Salt Lake City is becoming an EdTech hot spot. While it's still news to some well informed locals, EdTech companies, startups, schools and state policies have all taken innovative strides towards enhancing the learning environment for students. Many SLC leaders recently joined us at the Leonardo, a science, technology and art museum to discuss Smart Cities that Work for Everyone.


New learning tools and strategies have created the opportunity to quickly open "micro-schools" as a school-within-a-school or as low cost private schools. Varying in size, cost, philosophies, and operating models, they share a focus in personalization. Micro-schools have the potential to scale rapidly as school-within-a-school models and new schools.


Digital Learning Now's annual report evaluates state progress in advancing digital learning and high quality learning opportunities for all students. The report card evaluates state legislative and policy efforts regarding learning systems, quality online instruction, course access, school models, data privacy and more.


Next-generation learning requires new skills, roles, and mindsets for human resource professionals and departments. Human resource departments must create strong partnerships with schools leaders, supervisors, preparation programs, and technology vendors. Here are 10 things that human resource departments should do to foster next-generation learning.


According to Karen Cator, President and CEO of Digital Promise, education leaders must embrace and model deeper learning skills and encourage everyone within their organizations to do the same. In this blog, Karen describes the role that micro-credentials play when it comes to teacher expertise in deeper learning skills and ways education leaders can develop their skills in six different areas.


Digital Promise's League of Innovative Schools is working to close the Digital Learning Gap by designing new ways to engage students in deeper learning experiences. Part of this effort is a new partnership with Verizon that is providing students and teachers at 20 U.S. middle schools a tablet and a 5GB data plan. When selecting schools and districts for participation, strong leadership was a "must-have" criterion.


High school can be a confusing time with increasing options for students due to the rapid expansion of digital learning. Advisory has to be the spine of the next generation high school. Sustained adult relationships can help students navigate this new digital landscape. In this blog, we highlight five core and ten optional elements of advisory, as well as delivery options, benefits, and lessons learned from experiences at the district and secondary levels.


Gene Wilhoit, Linda Pittenger and Carmen Coleman, recently led a discussion about the ways that technology is improving formative assessment and the opportunity that it creates to rethink big year-end tests. The group identified five of next steps on the path forward that includes learner profiles, new solutions, and linking formative data to standards. Overall, new developments will mean a gradual reduction in the size of and reliance in heavyweight summative assessment to smaller, less frequent tests that check the validity of local assessments.


Match Beyond combines College for America, an innovative new competency-based degree program from Southern New Hampshire University, with intensive coaching, academic support and jobs counseling from Match Education. The goal of Match Beyond is to produce high degree completion rates and employment for low-income high school graduates across Boston who either never went to college or who left high school before completion. Andew Balson leads Match Beyond and believes the model, if successful, can be easily replicated across the US since it is, at its core, an easily repeated partnership between an online degree provider and local coaching service.


What does innovative learning and EdReform have in common? Equity. We explore the recent history of assessment (the intended and unintended consequences), the role that equity plays, the need to synthesize EdReform aims, and the opportunity of innovation.


The opinions expressed in Vander Ark on Innovation are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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