EdTech 10: Blended Core

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Blended learning and the Common Core are front and center in 2013.  We’re tracking all the developments and build this top ten list for this third week of the new year.

Blended Schools & Tools

1. The Learning Accelerator received a $750,000 grant from The Gates Foundation to promote blended learning through goal-aligned organizations, working with service providers to drive innovation, and sharing results with districts to make them more effective buyers. Stayed tuned for the next DLN Smart Series paper to be released February 6, co-written by Learning Accelerator’s Scott Ellis.

2. Innosight Institute discussed piloting a Blended Learning Power Hour this week, which would give students an opportunity to step away from the traditional classroom for just an hour a day to focus on online learning, individual tutoring, and small-group instruction.

3. Medina High School received lots of buzz this week in the Cleveland newspaper and Getting Smart for its blended learning program, which delivered a student-produced app and website bringing Cleveland’s heritage into the digital age.

4. St. Paul School District launched custom platform development with Dell.  We welcome Dell to the platform party but  given the alternatives and how fast the market is evolving, custom development by a district is probably a bad idea.

Bonus: We ran a three part series on lessons from NGLC grantees: Next-Gen Learning Models Blend Tech & Experiences,  Attack Problems, Leverage Opportunities, and Break New Ground and Promote System Reform.

Digital Developments

5. Our Smart Cities series is exploring where innovations in learning occur and how the spread.  This week we noted that San Francisco leads the world in startups, but not much of the innovation reaches the school district.

6. EdSurge reported that MasteryConnect received a hot $4.125 million from investors Catamount Ventures, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Deborah Quazzo of GSV Advisors, and Learn Capital.

7. The Sloan Consortium announced that it is accepting applications for Launch Pad, a showcase of emerging educational technology startups at the upcoming International Symposium for Emerging Technologies for Online Learning Conference (April 9-11, Las Vegas).

Bonus: GOOD is sparking creative education innovation with its startup competition.

Getting to the Core

8. UCLA’s National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards & Student Testing, or CRESST, released a report analyzing common assessments released by the two consortia of states designing tests for the Common Core State Standards.

Bonus: Smart Teacher Courtney Hanes asked seven questions about the Common Core this week on Getting Smart.

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

9. Instructure is taking off. This week it announced that it tripled it user base to 300 schools using Canvas as their learning management system.

10. Enstitute’s college alternative program added apprenticeships with General Assembly this week. Katie Vander Ark shared ways learning doesn’t have to suck on Getting Smart this week.

MasteryConnect and General Assembly are Learn Capital companies where Tom Vander Ark is a partner. Digital Learning Now! is a Getting Smart Advocacy Partner.

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