EdTech 10: Summer Lovin’

Schools may be coming to a close for the year, but the shift to blended and personalized learning doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. As this week’s top stories show, temperatures aren’t the only thing heating up. Check out all the great innovations on the rise this week!

Blended Schools & Tools

1. Snapshot of Success.The Learning Accelerator (TLA) (@LearningAccel) has released “Blended Learning Snapshot: EdTech Procurement in Houston” (HISD), the first in their Blended Learning Snapshot Series. The snapshot shows how HISD has put the Smart Series Guide to EdTech Procurement in action with a smart plan, strong leadership and meaningful goals. Check out TLA’s Daniel Owens describing more about the project on EdWeek.

Digital Developments

2. Support Initiatives Taking Shape. SETDA (@SETDA) announced partnerships with a new cohort of ten startups focused on serving K-12 education needs and The Alliance for Excellent Education’s (@All4Ed) Project 24 yields national support from AT&T to help school leaders make smart choices in edtech purchasing.
3. Districts Have Mobile, and Want More. Eighty-two percent of districts are “highly interested” in launching or expanding a 1:1 technology initiative within the next two years, according to a new report from Amplify (@Amplify) and IESD (@IESDInc). Districts reported at least one-quarter of schools had deployed mobile devices rose to 71 percent, up from 60 percent in 2013 and forty-four percent of districts surveyed said that approximately 75 percent of their schools had deployed mobile technology.

Dollars & Deals

4. Funding for Customization. Pathbrite (@Pathbrite) announced investments totaling $3.7M, led by Cengage Learning, ACT and Serious Change, paving the way for continued development of its rockstar portfolio platform.
5. EdTech Acquisitions. Plagiarism-preventor iParadigms will be acquired by Insight Venture Partners for $72 million. iParadigms flagship product, Turnitin is used by over 24 million students (1.6 million educators) at over 10,000 institutions. In other acquisition news, Student Hub Chegg (@Chegg) announced it is acquiring online tutoring marketplace Instaedu (now Chegg Tutors).

For The Core

6. Common Core: Better Standards, Conditions, Tools, & Outcomes. This week Tom blogged about Common Core, noting that three states have passed bills to pull their states out of CCSS with others sitting on governor’s desks. Tom’s post emphasizes the intent and promise of CCSS–common college and career ready expectations for all students that will make states more competitive, that is embraced by teachers and that has unleashed an avalanche of innovation.
7. District with a Vision. Danville leaders (@kids_inspire) and (@DrGallowaySwann) are clearly able to articulate what they want students to know and be able to do and performance-based assessment is how they are getting students to achieve success. Due to low test scores, five years ago Bate Middle School was on the state’s “watch list.” Now, it is a “must watch” for very different reasons. Students at Bate participate in a set of multi-disciplinary, cross curricular performance assessments that are designed to assess CCSS, ACT skill sets and 21st century skills. For more detail on what the impressive students are doing in Danville, read the story from our most recent visit.

Teachers & Tech

8. Professional Development Remix. Looking for some professional development reading to kick of the summer break, check out the new report from EdSurge (@EdSurge) on How Teachers are Learning and dive into what a 21st century teacher prep program should look like in Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning: Competency-Based Teacher Preparation and Development from Digital Promise (@digitalpromise) and Getting Smart.

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

9. Getting the Results. Pearson (@Pearsonreleased a new report “2014 College & Career Readiness Efficacy Results.” The report highlights the work of  15 institutions that partnered with Pearson to share their results using Pearson’s MyLab tools in data-driven case studies.


10. STEM Goes to the Whitehouse.  The President hosted the 4th White House Science Fair. Highlighted at the event were the achievements of female STEM students and the announcement of a $35 million Department of Education (@usedgov) program aimed to support the training of 100,000 new teachers. This summer, the administration has plans to expand the Americorps program to target schooling low-income students in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.
Pearson and The Learning Accelerator 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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