EdTech 10: Be Kind Rewind

Blog Series, EdTech, EdTech10, Platforms & Data, Social Media, Startups

This week we’re rewinding, updating, and relaunching a series of interactive papers that provide guidance for the adoption of standards and assessments that focus on the shift to personalized digital learning.

In partnership with Digital Learning Now, an initiative of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, the “DLN Smart Series” includes updates on nine papers that will be featured on GettingSmart.com throughout August.

Blended Schools & Tools

From pulse to puree. This year we’ve seen the blended learning conversation go from, “why go blended” to “how to go blended.” In support of this shift, is the publication of the Blended Learning Implementation Guide 3.0. Looking for examples of schools doing blended right? Here are success stories from three schools using i-Ready, and adaptive learning software created by our advocacy partner Curriculum Associates.

Digital Developments

Key in the ignition. NewSchools Venture Fund announced the launch of NewSchools Ignite, a new accelerator that will support edupreneurs working to close the science student achievement gap for elementary and middle school students.

Big Apple deal. The Department of Education is finalizing a three year, $30 million contract with Amazon to create an e-book marketplace for NYC’s 1,800 public schools. Steven Hodas, past Executive Director of NYC DOE’s Office of Innovation, recently shared why procurement shouldn’t tie districts in knots.  

It’s alive. OER leaders, Curriki, launched their new website that’s now mobile responsive, has a beautiful UI, and delivers content in more organized and accessible ways. Curriki is a great example of a platform that offers teachers a global community to share materials and develop curriculum together.

Land of opportunity. New from Public Impact is Opportunity Culture Implementation: Early Lessons from the Field, a new brief that shares how schools that implemented the Opportunity Culture model showed high levels of achievement.  

Dollars & Deals

Up for grabs. Washington D.C. based BlackBoard is going up for sale. Providence Equity Partners LLC, Blackboard’s majority owner, has hired Deutsche Bank AG and Bank of America to run an auction for the company that’s estimated at $3.4 billion. Competition is growing; over the last few months we reviewed a dozen learning platforms and noted steady progress. 

Investing in navigating investing.  Lea(R)n, creator of LearnTrials, has secured a seed round funding of over $800,000 led by Colorado-based Edovate Capital. We’ve seen how complicated procurement and implementation can be, so this support for platforms like LearnTrials is great news for districts amidst the digital shift.

Stem Gems

Expanding capacity. Three new services designed to support K-12 schools grow capacity for STEM teaching and learning are available from DiscoveryEd. In the spirit of STEM, this week our math maven, Megan Mead, shared why we should be exposing every student to STEM.

Let’s Get Personalized

Competent for careers. Building a Strong Relationship between Competency-Based Pathways and Career Technical Education, is a new brief from Achieve and NASDCTEc that identifies key opportunities for integrating CTE into state CBP systems.

The Big “D”

Hack-a-thon. We know the technical and implementational challenges when it comes to new tools and the impact on student data. But, what about the chance that student data systems will experience a detrimental hack in the near future? John Watson on Keeping Pace blog made the case that despite the fear of student privacy advocates about the misuse of student data by districts, we should be more worried about potential hackers.

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