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Comparing Blended and Flipped Learning [INFOGRAPHIC]

blended flipped fullThis infographic, from the Innovative Learning Institute, offers an excellent analysis of the value blended learning can bring to a classroom, as well as why every flipped classroom is a blended learning environment, but every blended learning environment isn’t necessarily a flipped classroom. Be sure to click the infographic for the full version.

Ed Tech Funding Soars, but is it Working in the Classroom?

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Reposted from Fortune:

In 2014, venture funding for education technology reached $1.87 billion dollars. It’s expected to hit $2 billion this year. That’s a big jump from $385 million in 2009, according to CB Insights, the first year the venture capital research firm started tracking education funding.

“The education space is attractive because it’s a big and important part of the economy,” said Rob Hutter, managing partner of Learn Capital an education based venture capital firm. “The edtech companies that get funding can be important 50 years down the line, and not just in a few years.”

And it’s a good business to be in, said Bob Sun, founder of online math site, First in Math. “There’s a high profit margin with no warehouses and not much cost except for research and development,” explained Sun, who also said his firm has grown 20% in the past six years and hasn’t needed outside funding. But while many sing the praises of education technology in the classroom, some question if it’s having the desired effect.

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to Acquire Scholastic’s Ed Tech Assets

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Reposted from Business Wire:

Global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Educational Technology and Services business of Scholastic Corporation for $575 million in cash, subject to customary working capital adjustments.

The acquisition would provide HMH with a leading position in intervention curriculum and services and extend its product offerings in key growth areas, including educational technology, early learning, and education services, creating a more comprehensive offering for students, teachers and schools. The transaction is expected to be accretive to HMH net income and free cash flow in 20161 and to yield synergies in 2016 and beyond with annual cost savings of $10 to $20 million. The transaction is expected to close in the second calendar quarter of 2015, subject to closing conditions and regulatory approval.

The transaction would provide added digital infrastructure and expertise to support the continued development of next-generation products for HMH’s pre-K-12 and consumer businesses. In addition, HMH believes that combining EdTech’s digital intervention solutions sales expertise with HMH’s already strong sales organization will create new opportunities and accelerate the Company’s growth. “As HMH drives a learning transformation powered by technology, we believe the EdTech segment of Scholastic will strengthen our offering in both K-12 and other key growth areas, including digital intervention, early learning, consumer and professional development,” commented Linda K. Zecher, HMH’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We believe that by diversifying our education portfolio, we will be taking an important step toward optimizing our growth while also enhancing our resiliency throughout economic and market cycles.”

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122 STEAM Ideas for Your Classroom [VIDEO 9:48]

Art teacher Tricia Fuglestad shares 122 STEAM ideas ready for your classroom, accompanied by this energized video celebrating student work from her implementation of these lessons in her classroom. These lessons utilize practical technology applications to take studies to new levels of interaction with content and images. You owe it to yourself to immerse yourself in the possibilities for your students!

Learn more about Tricia’s work here.

Privacy Pitfalls as Education Apps Spread Haphazardly

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Reposted from the New York Times:

In the Fairfax County, Va., school district, technology experts have conducted their own security reviews of several hundred digital learning products, and failed a few of the most popular ones. In Houston, one of the largest districts in the country, administrators are testing their own rating system for digital learning products and developing a set of district-approved apps for teachers.

And in Raytown, Mo., Melissa Tebbenkamp, the school district’s director of instructional technology, vets every app that teachers want to try before allowing it to be used with students. Among other things, she checks to make sure those services do not exploit students’ email addresses to push products on them or share students’ details with third parties.

“We have a problem with sites targeting our teachers and not being responsible with our data,” Ms. Tebbenkamp said. For school technology directors around the country, she added, “it is a can of worms.” The new tools are being pushed by a rapidly expanding education technology industry. Some educators, entrepreneurs and philanthropists are particularly enthusiastic about adaptive learning products because they aim to tailor lessons to the individual abilities of each student.

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A Deep Dive Into Learning Innovation [VIDEO 12:39]

Shekou International School (SIS) is in its second year of reimagining learning through the integral use of technology. This snapshot highlights broad examples of communication, collaboration, complex thinking, independent learning and global citizenship. Discrete practice includes ePortfolios, visible thinking, feedback loops, makerEd, global partnerships and more. Find us at http://www.sis-shekou.org/innovation and #SISrocks.

Tech Disrupts Traditional Work…Is That Really a Bad Thing?

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Reposted from Time:

There is a strong counterargument that the jobs and value technology create just aren’t being counted properly. “GDP was designed to measure the output of 20th century industrial nation-states making stuff, not a 21st century economy generating bytes and ideas,” says Zachary Karabell, whose book The Leading Indicators: A Short History of the Numbers That Rule Our World examines what our current system does and doesn’t tally.

Academics like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Erik Brynjolfsson, who believes we vastly underestimate the productivity created by the “free goods of the Internet,” would agree, as would Silicon Valley entrepreneurs like Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. His company may have 30 million users and only 1,600 employees, but Chesky says it creates many more “21st century jobs” by helping generate extra income for hosts who monetize their homes and for local businesses and such service providers as cleaners who benefit from the influx of vacationers. For New York City alone, Chesky puts the value of that additional income at $768 million annually, which the company claims supports 6,600 jobs. Of course, those are “jobs” without the health care, 401(k) or other benefits that a traditional position might provide.

Which underscores a disturbing truth about the new economy: it’s all on you. People who are smart, well educated and entrepreneurial may well do better in this paradigm. But what about those who aren’t as well positioned or at least need help in tooling up?

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