Common Sense Media aims to provide "trustworthy information to parents and teens about technology and media." Founder and CEO Jim Styer has been working on this mission for 20 years. He's the author of a new book, Talking Back to Facebook: A Common Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age, a look at how digital media affects the development of young children.


"Provide student the skills and knowledge the will need to be success in the 21st century society." That's the goal of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation's Deeper Learning initiative. The Foundation convened grantees this week to discuss how to expand access to programs that promote better college and career preparation.


There are lots of Reasons Districts Should Open Flex Schools. Flex schools, as classified by Innosight Institute are small individualized schools with an online curriculum. Students move at their own pace and augment online work with projects, tutoring, and work-based learning. Flex schools create personalized options for students and an example of competency-based learning for educators to visit.


Last week Secretary Duncan said it was time to dump the heavy, expensive books students lug around in their backpacks. We agree, it's time to shift to digital. High-quality open educational resources (OER) help make the case.


Digital Learning Now! (DLN) today released "Data Backpacks: Portable Records & Learner Profiles," the second in the DLN Smart Series designed to provide specific guidance on adoption of Common Core State Standards and the shift to personal digital learning.


Every once in awhile, we see pictures of the future -- a graphic image, a set of relationships, new tools at work, the buzz of a culture that feels remarkably productive. For me, site visits to Big Picture and Edvision schools were really influential 12 years ago -- and why I'm still enthusiastic about flex school models that engage and empower students.


Yesterday the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation awarded $100,000 to the top five teams in an assessment scoring competition. The goal was to build software systems that could grade short answer responses on state standardized tests as accurately as trained experts--a more difficult challenge than the essay competition held in the first quarter of this year where the winning algorithms equaled experts.


Anyone thinking about building the pipeline of educational system heads has a new opportunity set. The explosion of anywhere/anytime learning resources suggests it's time to rethink the institutional time-bound cohort model of leadership development (as discussed in the "Learning Design Opportunity of our Time").


As career fields increasingly require four-year degrees, it's more necessary than ever before to be educated. The demand is driving many to endure debt, work excessive hours, and find alternative solutions to get ahead. Yet, the landscape of higher ed is changing. You can't just check it off your list, you have to prove how college transformed your skills, attitude, and abilities.


"What's new and different is bringing in an adult ed instructor and teaching elements within the [vocational] program," said Dr Jay Box, Chancellor of Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS) where eight colleges are involved in Accelerating Opportunity. "All of the general education type of teaching is contextualized to the technical program."


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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