EdTech 10: A Come Up From the Nation’s Capital

BIG news this week from Washington D.C. Despite the current partisan environment, both sides of the aisle came together to get ESEA reauthorized that was quickly signed by Obama. Meanwhile, the Department of Education (who we anticipate to announce the appointment of a new secretary in the new year) released the National Education Technology Plan that is emphasizing technology as a vehicle “to transform learning experiences with the goal of providing greater equity and accessibility.”

Cool Schools & Tools

EIE(io). While at The Foundation For Excellence in Education’s 2015 National Summit on Education Reform, Thomas Rooney, the superintendent of competency-based learning who pioneered Lindsay Unified School District transformation shared how his district redesigned to build the ideal learning experience for all students.


Not taken for granite. When it comes to CompetencyEd, the Granite State’s Brian Stack is an OG (here are a few of his strategies). In a blog on CompetencyWorks, he shared how understanding of competency-based learning has changed over the years.

Digital Developments

Open sesame. Canvas, Schoology, Edmodo (all reviewed in Getting Smart on Next-Gen Learning Platforms) will now feature OpenEd integrated resources. Adam Blum, Co-Founder & CEO of OpenEd recently share his insights into effective instructional games and videos.

Research & Reports

Keeping Kids on Track. A new report from Data Quality Campaign shares the importance of not only examining graduation rate, but making sure that the grad data is a true measure of a student’s preparedness for college and career — Read more.

Tipped off. IMS Global released the 2015 Learning Impact Report that shares themes, practices and recommendations for schools and EdLeaders in thinking through how they approach use of technology. Looking for procurement and implementation tips? Check out our guide to EdTech procurement and blended learning implementation guide.



It’s code for great jobs. Flatiron School, a new route to a great job, released its second annual jobs report. The results include some amazing findings: 40% female graduates, 1 in every 4 graduates were low-income, 98% job placement rate and an average salary of $74K.

Getting technical. As part of GenDIY, when it comes to the benefits of career and technical training we’ve featured stories of countries and high schools finding success with career facing strategies. In a blog on The Huffington Post, Jack Jennings shares the state of career and technical training.


Smart Parents

Great Parenting. GreatSchools and PARCC have collaborated on a new tool to support parents in supporting their kids’ learning by unpacking PARCC test scores through the new GreatKids Test Guide for Parents. Bill Jackson, Founder & CEO of GreatSchools, recently shared three habits of informed parents as part of Smart Parents.


Stem Gems

Teamwork makes STEAM work. This week featured two great examples of EdTech companies partnering to extend access. MIND Research Institute and Project Hope Alliance partnered to bring JiJi math to 32,000 homeless students, while Learning.com is joining Oregon administrators through OESPA to provide its TechLiteracy Skills Inventory for all 40,000+ of Oregon’s 5th graders.


Movers, Shakers & Groundbreakers

10 district leaders, 2nd personalized learning fellowship. Lexington Institute is sponsoring the second cohort of Lexington Education Leadership Award fellows that includes Juan Cabrera from El Paso ISD. “Education has been my lifelong passion,” Juan said when he was selected as superintendent of EPISD. Education Elements, was selected to facilitate the fellowship.

Around the horn. Michael Horn, author of Blended, left Clayton Christensen Institute earlier this year and will now lead the $25 million Robin Hood Education + Technology Fund that’s dedicated to improving outcomes for low-income students. Michael recently joined us in sharing how online learning is changing learning for GenDIY.

For more check out:

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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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