EdTech 10: #ThankATeacher

There is nothing more important for student success than an engaged educator.

That’s why we believe that Teacher Appreciation Week should really be every week. We’re big fans of EdTech, but we know the driving force behind learning is the commitment of educators fostering student-centered environments and experiences. This week we’re dedicating EdTech 10 to the outstanding Getting Smart Teacher Bloggers. THANK YOU for your commitment to innovations in learning.

Blended Schools & Tools

Teach For A Blended America. 120 new Teach For America (TFA) recruits will join Summit Public Schools this summer for blended learning training. TLA grantee BetterLesson recently launched Blended Master Teacher Project, which would be great prep. Don’t be surprised if these disruptive recruits make a big impact on how ed-focused national service programs do PD.

Digital Developments

SELing Feds on What Works. We’ve seen growing global interest in broader measures particularly for social and emotional learning (SEL). Social and Emotional Development: The Next School Reform Frontier is a new paper by Hugh Price at Brookings that showcases the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program while making the case that now is the time for federal policymakers to recognize the success of SEL for opportunity youth. One federally funded program already doing this is YouthBuild.

High School Students at the Center. Nellie Mae Education Foundation (sponsors of Smart Parents) is addressing the lack of research on the impact of student-centered learning (SCL) in K-12. Centered on Results: Assessing the Impact of Student-Centered Learning is their new report that focuses on the impact of SCL in secondary classrooms. Click here to download the accompanying digital toolkit to share on social media.  

On Board. On the heels of their recent badge announcement, IMS Global has launched the Executive Board on Assessment (EBA) to set industry direction in the acceleration of the transition to e-assessment. This advisory will speed progress on the path to personalization by improving teachers ability to combine content and assessments from multiple sources.

Career Ready. Providers of online career and technical education (CTE) curricula, Odysseyware, announced 16 new CTE courses for the 2015-16 school year. With CTE beginning to taking off in countries like Switzerland and secondary schools in Utah, one thing is for sure, CTE is opening lucrative alternatives to traditional pathways.  

Competent PD. As the CRPE examines systems at the district level, EdFuel is examining systems for ed orgs. Research has shown that ed orgs are more likely to retain staff with consistent investments in PD. In this spirit, EdFuel announced the release of competency maps for Phase 1 of their Blueprint for Success Initiative for orgs to improve their talent systems. As with ed orgs, competency maps play a vital role in the Triangle of Talent Development.  

Dollars & Deals

Out in Public. Content provider giant, McGraw-Hill Education, is planning an initial public offering potentially valuing $5 billion. They are expected to go public as soon as October following the back-to-school season when the company generates most of its revenue with textbook sales.

Micro Schools, Big Impact. Founders Fund is supporting AltSchool with $100 million to scale their personalized learning, micro-school approach by sharing or licensing their model to schools and districts. According to Michael Horn, the key to the development of the AltSchool model is a proprietary, integrated software backbone. Varying in size, philosophy, and cost, the one thing they share is a focus on personalization.  

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

Times They Are A Changin. From Kevin Carey’s “The End of College” to a recent Q & A with Michelle Weise on her recent paper “Higher Education,” there is a conversation building around the shifting HigherEd landscape. As new options in HigherEd emerge, GenDIY is taking notice.

The Big “D”

All in Favor. The Data Quality Campaign and The Foundation For Excellence in Education, Getting Smart Advocacy Partner, both responded in favor to the release of the Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act. Aimee Rogstad Guidera, President and CEO of DCQ, said the act is an important step, “To establish a framework of acceptable access, use, and sharing of ed data.” While ExcelinEd said, “It is a complex challenge to find the balance that protects students’ data – We commend the effort Representatives Messer and Polis made to strike this balance.”

For recent EdTech 10s, check out:


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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