EdTech 10: ISTE… The Superbowl of EdTech

Be it the high profile edurati presenting on the latest and greatest, the attendees swapping notes and jokes, or the production of demos and panels big and small, ISTE really is the Superbowl of EdTech. Regardless of your opinion on deflategate, it’s difficult not to acknowledge the similarity of breadth and depth between the two paramount events. For example, with every Superbowl comes the announcements, news, memorable media moments that often define the weeklong event. Just like ISTE.

This week’s EdTech 10 is for everyone #NotAtISTE and for attendees still wrapping their heads around the conference’s magnitude. The top news from ISTE 2015:

Blended Schools & Tools

Two times. Google had two BIG Google Classroom announcements at ISTE: 1) New share button will allow teachers to share links and videos to entire classrooms, and 2) a new API will make it easier to integrate a Classroom roster with an SIS. Check out Tom’s highlight of Google Cardboard from the expo floor.

Peak performance. Since the launch of PEAK Library three years ago, FuelEd has reported an exponential increase in use by educators personalizing the online experience for students. Now thousands of content items are being utilized every month. Here’s six key lessons we learned with FuelEd from effective programs when it comes to successfully scaling personalized learning.

Digital Developments

The opening bell. While in Philly, Edmodo (see recent feature) announced the launch of Edmodo Spotlight. This new content marketplace is enables educators to access, sharing and discovery of resources to improve student learning.  

Bing things happening. Building on Microsoft’s focus on ed, Anthony Salcito VP of Education, announced Microsoft’s new Minecraft destination, Edmodo Office 365 integration, and the availability of Bing Pulse for classrooms. Anthony recently joined us in exploring why, when it comes to college and career readiness, coding is the most important language in the world right now.

In full bloom. Joining Edmodo with ISTE marketplace news is BloomBoard (where Tom is a Director) with the announcement of Series B funding and launch of BloomBoard Marketplace. Courses, eBooks, articles and videos are now available for free and for purchase. Here’s a past Google Hangout with Bloomboard’s CEO and Co-Founder Jason Lange.  

Dollars & Deals

Oi! London-based startup, Lost My Name, has raised $9 million in Series A led by Google Ventures. The “full stack” storytelling and publishing startup will use their new capital to scale globally. Don’t have millions but still looking to scale your program or school? Here’s four strategies.

Smart Parents

Setting the bar. Smart Parents have high expectations. In this spirit, US Dept. of Education Sec. Arne Duncan announced a set of rights that shares what families should be able to expect for their children’s education.

Stem Gems

Making moves. LittleBits, featured maker mover and shaker at ISTE, raised $44. million in Series B funding led by DFJ Growth. This is a huge vote of confidence for the producers of modular electronics kits who will use the support for growth areas.

Hot off the press. Leading digital content provides for K-12, Discovery Education, announced the launch of the Discovery Education Science Techbook. Now available to classrooms, the digital textbook is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards.  

Policy Pieces

Proficient in proficiency. WhyProficiencyMatters.com is a new website from Getting Smart Advocacy Partner, The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd). The interactive tool helps parents understand what proficiency means in their state. For more on ExcelinEd, learn about the upcoming series, Getting Smart on Personalization and Privacy.


Boot Camping. Wireless service provider, Kajeet, is participating in Cincinnati Public Schools’ AP Blended Learning program. Two week-long boot camps at Miami University and University of Cinci will guide students in blended learning practices.

For more 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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