EdTech 10: On The Come Up

With news like free programs for teachers to learn to how to code and build school websites, and the announcements of new fellows, a thought leading blog series, and investments, this week’s EdTech news was all about the come up. That’s to say this week was focused on successes and new opportunities to seize and succeed. In the spirit of progress, with teachers hacking instruction and engagement, parents skilling up with new resources, and new impact opportunities for Edupreneurs and philanthropy leaders we ask, how do we advance the public good?

Blended Schools & Tools

School sites. These days, your school website is crucial to your school’s success. Recognizing this is Wix, who launched WixEd, a free program that teaches Wix to teachers and district users what they need to know to launch their own website.

Suitable environments. For school and districts looking to blend, Michael Horn shares in a blog on Edsurge the need to reimagine the physical architecture of schools and classrooms. We recently talked school design on the Getting Smart Podcast with Victoria Bergsagel, President of Architects of Achievement. Listen here.

Leading Leaders

Music City EdLeaders. In the spirit of our recently launched Preparing Leaders for Deeper Learning paper, is a new report from Brown’s Annenburg Institute for School Reform that shares how biannual principal leadership institutes have led to transformational change in Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Dollars & Deals

Padded Platforms. Chicago-based mLevel raised $5.3 million from Atlanta venture firm BIP Capital. The spinout of Slalom, focuses on digital content, using a “casual” learning platform to train workers of primarily Fortune 500s. We wouldn’t be surprised if mLevel includes features of next-gen platforms.

Student Aid for Bootcamps. Financial tech startup Affirm, is it making possible for students at General Assembly, Bloc, (portfolio companies of Learn Capital where Tom is a partner), Kaplan’s Dev Bootcamp and Metis to secure 12, 15 and 18 month loans with interest rates ranging from 6 to 20 percent. This is welcomed news from GenDIY students who are exploring HigherEd options.

Stem Gems

Robot Rock. DFRobot released Vortex an interactive, programmable robot aimed at students 6 and up. Robots and maker tech were center-stage at ISTE this year. Check out Tom’s blog on the implications of maker tech storming the expo floor in Philly.

EduCoding. Coding may be the most important language in the world right now. That’s why we were excited to learn that Sunburst Digital, Inc. and Tynker are partnering to provide a game-based programming platform for teachers to improve their coding skills.  

Let’s Get Personalized

Getting personal. In The Hechinger Report, Rebecca Wolfe shared why personalized learning is especially good for students of color. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to orgs who have succeeded in engaging students in personalized, blended models like AdvancePath Academics.

First of many. Alongside OpenEd, the world’s largest resource library, we’ve launched a new blog series that explores how personalization is powering competency-based learning. Check out the first blog in the series, Formative Assessment to Initiate Personalized Learning.

Movers, Shakers & Groundbreakers

Next stop, Kendall Square. The MIT Media Lab, preeminent thought leaders in all things media arts and sciences, announced their 2015 Director’s Fellows. We love lists of inspiring people. That’s why this year we featured 80 EdLeaders we met at ASU+GSV70 difference makers from SXSWedu, and 100+ edutweeters.

For past EdTech 10’s, 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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