EdTech 10: Platform Progress

It wouldn’t be back to school season without a heavy dose of EdTech news worth knowing about. Building on our recent examination of next-gen platforms and privacy is big platform news from Knewton and DreamBox Learning, and student data stories from the Center for Digital Education and Data Quality Campaign.

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Blended Schools & Tools

Bringing Adaptive to the Masses. Knewton launched their highly anticipated free, open personalized learning platform. “Think of it as a friendly robot-tutor in the sky,” said Jose Ferreira, Knewton founder and CEO. The future of learning will be personalized and context-driven and this launch is a big step toward that future. 

That’s so meta. Based on meta-analysis of six products with 17,000 students in 50 districts, is Lea(R)n’s Current Realities in EdTech Use infographic and research brief. Understanding EdTech use, and how learner experience differs across multiple platforms, helped inspire our review of 14 next-gen learning platforms.

Digital Developments

Press play. Kira Talent and Hobsons have teamed up to form a new partnership that will allow postsecondary institutions to pursue video-based approaches to admissions. This is great news for secondary students who are beginning to navigate their HigherEd options. Here are eight tips to get a head start on finding the right college.  

Advancing assessment. MasteryConnect and TE21 announced a new partnership that will enable educators to monitor and report student mastery to parents and administrators. This partnership further confirms MasteryConnect’s status as a classroom game changer.

Dollars & Deals

Dreaming big. DreamBox Learning, closed on $10 million in funding led by new EdTech impact fund Owl Ventures and Tao Capital Partners. This round of funding will support in developing its pioneering adaptive platform. DreamBox Learning serves as a benchmark of how we can personalize the learning experience for student.

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

Community college come up. With support from Kresge and Gates, Boston-based Jobs for the Future (JFF) will begin accepting RFPs to build Student Success Centers in up to four states. Student Success Centers organize a state’s community colleges around common action to accelerate their efforts to improve student outcomes. JFF’s Lara Couturier recently joined us in examining navigating community college options.

4Cs. UConn faculty penned a series of research briefs, released by P21, that shares key aspects of conceptualizing, developing and assessing the 4Cs — communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. 

Teachers & Tech-ers

Eval reform. Public Impact’s new, five-step, free toolkit, Evaluation, Accountability, and Professional Development in an Opportunity Culture: A Practical Guide, shares for schools, districts, and states what they need to create an evaluation system that helps teachers improve their practice. A State Policy Brief was also released to support policymakers and advocates change laws and other policies to support Opportunity Culture-style school cultures focused on collaboration and excellence.

The Big “D”

State of states. In the 2015 state legislative session, 46 states introduced 182 student data privacy bills (up 72 from last year), 15 of those states passed 28 laws, on par with last year. As states address student data privacy (interactive map from the Center for Digital Education), policymakers need to know about how Data Backpacks and Expanded Learner Profiles can make a positive impact.

You got to watch this. Data Quality Campaign (DQC), Getting Smart Advocacy Partner, released a new video showing how data is empowering educators in Long Beach Unified School District in Washington State, to change instruction in real time to ensure they meet each student’s needs. DQC recently joined us in exploring two primary recommendations to power personalization and protect student privacy.  

From the locals. If you follow us on Instagram (@getting_smart), you might recognize our no shame #pnwwonderland love. With that love comes many things including a passion for the outdoors, tech, and the Mariners. That’s why we are excited to learn that Edgar Martinez’s Martinez Foundation Fellowship will join forces with TAF, a local STEM school here in Federal Way starting in October 2015.

For more EdTech 10’s check out:

DreamBox Learning and Data Quality Campaign are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners.

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