Well, well, well… It’s that time of year again to look back on the progress made and say “that’s right!”
With 2016 just around the corner, this edition of EdTech 10 is all about looking back at the 10 biggest stories that crossed our desktops in 2015. But before we do that, here are six blogs that look back at 2015 in a mini #YearInReview series:
- The year of the mobile (finally)
- Google for the Win: The Ascendence of Chromebooks & Google Apps
- 8 Ways Crowdsourcing Advances Learning
- 8 Ways Machine Learning Is Improving Education
- End of Standards-Based Reform, Rise of Maker
- 1,500+ smart people doing innovative work
End of an era. In October, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced his intent to step down. With Arne leaving office, his service will go down in history as one the most active for the Feds in U.S. education. Consider this news the beginning of the end of standards-based reform.
— Tom Vander Ark (@tvanderark) October 3, 2015
Signed into law. For education policy this was a HUGE year. President Obama signed into law the bill that reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaces No Child Left Behind and holds significant implications for the field of K-12 education.
EdVestments. U.S. EdTech investment hit a record $1.9 billion, up from $1.4 billion last year. International EdTech venture investments added another $1 billion to the global total. The highlight reel:
- Professional learning: Lynda ($186M), General Assembly ($70M), Udemy ($65M)
- Platforms: Duolingo ($40M), Udacity ($105M)
- School/program management: AltSchool ($100M), Hotchalk ($230M)
— Carri Schneider (@CarriSchneider) January 12, 2015
Going public. Alongside investments in EdTech, two big news stories emerged when it came to IPOs. Instructure, creators of Canvas, debuted on with a double-digit gain while McGraw-Hill Education readied for its IPO.
Secondary version 3.0. The Regional Next-Gen School Design blog series and culminating Getting Smart on Regional Next-Gen School Design shared the stories of NGLC’s Regional Funds for Breakthrough Schools. XQ Super School applications opened this fall, and 2015 also saw the launch of NewSchools Catapult.
— Getting Smart (@Getting_Smart) November 2, 2015
Listify. In 2015 we witnessed the work of over 1,500 leaders, organizations and companies who made a positive impact for learners. After two months of publishing about 20 ‘Best of’ lists, the Smart Lists series was the most widely viewed and shared series on GettingSmart.com.
Now boarding. This year was big for the education conference circuit. The big four were ISTE (Wade), ASU+GSV (Chalmers), iNACOL Symposium (Lebron), and SXSWedu (Bosh). Here are 23 can’t miss education conferences to add to your calendar for next year.
— Tom Vander Ark (@tvanderark) April 10, 2015
Generation Do-It-Yourself. The close of 2015 brought the re-release of GenDIY. In partnership with The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation and eduInnovation, the GenDIY blog series on The Huffington Post and GettingSmart.com is cataloging their stories and generating a field guide for the new learning landscape.
Smart Parents. Just in time for back to school, Smart Parent: Parenting for Powerful Learning hit the shelves. The book features 60+ inspiring parent stories and and advice for parents on navigating educational options in the digital era.
Too much testing. The testing backlash that began in 2014 continued into and throughout 2015 with even Obama calling for limits. With the testing frustration news, the real news that the world is waiting for is better use of formative data. Good schools already know how their students are doing, and the news on testing this year echoed the fact that they don’t need a big test to tell them what they already know.
Breaking News: The Obama administration declares the push for testing in schools has gone too far https://t.co/wSJ8WFxVn2
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 24, 2015
For more EdTech 10’s, check out:
- EdTech 10: A Come Up From the Nation’s Capital
- EdTech 10: What You’re Missing During the Hour of Code
- EdTech 10: Change is the Only Constant
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