EdTech 10: Going Global

EdTech 10 is getting its passport stamped. Still fresh from our recent rendezvous in Russia at the Global Education Futures Forum, we’re excited to share the latest stories on Minera in China to iNACOL’s “Postcards from Abroad.” Alongside updates on the launch of new tools, reports, and briefs, pack your bags because the top EdTech news this week means updates from overseas.

Blended Schools & Tools

New tool for building & sustaining a culture of innovation. Released by The Learning Accelerator (@learningaccel) and 2Revolutions (@2Revolutions), So You Think You Want to Innovate? describes the importance of an innovation culture within while introducing a self-assessment framework to help leaders build a culture of innovation.

Inspiration from Acton. Watch this. Inspired? Acton Academy is where young people learn courage, grit and perseverance instead of regurgitating facts. This K-9 Austin based school is so impact oriented it claims that, “Each person who enters our doors will find a calling that will change the world.” Still not inspired? Read this.

Evidence on Effectiveness. The cost effectiveness and benefits of online learning is explored in new research on the Florida Virtual School (FLVS) (@FLVS). A Brookings (@BrookingsInst) report uncovers important findings about (FLVS) that includes increased access, lower-costs per-pupil, and increased attendance.

Leading Leaders

Next Gen Principal Prep. Just as students benefit from blended, personalized, and competency-based learning, educators and leaders should too. This week we ran two blogs of a 3-part series on developing ed leaders, in preparation for work we’re kicking off on preparing leaders for deeper learning. Check them out:

Digital Developments

Challenge Accepted. Through the My School Information Challenge (#SchoolInfo) led by ExcelinEd, designers had the opportunity to help shift today’s outdated education system. Judges said in a blog this week that they were excited to about the challenge because they, “Wholeheartedly believe in the impact and transformational power of thoughtful and compelling design.”

Next Gen Tools. Next Generation Learning Challenges (@NextGenLC) released the final brief in their Next Gen Tools series. Using Spark, an in-house produced data integration tool by Merit Prep in Newark, NJ as the featured example, Jodi Lewis explores the benefits of a personalized assessment tool for schools. Check out this NGLC blog for more, and keep an eye out for an upcoming report from Getting Smart that shares the findings of our yearlong NGLC grantee storytelling project.

Dollars and Deals

Ivy Intrusion. Better and cheaper (and more selective) than the Ivy League? Ben Nelson is well on his way to showing that a next gen university and be more global, more blended, more applied, produce better outcomes and be way cheaper than the best. This week his Minerva (@MinervaProject) raised $70 million from Chinese investors

Smart Cities

Back in the USA. Fresh from his trip to Russia for the Global Education Futures Forum, Tom (@tvanderark) spoke at a fundraiser for a youth and family service provider; he stressed the importance of attacking poverty with a combination of innovation and direct support. For more on collective impact, see Smart Cities that Work for Everyone.

Policy Pieces

Check it. Public Impact (@PublicImpact) released on OpportunityCulture.org, Seizing Opportunity at the Top II. The accompanying Policymakers’ Checklist shows states the essential policies needed to increase reach with gap-closing, bar-raising excellent teaching and well-paid, sustainable career development opportunities.

Global Perspectives

In the mail. iNACOL’s (@nacol) latest, An International Study in Competency Education: Postcards from Abroad by Sara Frank Bristow and Susan Patrick, features international examples of competency-based education implementations. In an effort to inform US policymakers of great work from abroad to use for creating competency pathways at home, the paper explores practices in Finland, New Zealand, Scotland and more.

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