EdTech 10: Fully Inflated

Blog Series, EdTech, EdTech10, Startups

While in other sectors some are finding creative ways of deflating the competition, this week in EdTech we were pumped up to follow the many genuine successes of orgs, startups and educators.

We were inspired this week by the launch of the new iNACOL site and a visit to American International School of Utah. Here are 10 more big EdTech news stories.

Digital Developments

1. Drumroll Please. The 2015 CODiE Award Winners have been announced! Winners include Edgenuity, TenMarks, Knowledge Delivery Systems, and Getting Smart Advocacy Partners DreamBox Learning, and MIND Research Institute’s ST Math.

2. Si Se Puede. World language acquisition is an important component of 21st century global competence. The annual Language Advocacy Day organized language advocates on Capitol Hill to shine a light on declining funding and to raise awareness about the state of language instruction.  Getting Smart and Rosetta Stone have created two papers that address the importance of world languages in more detail. The first describes a vision for the next generation of world language instruction and the most recent explains how world language teachers are uniquely positioned to lead in the shift to blended, competency-based, and deeper learning

3. All Time High. For the third year in a row the national high school graduation rate reached a new record. This year, 81.4% according the annual Grad Nation report (thanks to all the school networks that prioritized rigor, relevance and relationships). New school models that are blended, personalized, and competency-based may just help the country hit the 90% mark by 2020. 

Leading Leaders

4. New and Improved. Just in time for the release of our Preparing Leaders for Deeper Learning series paper, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA) have refreshed Model Policy Standards for Educational Leaders. Have comments? Share before May 29. Comments will be used for final refinements for a final release this summer.

Dollars & Deals

5. Summer Schoolin. As students look for ways to stay busy during summer, enrollment for Knod’s summer online experience-based employment and learning program is now open. Knod also announced it has raised $6.2 million to support in bringing their unique model to scale.

6. Setting Sail. Adaptive K-12 literacy solution LightSail announced $3.5 million in funding led by Scott Cook, of Intuit. LightSail has recently added motivation and reward features, pull mechanisms that are proven to increase motivation.  

7. Investments Down Under. Aussie EdTech startup Edrolo secured $2.65 million to scale its software that combines interactive video tutoring with testing software to track and train high school seniors.

8. Who Wants First. Grants as part of the First in the World Program from the US Department of Education are now open for application for postsecondary institutions focusing on developing innovations that improve outcomes and affordability.  

Policy Pieces

9. Getting Personal. As programs looks for ways to successfully scale personalized learning, The Bellwether Education Partners released a new report that explores emerging tensions that schools and districts should know between personalized learning and state/federal accountability systems.

Blended Schools & Tools

10. MOOC For The Masses. Michael Horn, author of Blended, Brian Greenberg (@briangreenberg), and Robert Schwartz, Harvard (and proponent of the Swiss VET system), are teaching a new Blended Learning MOOC on Coursera’s new on-demand platform. Learn more and sign up for the free course here.

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