EdTech 10: Pilots, Partnerships and Parents

This week’s Edtech 10 is brought to you by the letter “P.”

With announcements from President Obama, news on Podcasts, package deals on games, new research of parent perception by PlayScience, The Post producing new content, plans from startups, a public middle school contest, progress in the field of brain science, and resources for Smart Parents.

Blended Schools & Tools

1. Listified. NPR’s Lead Education Blogger, Anya Kamenetz, examines the state of EdTech and shares a list of questions she produced with Manoush Zomorodi, host of the New Tech City, and Adriene Hill, senior reporter for Marketplace’s LearningCurve project that parents should be asking when it comes to devices and implementation, a topic we explored in Smart Parents.

2. Game On. 30 games produced by Amplify Games are now available to schools and districts to purchase. Packaged as separate bundles, the games are designed to support middle school students in language arts and STEM.

3. Rewriting The Books. Six districts have joined a pilot effort to persuade districts to bring budgeting decisions in line with instructional priorities. Led by the Government Finance Officers Association, the effort is pushing districts to follow a budgeting process that requires long-term planning.

Digital Developments

4. iPodcasting. We’ve recently shared some amazing podcasts. But, few match StoryCorps when it comes storytelling. As part of Dave Isay’s TED Talk, he announced the launch of the StoryCorps app. The app enables users to listen to, and record stories to add to the StoryCorps library. Be on the lookout for the Getting Smart pilot podcast that will drop next week.

5. His or Hers? Parent perceptions about their child’s tech and media use is heavily influenced by gender according to a new study by PlayScience. Released at the 2015 Sandbox Summit, the study also explores how gender influences parent perception of device preference and educational value.

6. Mind Mapping. Carnegie Mellon University scientists have traced the processes that occur while learning. Published in NeuroImage, the study shared findings from the scanning of 16 healthy adults as they learned for the first time how four mechanical systems work.

7. In the News. The Washington Post and Newsela are working together to adapt articles for young readers at multiple levels. Newsela’s daily news will expand to include everything from national politics to sports, for grades 2-12. Similar to the Newsela news, Curriculet announced a content deal with USA Today, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster.

Dollars & Deals

8. The Come Up. $6 million in support has been committed to Socratic by Shasta Ventures, Spark Capital and Omidyar. The emerging leaders in content announced their new support in a blog by founder, Chris Pedregal, where he also laid out a five year plan. While degreed raised $7 million with support from Signal Peak.

Stem Gems

9. Count It. $240 Million in new private-sector STEM funding was announced by President Obama. The announcement was made as part of the 2015 White House Science Fair and has now pushed Obama’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign to over $1 billion.

10. Fabulous Makeover. The Fab School Labs contest from the Northrop Grumman Foundation will open to public middle schools on May 4. Schools can submit for a lab makeover and one of five grants totaling $100K until August 28.

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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