In case you had other things on your mind in college and missed accounting and finance, there are seven important concepts you need to know to build and lead an organization. All of these apply regardless of your tax status.


This February, President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan challenged the nation to transition to digital textbooksin the next five years. Only a month prior, Apple announced the ever so controversial iBooks 2 for iPad, which partnered the biggest leaders in publishing, put textbook writing in the hands of many, and drove down the cost of classroom reading (with the exception of the cost of the iPad). As the shift to digital picks up momentum, administrators and educators have rushed to adopt 1:1 programs with iPads, Chromebooks, and netbooks. Yet, what about e-readers?


Robert Rothman wrote the first definitive book on new national standards last year: Something in Common: The Common Core Standards and the Next Chapter in American Education. It provides a history of what, with new online assessments, will prove to frame the next decade of American education.


Last week the Department issued the final guidance on Race to the Top District (RTT-D) competition. It's a big opportunity to improvement for underserved kids.


Hans Renman in Stockholm (@tankom_hans) asked on Twitter, "Do you know any US schools that are REALLY using digital tools in an INTERESTING way for communication, marketing, or learning?" That tweet kicked off a few days of snooping around. Here is the list of 20 we came up with. We look forward to your additions!


"The Huntsville City School district is ditching textbooks and passing out laptops instead," reported a Huntsville TV station. Huntsville Alabama is one of many districts making the shift to digital learning this fall. Students from fourth to twelfth grade will receive laptops starting this week.


Recently, folks at the Pearson Foundation asked me to write about "Five Things I've Learned About Startups" and I listed building a great team as a key to success. Whether launching a startup or leading a school district change initiative, building a team is important but difficult work. As I noted, "When you get the talent, trust and focus right, the results are extraordinary."


New Visions for Public Schools has probably been the most effective intermediary of the last decade. By launching 135 new secondary schools and helped to develop other intermediaries that developed hundreds more, they dramatically improved the quality of high school options in New York City. Thousands of students each year graduate from high school and go to college because New Visions created high schools.


Tom Willis isn't playing golf this summer. In a few weeks, Willis will open two new schools in Detroit, an elementary (opening K-4) and a high school (starting with ninth graders). CEO of the Cornerstone Charter Schools, Willis is a construction manager this month.


At the Moorseville edtech conference (#Connection12 on Twitter) this week a Midwest high school principal serving about 700 students asked me for some advice on the shift to digital learning. Borrowing from advice to superintendents, here's 10 things I'd do right now as a high school principal.


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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