Pearson (@Pearson), Impacts of the Digital Ocean in Education, highlights the challenges and the possibilities that technology affords in gathering good data and transforming it into usable information to help teachers reach students. Authors, Pearson’s Vice President of Learning Analytics Dr. John Behrens and Senior Research Scientist Dr. Kristen DiCerbo detail how data, social technology and gaming will all be at the forefront of education in the future.

9. Awarding Data Success. The Data Quality Campaign (@EdDataCampaign) awarded state and local leaders who have focused on using education data to support families and educators who are working to improve student achievement. Delaware Governor, Jack Markell (@GovernorMarkel) and the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation in Indiana have both received recognition for outstanding commitment to create communities and a culture that effectively use data.


Movers, Shakers & Ground-breakers

10.  Florida Made the Honor Roll. Digital Learning Now (@DigLearningNow) released state report cards last week and Florida joins Utah as an A rating for their education policy. Learn More Go Further was created to share lessons from Florida and support high common college and career ready standards.


Fuel Education and Digital Learning Now are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners.

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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