With Team Getting Smart taking a step back to huddle for our annual retreat, our staff have been busy freshening up on our public speaking skills, leadership techniques, and how we function as a mission-driven organization.
This week’s news is about stepping back, reassessing, and reorganizing with results from reports, renewing funding for schools and libraries, and award recipients to boot.
Blended Schools & Tools
1. ? It’s a Blended, House?. The Learning Accelerator, launched the Blended Learning Research Clearinghouse 1.0 to provide a summary of the implications from K-12 blended learning research to date, including historical evidence for personalized learning. Check Getting Smart research on blended here.
2. Outstanding Outcomes. New from New Tech Network (NTN) is the 2015 Student Outcome Report, the most comprehensive data produced to date on New Tech schools and students. For more on NTN, check our recent feature, Facilitating Systems Change.
3. New Record. Modernization of policies and and budget changes is making possible a record $3.9 billion in E-rate funds for schools and libraries. Great to see the FCC act in alignment with Modern Policy for Modern Learners.
4. Students Soon to Sway. Microsoft’s presentation product, Sway, is now available to select qualified business and education customers. In a blog post, Microsoft’s Sway team announced the product will soon be available for teachers and students. This announcement is part of CEO Satya Nadella’s effort to make it clear that education is a high priority for the Redmond-based tech leaders.
Dollars & Deals
5. The Award Goes To. The winners of the sixth annual Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition was announced with winning ideas that included platforms to connect parents with teachers, apps to provide personalized lesson plans for students with special needs, and programs to keep low-income students on track to finish college.
6. New Boss. Pearson’s Family Education Network, including popular Poptropica, has been acquired by Sandbox Partners. “Engaging digital media and informal learning for kids are spaces we are hugely passionate about,” said Bhav Singh, Founder & CEO of Sandbox Partners.
7. O-H-I-O. On their new website, iNACOL highlighted Ohio House Bill 64, a bill that would provide funding for up to 10 pilot schools and districts with $250,000 per year to plan and implement personalized learning. Ohio is a leader in learning innovations when it comes to state funding.
Let’s Get Personalized
8. Chasing the Carrot. MindShift made the case that for a world in which the jobs increasingly require problem solving, critical thinking and creativity, autonomy, mastery, and purpose are essential for student motivation. We agree and go on to suggest that pull mechanisms are essential to boosting learning.
Teachers & Tech-ers
9. Results Are In. Scholastic and CCSSO released the results of a survey of the 2015 State Teachers of the Year. Top three impact opportunities: anti-poverty initiatives, early learning, reducing barriers such as healthcare.
10. I’m Just a Bill. As part of the reauthorization of ESEA, language has been included in the Senate version to encourage the use of open educational resources through grants that the ESEA would make available to states.