An Education Leaders Briefing concluded the World Education Forum in London this week. Greg Butler from Microsoft (who helped my district go 1:1 in 1996) moderated the session that I participated in with Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education Advisor at Pearson, and Microsoft education lead Anthony Salcito.
The shift from print to digital is a big deal, but in many ways the shift from cohorts to competency is the more profound transformation underway in education.
Last summer when Reynoldsburg City Schools connected with Udacity, the elite provider of free university-level education, it envisioned a new model for learning with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that would come to life during, not after high school.
LA significantly lags the Bay Area, New York, and Chicago as an edtech leader. The activity level is closer to that of Seattle, a metro area less than a third its size.
Nearly 150,000 schools were closed in the U.S. in the last century in waves of consolidations owing to budgets, busing, algebra and football. Conventional wisdom was that bigger was better and cheaper. Well, that better thing didn't work out so well and it turns out that there are some diseconomies of scale as a result of increased non-instructional staff after about 600 students.
Digital Wish is the edtech DonorsChoose. They have fulfilled more than 30,000 classroom wishes, mostly 1:1 classroom deployments with Dell netbooks.
New school models that leverage technology provide a useful picture of the future. Last week, in a three-blog series, I profiled next generation school models that leverage new opportunities, incorporate experiential learning, and promote system redesign.
None of those old basal textbooks are aligned to the Common Core State Standards, but they all include great content. What to do? About 10,000 teachers on Edmodo have turned to the The Basal Alignment Project, an online library of revised replacement lessons from common basal reading series (3rd-5th grades) each carefully aligned to the Common Core State Standards.
Last Thursday night a closed recreation center became a Tech Center in Baltimore's Federal Hill neighborhood. When Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the city was closing 25 of the 55 rec centers, Andrew Coy (@AndrewCoy) a teacher at Digital Harbor High School and Shelly Blake-Plock (@BlakePlock) faculty associate at Johns Hopkins University School of Education sought an alternative to the center closing. One of the rec centers was a block from Digital Harbor High School where Andrew was developing an after-school program in web design.
The 20 breakthrough school models recognized by the Gates Foundation funded Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) took on the turnaround challenge, leveraged higher education partnerships, and improved the performance and sustainability of school networks (as outlined in part one of this three-part series). They also illustrate how blended learning supports and extends experiential learning (part two).