EdTech 10: It’s a Small World

What do you get when 3,000 forward thinking education leaders travel to Disney World? A hot and humid yet cheerful news week at the iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium. Between visiting Mickey, attending sessions, recording podcasts at the #VoicesHub and P2P Exchanges we wanted to make sure you stay up to speed in all that is EdTech news.

Blended Schools & Tools

#NextGenHS. The first-ever Summit on Next-Generation High Schools (#NextGenHS) took place yesterday in Washington, D.C. and focused on rethinking the way U.S. high school education is delivered. Attendees were chosen based on information provided on new, specific and measurable steps the organizations were taking to support next-generation high schools. During the Summit the White House announced $375M in funding for next-gen high schools. A few other Summit highlights include:

  • Andrew Brennen of the Student Voice movement announced plans for a nationwide tour
  • Bob Lenz of The Buck Institute for Education highlighted their work assisting teachers with implementing project based learning (PBL) in the classroom

See our feature for more from the Summit.


Now Launching. Planning to start an innovative school next fall? NewSchools has announced Catapult 2016, exclusively for schools that are personalizing learning by rethinking learning experiences, time, talent and technology. Apply by January 11, 2016.


Digital Developments

Equitable Access. Between their Blended and Online Learning Symposium and their newly published Course Access: Providing Equitable Access to High-Quality Learning Opportunities, our friends at iNACOL have had a busy week. The report provides the essential elements of a successful program and how course access can addresses quality and equity in education.

Time is of the Essence. Short cycle trials create greater opportunity for technology to impact learning. Seeing that potential, Lea(R)n Trials has released a transparent framework that enables phased rapid-cycle evaluation of learning tools. This new method will provide field feedback and allow for productive collaborations between educators, researchers and product developers.

Prep for Success. Award winning i-Ready just got even better this week when Curriculum Associates launched their major enhancement. i-Ready Standards Mastery gives schools real-time insight into student mastery along with instructional recommendations for teachers.

Dollars & Deals

Smart Assessment. The Center for Innovation in Education and NGLC want to “catalyze new and scale existing innovations in assessment for learning design” with the “Assessment for Learning Project”. $2 Million in grants is up for grabs if you’re an educator that is rethinking the role assessments can play to support Deeper Learning. Applications are due December 10, 2015.

Big Money. Exciting funding announcements happening this week in the world of edtech:

  • Schoology, used by more than 12 million users in 130 countries, has raised $32M to increase the scope and power of its education cloud.
  • New Profit announced a four-year, $15 M pilot supported by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will expand nonprofit capacity building efforts.

Stem Gems

Code with C-3PO. No need to travel to a galaxy far far away to get your next lesson in coding. Students will be using “the force” to learn computer science with Princess Leia, R2-D2 and C-3PO through a Star Wars-themed online lesson from Code.Org and Disney.

Let’s Get Personalized

Innovative PD. A new micro-credentialing system launched by Digital Promise and Bloomboard will provide teachers an opportunity to personalize their own learning and gain recognition for skills and knowledge. Check out their library of more 100+ micro-credentials.

The Big “D”

For Your Reading Pleasure. This week was marked by the release of several key pieces of research on improving student achievement during the transition to digital.

K12, iNACOL, Curriculum Associates and Buck Institute are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners. Tom is a director of Bloomboard.

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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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