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Audrey’s Excellent Adventure: Top 10 EdTech Startups

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Audrey Watters covers the edtech space--particularly startups--really well. Last week she published her top 10 list of startups. We thought it was worth sharing.

Top 10 Stories in Education in 2011

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After reflecting on the ed-tech space over the last year, I have aggregated the top 10 stories in education (technology). Where the pieces settle will be largely up to the oncoming year, but we think the following trends have the potential to hugely change the education landscape.

Education Evolving: Five Predictions for Higher Education—2012

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An adult with a bachelor’s degree will earn about one third more over a lifetime than someone who doesn’t complete college. And today’s employers are increasingly requiring degrees as a prerequisite for high-skill jobs. To remain employable and guarantee financial security during extended careers and into retirement, millions more Americans must commit to obtaining a higher education.

The Largest Myth About Educational User Experiences Today

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The largest myth about educational user experiences today is that great user experience is about visual design and graphics. If we make it pretty and easy to navigate, we have created a good user experience, right? In reality, visual design is the icing on the cake. If we don’t put the right ingredients into our user experiences, visuals and graphics will do little good.

Why Don’t We Value Spatial Intelligence?

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Consider this. Ever since you were a kid, can you remember taking a standardized test that didn’t have a math or verbal section? I can’t. Pretty much all of them have math, science, English, reading, and maybe writing sections. Even when you got to high school, and you took the SAT or ACT, there were verbal, math, and science sections.

Time to Embrace Online Learning

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To be successful, our public education system must continually evolve and adapt to take advantage of innovation that supports different ways students learn. Today, young people are spending a significant portion of their lives online and learning in ways that take advantage of a wide-open universe of information available to them 24/7. Educators must embrace this innovation and the power of online learning.

K12 Statement on the NYTimes Hit Piece

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The New York Times article featuring K12 Inc. is unfair and one-sided, and advances an anti-parent choice policy agenda. Instead of presenting a factually accurate look at K12's online and blended learning products and education programs, the writer mostly editorializes, selectively picking and choosing some facts and omitting many others to satisfy a pre-determined narrative. The article omitted important information on the structure of online schools, student performance, teacher training and professional development, and the full scope of education programs and services provided by K12. It liberally quotes well-known critics but gives no room for leading voices supportive of technology-based education reforms.

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