EdTech 10: Viva la Longform

As writers in this increasingly digital era, we’ve learned that life isn’t just about tweets and Instagram captions. Evidence suggests the longform is alive and well– blogs and books are here to stay

Blended Schools & Tools

#AllTheBuzz. Agilix Labs, Inc., Getting Smart Advocacy Partner, announced the launch of Buzz, a personalized learning solution designed to focus on relationships and learning outcomes by supporting teachers in their efforts to keep students at the center of the learning experience. Read what we are excited about and hear why two teachers are all about Buzz.

Game on. Hobsons introduced a new game-based learning platform for college preparation and placement exams. The new platform dubbed Naviance Test Prep delivers content from publishers include Cengage Learning, McGraw Hill and MasteryPrep. This is great news following evidence that digital play can make students smarter.  

Digital Developments

Respecting privacy. CoSN, AASA, ASBO, and ASCD are taking a leadership role in protecting student data and communicating privacy policies and related measures to parents and communities. Their new Trusted Learning Environment initiative will allow school systems to communicate their efforts regarding privacy to parents, local communities and stakeholders. We are big on protecting student privacy, check out Getting Smart on Personalization and Privacy for more.

Platform performance. During the spring we reviewed progress on next-gen #LearningPlatforms. Advances included adaptive learning, lots of OER, and mastery tracking. Today we released Nex-Gen Learning Platforms, a summary of the Learning Platform Series that was made possible in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dollars & Deals

EdVestments continue. Online course provider Coursera is raising another $60 million (on top of the $85 million in the last three rounds) to serve the job training market. 

Despite the global market woes this week, EdTech still shows no sign slowing as Owl Ventures announced a $100 million fund joining the small handful of dedicated edu funds. 

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

Making a list, checking it twice. In the spirit of our annual Smart Lists, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014-15 list has been released. Great to see University of Washington high on the list, where Jeff Petty teaches at the Danforth Educational Leadership Program. Petty recently joined us on The Getting Smart Podcast to talk leadership development and talent incubation, listen here.

Smart Parents

Let’s go to the polls. Most Americans believe there’s too much emphasis on standardized testing in public schools according to the 47th Annual PDK/Gallup Poll. In response to this, Paige Kowalski, who recently shared the opportunity for states to provide secure data access to parents and educators, said, “tests need to give parents more than a number that lacks context or meaning.”

Let’s Get Personalized

Coexistence-based classrooms. Can competency-based education and the classroom teacher coexist? The SaaS Learning Relationship Management system Fidelis Education believes so. “There is technology to support truly personalized competency-based education. It is a new category called Learning Relationship Management (LRM). LRM is educational technology that helps teachers tackle personalized learning and high-touch advising for every learner at every step of the way,” they said. The case is growing that the future will be personalized, whether is internet or learning.

To scale and beyond. In an effort to move personalized learning out of the pilot phase, KnowledgeWorks released a state policy framework to support in scaling personalized learning. A State Policy Framework for Scaling Personalized Learning was released with support from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation (who also made possible our recent Smart Parents book). Matt Williams, VP of Policy and Advocacy at KnowledgeWorks recently shared the district conditions for personalized learning.

Movers, Shakers & Groundbreakers

New Chief. Chiefs for Change just got a boost with the addition of Dr. Michael Magee, who has joined the exec team as CEO. As CEO of Rhode Island Mayoral Academies, he led a bipartisan statewide network that brought mayors together to drive significant improvements to city schools. Speaking of RI…  The Rhode Island Board of Education and the Rhode Island Dept. of Education recently completed Rhode Island’s 2015-2020 PK-12 Strategic Planour takeaways.  

For more 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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