When we saw that Idaho Distance Education Academy (I-DEA) had earned 5 stars--top on Idaho's school ranking system--we called director Jason Bransford to learn more. We found a story worth sharing.


In October, Digital Learning Now! published Data Backpacks: Portable Records & Learner Profiles. The paper makes the case for portable academic K-12 transcript that follows students grade to grade and school to school


First, know what you own already. You need to know what you need. Before buying anything, do an audit and take inventory of what you already have. Calculate the ongoing license costs of current software and figure out what you can eliminate. You might find that you have a lot that you're not using.


For many students relevance improves motivation. When relevance comes in the form of applied and work-based learning, improved engagement comes with the potential for career awareness and workplace skills. The combination can improve persistence, degree attainment, and employability.


As noted Wednesday on EdWeek, I recently visited GPS Education Partners, a high school manufacturing apprenticeship-based program serving students in Southern Wisconsin. We invited the folks from Edvisions Schools and Jobs for the Future to join a conversation about alternative and competency-based learning. The experts listed eight key strategies


Last week I visited GPS Education Partners, a high school manufacturing apprenticeship-based program near Milwaukee. For more than a dozen years, with support from Generac and the Kern Family Foundation, the 21 month full time program has blended classroom studies with work in a manufacturing facility.


Fullan and Donnelly describe two powerful forces that are combining to create what they call the "swamp": "One is a relentless 'push' factor; the other is a prodigious and exponential 'pull' phenomenon


Project-based learning is a great way to engage students in interest-based activities but sometimes that's all it is. Good projects are deep not thin, rigorous not easy. Good schools help students' frame compelling questions and use standards-aligned rubric assessments.


A big city superintendent called last week and asked for recommendations for K-12 resources for teaching coding and computer science so we reached out to some folks in the know. Here's a summary of what we learned:


In the early 90s, charter schools were a novelty in a handful of states--a pressure release valve for a few brave edupreneurs. By 1999 there were about 1,500 charters and a few charter management organizations (CMO) were getting off the ground with help from NewSchools Venture Fund.


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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