Next month there will be a lot of U.S. students holding an iPad looking at a spinning wheel. Cheaper devices, powerful apps, successful school models, and preparation for online assessments is boosting student access to technology. But in most places, the pipes won't be ready for all the traffic.


I hadn't given much thought to the challenge of finding co-founders until Jessica Alter announced the education version of FounderDating, a partnership with Teach For America. We profiled the effort to match up interested and talented edupreneurs on Getting Smart last week and I called Jessica to learn more about what problem she was trying to solve.


Tom Greaves is an edtech expert, especially in school laptop programs. He has visited more than 400 and surveyed about 1,000. Project RED, housed at One to One Institute, is the first major study to considered two important issues: the impact of technology on student achievement and the financial impact of technology on budgets.


Governor Bob Wise, Alliance for Excellent Education, opened the Moorseville edtech conference (#Connection12 on Twitter) this week by suggesting that, like a bumpy tailwind, we're experiencing productive turbulence including adoption of real college/career ready standards, waivers from federal requirements that come with new demands, and online assessment starting in 2014-2015. Add what's likely to be a decade of constrained budgets in most states and you have a leadership challenge.


The Moorseville edtech conference (#Connection12 on Twitter) is an effort to share lessons from one of the best 1:1 programs in the country. This week, more than 400 teachers and administrators crammed the gym of Mooresville Intermediate School located about 20 miles north of Charlotte, North Carolina.


Grad Nation is a comprehensive effort to boost the nation's graduation rate from about 75 percent to 90 percent by 2020. Launched in May 2010, Grad Nation is a project of America's Promise. There are about 60 supporting sponsors and donors, one of them is Apex Learning, a digital high school curriculum provider based in Seattle.


The push for better teacher observation, evaluation and development started about the same time Jason Lange was finishing up a master's degree in education at Stanford. Jason could see there was a big opportunity for easy to use tools and personalized learning for teachers.


Raising money is a function of delivering the right pitch to the right person. That's true for impact seeking investments from foundations and return seeing investments from private equity investors.


Last Friday, Mark Edmundson, an English professor at The University of Virginia, wrote a scathing critique of online learning in The New York Times. Mr. Edmundson's understanding of his subject lacked an in-depth intellectual or practical study of the myriad diverse programs available to students from grade school to graduate school.


While the NRC definition of deeper learning purportedly shifts from "21st century skills" to broader "21st century competencies" including skills, knowledge, and expertise, the definition seems accurate - but a bit shallow.


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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