EdTech 10: Be in the Know Before iNACOL

Next stop, Theme Park Capital of the World. That’s right, next week we’ll be in Orlando on the ground live blogging, podcasting, and sharing GenDIY and Smart Parents at the iNACOL Symposium. Not registered? Go here.

As we pack, we freshen up with EdTech news to be in the know about before heading to the education industry’s leading K-12 event.

Blended Schools & Tools

A League of Their Own. El Paso Independent School District is one of 22 school districts accepted into Digital Promise’s League of Innovative Schools. The League now includes 73 school districts in 33 states, representing more than 3.2 million students. CEO and President of Digital Promise Karen Cator recently joined us in crafting 25 Impact Opportunities in US K-12 Education.

Khan on now. Sal Khan and his lab school were profiled in a blog on Wired that touched on his on the ground approach to competency-based learning — “He proposed a school in which kids work at their own pace, picking up core skills via software like Khan Academy, with teachers tracking their progress and helping out as needed.” For more on CompetencyEd, check out The Shift from Cohorts to Competency.  

Digital Developments

Catapulting into innovation. Last summer we featured the launch of NewSchools Catapult. 80+ applications were received, but only 14 were selected, including Houston’s A+ Unlimited Potential, Roots Elementary School, and Brooklyn Lab.

Dollars & Deals

SPED support. The US Dept. of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs awarded $4.8 million in grants for projects supporting SPED, with $3.6 million going to HigherEd institutions and organizations to promote accessible technology and materials. The Foundation for Excellence in Education’s Karla Phillips recently shared her personal story on how technology aids learning for students in special education.

We knew it. Knewton President and CEO Jose Ferreira submitted form D regarding $47.25 million equity financing, and was able to sell $42.25 million, 89.42% of the initial offer. Firms on average in the not disclosed sector which they filed, sell 67.77% of the total offering. This signals that trust in Knewton is very high following the launch of the open adaptive learning platform Knewton.com.  


Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

Decreed a degree. The University System of Georgia teamed up with Parchment to award Peach State citizens with some college credit, but no bachelor’s, an associate degree that they might have unknowingly earned. There has been lots of talk recently on free community college options. Jobs for the Future’s Lara Couturier suggests for students to choose wisely. 

Open to improvement. #GoOpen is a new campaign from the US Dept. of Education that encourages states, districts and educators to use openly licensed materials. The DOE is also proposing a new regulation that all copyrightable intellectual property with federal funds to have an open license. Online learning continues to grow in HigherEd, yet three quarters of faculty report that they are generally unaware of OER, and creative common licensing.

Let’s Get Personalized

SEL in standards. Fostering School Success with Standards for Nonacademic Skills is a new report that explores the reasons for including social and emotional learning in early education standards. NBC Parent Toolkit contributor Jennifer Miller recently shared why parenting with social and emotional learning is so important.

Teachers & Tech-ers

Transformational task. The Transforming Teaching Project is the latest call for change in teacher prep and professional learning out of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The project is organized around 12 key challenges. This new initiative echoes much of what is laid out in Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning.

Movers, Shakers & Groundbreakers

Handing over the baton. Vicki Phillips, Gates Foundation’s Director of Education is leaving by the end of the year. As the foundation celebrates their 15th year, Vicki is leaving a role where she was vital in leading college readiness efforts. No decision has been made public on a new director.

For more EdTech 10s, check out:

EPISD, iNACOL and the Foundation for Excellence in Education are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners. 

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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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