EdTech 10: Eduinnovation Nation

This week, leading education innovators headed to The 7th Annual ASU GSV Summit. The Getting Smart team on the ground in San Diego reports a focus on the future of work, cultivating talent and global access to education opportunity.
It’s not too late to join the action via the Livestream and on Twitter. Late to the party? No worries, the #ASUGSVSummit hashtag is a great highlight reel.

Blended Schools & Tools

  1. Raising the blended learning bar. Raise Your Hand Texas announced the five winners of the Raising Blended LearnersSM initiative. Each of the five demonstration sites will receive up to $500,000 in grant funding and comprehensive support over three years to serve as proof points for the effective implementation of blended learning.

2. Adoption announcements. EdTech companies across the country are announcing an increase in school and district customers. Widely-used SIS PowerSchool announced it is now serving more than 17.5 million students and counting, with 75% new customer growth. In Getting Smart’s own backyard, Tacoma Public Schools announced selection of i-Ready Diagnostic as their new student assessment system for grades K-10–a Curriculum Associates product that scored 94.68 out of 100 in Tacoma.

Digital Developments

3. Clever code. Clever, an online company offering districts a way to manage and secure all of their learning applications, announced a new product to help young students who struggle with password entry access their apps without typing a username or password. With Clever Badges, students use a simple QR code to access all of their learning applications. Using the camera device on their computer, the student flashes the QR code and is instantly logged in.

Dollars & Deals

4. Yes, sensei. ClassDojo raised $21 million in a Series B round of venture funding for tech that connects educators and parents to help them communicate consistently throughout the school year about student’s activities, social and behavioral development at school, instead of a once-a-semester parent-teacher meeting.

5. Growing globally. CareerFoundry, an online learning platform for for tech students interested in web development, iOS development, UX and UI Design, announced it closed its A round with $5m from investors to launch the world’s largest tech career learning community. Student enrollment for the platform has increased 1,000% in the last 12 months, and it has grown into a community of several thousand actively engaged students, mentors and employers globally.

Stem Gems

6. Full STEAM ahead. littleBits is bringing STEAM education and invention-based learning to students everywhere with its newest suite of products. The littlebits STEAM Student Set is designed to engage students in problem solving, creative thinking and collaboration through invention-based learning. The littleBits STEAM PD is an online course for teachers and administrators looking for instruction on how to add fun and hands-on STEAM learning to their 3rd-8th grade curriculum.

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

7. Social partners. Pearson and the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) are partnering to expand access to UNR’s online Master of Social Work degree program beginning in the 2016 fall semester, which is expected to serve more than 500 students. The program will extend to other states as well, with a particular focus on rural and hard-to-reach areas to create opportunities of access for students to higher education.

Policy Pieces

8. Pathway to equity. How can new instructional models provide more powerful, personalized learning experiences driven by learner needs and interests to ensure innovation for equity? iNACOL’s Susan Patrick and the Office of Educational Technology’s Bernadette Adams recently released this blog to answer this question, and include several resources and reports to help educators on the path.


9. Next-gen career advice. LinkedIn is seeking a younger audience with its newly launched app for Android and iOS. LinkedIn Students offers college students a look at career paths their degrees will afford them once they graduate. The app will suggest roles based on education, surface job listings for selected majors and deliver career advice content through a card-based interface. Check out our GenDIY career advice in Three Best Practices for GenDIY to Build Successful Career Pathways

Teachers & Tech-ers

10. Teaching the teacher. The Urban Teachers residency program, a nonprofit group that trains aspiring teachers in Washington and Baltimore, is one of many new alternative routes to becoming a teacher that have sprung up to address concerns regarding higher standards in teaching educators. Urban Teacher participants are immersed in a four-year program where they work full-time in the classroom, observing and teaching alongside a more experienced teacher.

For more see:

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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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