EdTech 10: Taking a HigherEd Path

We know from our GenDIY series that traditional college isn’t for everyone but shouldn’t everyone at least have the opportunity to make that choice for themselves. That’s why this week’s EdTech10 shares stories on schools focused on sending students to college, new edtech platforms helping students and staff collaborate on campus, Pell Grants for dual college credit and more.

Blended Schools & Tools

1. A great idea. IDEA Public Schools Austin announced that it will serve 20,000 students in 20 new schools by 2022. The expansion is made possible by a $16 million donation from the KLE foundation, which supports IDEA’s mission of College For All Children. When fully scaled, IDEA Austin’s 26 schools throughout greater Austin will send more than a thousand students to college every year, most of whom will be the first in their families to earn a college degree.

2. Promising research. Digital Promise is offering a new way to view and interact with education research through its recently launched Research Map to help education leaders, policymakers and technology developers quickly access education and learning science research findings that can inform their work

3. An apple for teacher. Apple is providing 114 schools nationwide with an iPad for each student, a MacBook for each teacher and an Apple TV for each classroom to help spread access to technology. Apple will also assigns employees, all former teachers, to spend 17 days a year at each school, training teachers and helping prepare lessons, recommending apps and demonstrating techniques on teaching with iPads.

Digital Developments

4. #EdPolicyOnline. ExcelinEd launched a new MOOC as part of their #EdPolicyOnline series–“How Do We Stack Up? Using OECD’s PISA to Drive Progress in U.S. Education”– that dives into the OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). The course also explores how EdLeaders can use PISA and the OECD results to help create strategies to better prepare all students for success in a global economy.

5. College drop in. Dropbox recently announced its launch of Dropbox Education, a version of the business service tailored to higher educational institutions. The first version of this service is aimed at helping faculty, staff and graduate students at universities share files and collaborate on campuses.

Speaking of dropping in, a couple of us visited Fremont California where 42 opened a free code school. Check out the TechCrunch story.
6. Sign of the times. Educational content company Cengage Learning reported that its digital unit sales outpaced print textbook sales for the first time ever this fiscal year. The company activated 3.5 million digital units for students as it continues transitioning from a traditional print publisher to a digital education company.

Dollars & Deals

7. Recent ed-tech funding:

  • Nearpod, an ed-tech platform that helps K-12 teachers find, create and distribute digital learning experiences to students, announced it received $9.2 million in funding led by Reach Capital. With the new financing, Nearpod intends to grow its team and product pipeline in order to meet the demand of school districts and teachers.

  • Listen Current recently raised $600,000 in funding, making the startup’s total raised to date at $1.45 million. Listen Current offers teachers audio stories from 15 public radio partners as well as comprehension and discussion questions for free, to engage students in everyday classroom topics while helping them build literacy skills.

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

8. Let’s dual. The Department of Education is inviting 44 postsecondary institutions to participate in an experiment that allows students taking college-credit courses to access Federal Pell Grants as early as high school. An estimated 10,000 high school students will have access to approximately $20 million in Federal Pell Grants to take dual enrollment courses provided by colleges and high schools throughout the nation, with community colleges representing nearly 80% of the selected sites. Better access to college courses in high school is great–but it should be free. 

Let’s Get Personalized

9. A Commitment to Social Emotional Learning (SEL): The YMCA will be leading a webinar to showcase the work being done across the US to improve social and emotional skills among the organization’s highest needs students. Hosted by Apperson, the free, June 16th webinar, will discuss how SEL programs can close the achievement gap as well as offer strategies and examples of national efforts to help high-needs students succeed. To register for the webinar, click here.

Movers, Shakers & Groundbreakers

10. Mini must-sees. ISTE announced its ISTE 2016 EdTeckTalks speakers, which feature mini-keynotes from thought leaders beyond the world of edtech. Attendees will hear from speakers representing the worlds of engineering, aviation, agriculture, science, exercise and social science on Monday, June 27 from 2:30-4:15 p.m.

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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