EdTech 10: Giving Thanks Where Thanks is Due

Blog Series, EdTech10, Federal & National Policy, Leadership, Platforms & Data

In addition to the 1,500+ innovative leaders we shared for the 3rd Annual Smart Lists, for Thanksgiving we are thankful for this year’s positive news that we’ve been following weekly for our EdTech 10 series. This weekly summary has shone a light on the forward-leaning, positive progress in EdTech.

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Blended Schools & Tools

Piloting progress. Digital Learning Now (DLN) launched their new EdTech Pilots report that looks at how members of the League of Innovative Schools try out, evaluate, and ultimately purchase the technology that ends up in classrooms. DLN recently joined us setting out to help school district leaders navigate the procurement process in the Smart Series Guide to EdTech Procurement.

Dollars & Deals

Smart Parents. Bay area-based Innovate Public Schools will be receiving $1 million over the next four years from New Profit to support parents to become the leaders making change happen in their communities by providing accessible information on the problems and solutions in education, and partnering with districts and charters to create more high-quality schools. In Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning, we explored the role of parents as involved, informed, intentional and inspirational leaders.

Raising the bar. PresenceLearning Inc., 3rd Annual Smart Listers for their work in online speech therapy, raised $25 million led by growth equity firm Catalyst Investors.  

For the teachers. A commitment of $34 million from the Gates Foundation is going to five newly-formed “Teacher Preparation Transformation Centers” to develop and scale practices that prepare new teachers. It’s been a big year for the foundation who is celebrating its 15th year.

Status update. Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan are supporting EducationSuperHighway with $20 million to expand and enhance the connectivity of K-12 schools. Evan Marwell, CEO & Founder of EducationSuperHighway recently shared on the Getting Smart blog how superintendents can support the work in implementing broadband upgrade projects.

C.R.E.A.M. Lending platform Earnest has raised $275 million to build out its offering of loans and financial management tools to support millennials with their finances. Millennials need to informed savers as they navigate new college options and career opportunities. GenDIY’s Jon Merrill, shares how he began to manage his finances as he launched his startup.

Stem Gems

Making moves. The MakerEd Movement is on the rise! New from LittleBits is an infographic that shares how the “Maker Movement” developed into a “MakerEd Movement” and highlights the growing national conversation, venture capital investment and global online community.

To keep in Mind. The National Science Foundation granted $800K to NC State University to use data mining techniques to study Mind Research Institutes’ ST Math that’s currently used in 2,500 schools across the country. With ST Math, Mind Research Institute is revolutionizing math education.

Policy Pieces

No bill left behind. The US House and the Senate Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Conference Committee voted 39-1 in favor of advancing to reauthorize ESEA which would replace No Child Left Behind. Susan Patrick, President and CEO of iNACOL said this represents a “historic step toward fixing No Child Left Behind and supporting the success and achievement of all students.”

Teachers & Tech-ers

Teacher prep. In a blog on forbes.com, Betty Chandy from UPenn’s Graduate School of Education, shares the story of UPenn’s Virtual Online Teacher (VOLT) Certificate that targets improving teachers’ effectiveness in online and blended learning environments. In Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning we outline the attributes of next-gen teacher preparation with recommendations to support the development of teacher preparation and development systems.

For more EdTech 10’s, check out:

This post includes mentions of a Getting Smart partner. For a full list of partners, affiliate organizations and all other disclosures please see our Partner page. Stay in-the-know with all things EdTech and innovations in learning by signing up to receive the weekly Smart Update.

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