Christopher Nyren made a strong case that Chicago, not New York, is the second city for education innovation, "For over a generation, Chicago has served as the epicenter of for-profit, technology-enabled education entrepreneurship and investment."


"We are introducing the blended learning model into South Africa to provide quality education at a cost that the country can afford," said Stacey Brewer, a recent MBA graduate following the now prevalent U.S. trend of smart kids becoming edupreneurs.


Earlier this month the Department announced the 16 winning applicants to the Race to the Top District competition. The nearly $400 million will be split by 55 districts in 11 states.


I have a hard time watching evening news--especially in the last few weeks--the headlines are hard to swallow. You can't help but assume that things are getting worse. It's depressing. But the news doesn't give you an accurate picture of the long term trends that are making life better for more people on this planet.


Three years ago Doug Weber and Mick Hewitt had left a web design agency and were consulting on a social network in Japan. During that same time, Cory Reid was CEO of Instructure. Trenton Goble, a school principal, and Mick were training for a marathon and discussing Trenton's frustrations around tracking progress of formative assessments in a mastery learning approach.


2012 is quickly drawing to a close. When the calendar page flips to 2013 in just a couple of weeks, we suspect that the 2014 implementation of the next generation of online assessments is suddenly going to feel much closer. That realization is sure to provoke a wave of high blood pressure fanning out across the land. But - have no fear - the new DLN Smart Series white paper is here!


A reporter asked me what to expect on the education front in 2013. To some extent you'll see an extension of the blog "5 Megatrends That Shaped 2012 Education." But like MOOCs in 2012, there are likely to be a few breakout trends that few predicted.


For many districts, the most important strategy decision will be whether to build a common district plan or encouraging schools to develop their own plans.


Good schools start with good goals. I really like the goal statements from Danville Schools, a small district south of Lexington.


"I'm delighted that openness has gotten to some very closed institutions," said Sir John Daniel. As the former CEO of Commonwealth of Learning and Vice-Chancellor of Open University, he knows a lot about higher education, open education resources (OER), and online learning.


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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