EdTech 10: Signaling Supreme Confidence

Fresh from our trip to Orlando for the iNACOL Symposium (definitely worth checking out the photos), we were excited to return to news that focused on the current confidence in EdTech, specifically, personalized learning, platforms and in the leaders spearheading progress.

Blended Schools & Tools

For the reading list. The Hechinger Report’s three-year look into Newark’s school improvement process is available for download for free on hechingerreport.org. ‘A Promise to Renew’ by Sara Neufeld follows the stories of two students at Quitman Street Renew School. This e-book follows the release of The Prize that explores Newark’s school improvement and philanthropy effort.

It’s getting personal. A new study from the Gates Foundation showed that students using personalized learning strategies made greater progress over two years, than a group of students with similar demographic profiles. While at the iNACOL Symposium, these findings were echoed as learning leaders explored the many ways that personalized learning is being played out.  

Digital Developments

Getting connected. Microsoft launched a new fund to bring affordable internet access to underserved markets. As part of Microsoft’s Affordable Access Initiative eligible companies can now submit their application to join at microsoft.com. After Satya Nadella’s first year as Microsoft CEO, it’s clear that education is a higher priority for the company.

Dollars & Deals

Ready, set, IPO. Instructure, creators of Canvas, sold over 4 million shares to the public at $16 per share under the symbol INST. Might be worth looking into for the edupreneurs out there, as Getting Smart Teacher Blogger John Hardison recently shared that Canvas could possibly be the perfect LMS. Also see the review in Getting Smart on Next-Gen Learning Platforms.

And the winners are. The US Dept. of Education announced the 13 highest rated applications for the $113 million Investing in Innovation 2015 competition. Taking home the cheese with close to $20 million awarded to each grantee are the Children’s Literacy Initiative, National Math and Science Initiative, and New Teacher Center.  

Personalized postsecondary. The New Media Consortium (NMC) was awarded $3.2 million from the Gates Foundation to lead a postsecondary initiative in personalized learning. NMC is planning on using the funds to promote the adoption of high-quality personalized learning solutions, including courseware and integrated planning and advising services, to colleges and universities across the US.

Career, college, comeup. The private sector arm of the World Bank, the International Finance Corp., announced the investment of $7 million in CL Educate Ltd — best known for Career Launcher. This investment signals the increasing importance of platforms that focus on navigating career, college and life decisions explored in depth in a recent Getting Smart Podcast. One platform that should be mentioned in this conversation is BridgeU who raised $2.5 million this week.  

Stem Gems

Stacking. On the Getting Smart Blog, Maker Mom Marie Bjerede recently talked Minecraft with Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s Trish Cloud. Building on this conversation is news from Microsoft who announced the launch of a Minecraft coding tutorial that is aiming to empower 100 million students and teachers.

Let’s Get Personalized

Unbundling assessments. The Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers has now made available for purchase online testing offerings to expand its reach into states outside of the consortium of 11 states. This news echos our thinking from earlier this year on developments  innovations in assessments.


Teachers & Tech-ers

Micro-credentials, macro impact. Digital Promise’s new micro-credential platform for educators is now live! Over 100 micro-credentials are now available, 40 are focused specifically on Deeper Learning (see Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning). Listen to Rethinking Educator Professional Development with Micro-credentials, a Getting Smart Podcast where we talk micro-credentials with Jennifer Kabaker, Director of Educator Micro-Credentials at Digital Promise and Jason Lange, Bloomboard CEO.  

For more EdTech 10’s check out:

This post includes mentions of a Getting Smart partner. For a full list of partners, affiliate organizations and all other disclosures please see our Partner page.

Stay in-the-know with all things EdTech and innovations in learning by signing up to receive the weekly Smart Update.

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]

Discover the latest in learning innovations

Sign up for our weekly newsletter.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.