EdTech 10: Super School Project

Blog Series, EdTech, EdTech10, Leadership, Platforms & Data

This week’s top headline is the open call for proposals to reimagine and redesign the next American high school. Guided by the idea that, “to create the future, we must first image it,” the XQ Institute will partner with teams to provide $50 million to at least five schools over the next five years. If we were XQ, we’d take a page from NewSchool Venture Fund’s playbook, as they have been leading in the new school space since the late ‘90s. We love the idea of pulling together city change makers to advocate for better learning opportunities. As part of Smart Cities, a key finding when it came to creating cities that work for everyone was new school capacity.

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Blended Schools & Tools

Recovery, period. With nearly 88% of US school districts offering some form of credit recovery, it’s import in the shift to online and blended learning to identify best practices. A new report from the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL, a Getting Smart Advocacy Partner) does just that. Download the full report and join the conversation on Twitter using #CreditRecovery.


Digital Developments

Go go gadget. GoGuardian, providers of Chromebook management solutions for districts and schools launched GoGuardian for Teachers for 1:1 classroom management. There are four reasons for the rise of Chromebooks.

Down in ‘ol Virginny. The American Institutes for Research will work alongside University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education as a lead partner by conducting research and reviewing the effectiveness of EdTech products that are part of the Jefferson Education Accelerator.

Second time around. Launched last December and after a year of user research, Epiphany Learning has launched version 2.0 in effort to better personalize learning. This news builds on the growing dialogue and collaboration on the challenges and recommendation for tech-enabled personalized learning, notably with the Friday Institute.


Dollars & Deals

Rethinking schools differently. More on this week’s top news story. Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Steve Jobs, is leading the $50 million project dubbed the XQ: The Super School Project. Here’s to Laurene shining a light on combining new tools with new schools.

Got the whole world in our hands. Planet3, leaders in exploration-based learning landed $10 million to launch a platform that presents the entire earth as a living and learning laboratory. Planet3’s instructional design combines immersive game-based challenges and real-world context. There are three mechanisms that research has shown can have a significant effect when it comes to gaming.

Konichiwa. EnglishCentral is acquiring Langrich, the leading online English tutoring company in Japan. The Google Ventures backed company will now almost triple its staff count to over 350 employees in offices in Massachusetts and Tokyo. The case that Boston is indeed a Smart City continues.


Stem Gems

Learning to give, by learning. The next generation of student giving is alive and well. Think Through Math (TTM) reached $290K mark in triggered donations from students completing lessons and generating points that TTM converts to donations.

Higher, Deeper, Further, Faster Learning

College decisions. This time of year is synonymous with best of lists (watch out for our annual Smart Lists beginning later this month). Coupled with many high school students beginning to navigate their HigherEd decisions, many release top college and university lists. Yet few based their rankings on actual student enrollment decisions. Parchment did just that.

Dollah, dollah bill y’all. US Dept. of Education announced an update to their College Scorecard, an initiative to make it easier to make cents (see what we did there?) of the real cost of HigherEd. For the first time ever, the ROI of postsecondary degree is illustrated. Making sound financial choices is a must when it comes to tuition. More on the state of financial literacy in K-12.

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