EdSurge Newsletter

Instruct 168

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Students and teachers rock.We celebrate the kids in Baltimore from the Inner Harbor Project who are serving as peace ambassadors. We celebrate those students who are stepping up to share how they feel about what's happening in their city. And we celebrate West Baltimore principal Crystal Harden-Lindsey for coaching her kids on making sense of it all.

Looking to celebrate somebody this week? Teacher Appreciation Month is just around the corner. Pull a Barack Obama and #ThankATeacher online, or nominate them for a DILA today! And congrats to all of those Teachers of the Year--we salute you!


AUGMENT YOUR ART ROOM: Picasso would've loved this. EdSurge columnist Patricia Brown stops by this week to share how educators can spruce up a school art show (or really any classroom, for that matter) with QR codes and augmented reality. Hear how her students used tools like Aurasma and Vocaroo to analyze and reflect on works they created and saw.

LET'S GET TOGETHER: Massachusetts educator Kerry Gallagher is frequently asked how she created her collaborative learning environment. Lucky for us, she's given us a how-to guide on eliminating tests and lectures from her classroom in favor of essential questions and project-based learning.

DUDE, THAT'S EPIC: Students are marching through the school hallways and chanting "Shut it down! Shut it down!" "No more upgrades!" Is this nonsense or chaos? Try a deep learning experience at Epic Middle School where students engage in interactive learning challenges or live-action role plays. Learn all about how Epic is bringing game-based soul searching to Oakland, CA students.

IF YOU BUILD IT: the students will come--if it's a great school. Eighteen months ago, charter system Achievement First asked school designer Aylon Samouha to help create a "next-generation" school model. How does a place like Achievement First, with a solid reputation for building schools, take a fresh approach to doing school? Read the story here.

PICKING PERSONALIZED PATHS: Last week, EdSurge released a spanking new guide, filled with frameworks and ideas of how to bring personalized learning to life. Now we're building out the guide with fresh stories that will help you:


PARENTS ON EDMODO: Families play a pivotal role in a child's education—and technology should keep them even more informed. Through the Edmodo for Parents app, available for free on iOS and Google Play, families can see a Student Activity feed, including upcoming homework and quizzes, as well as submitted assignments. Educators can also use the app to send announcements and updates to their students' families.

ANIMATE THIS: If you've been using Google Slides, but missing those fun animations inherent in PowerPoint, you're in luck. This week, Google announced several new slide animation features, including "Appear," "Disappear," and "Fly Out."


SHARING IS CARING: If you're looking to differentiate instruction, you're not alone. Education consultant John McCarthy has created a Google Spreadsheet for educators to share online differentiation tools. Check out the list of over 60 teacher-recommended tools, from Front Row to Moodle, or add your own favorites! (And kudos to attendees of our #PLChat on Tuesday, where this sheet was winning top marks!)


PRINCIPLES WITH A PRICE: It's happening across the country. Up to 14% of New Jersey students have opted out of state testing. Every junior at Seattle's Nathan Hale High School skipped Smarter Balanced testing last week. Their boycott follows a resolution by teachers against the Common Core tests--but may jeopardize next year's funding. More from Chalkbeat.

A $1.5 BILLION LESSON: All Lynda Weinman wanted to do was teach--and so she did and, along the way, created a company, Lynda.com, with her husband, Bruce Heavin. (A few weeks ago, their company was bought by LinkedIn for $1.5 billion!) Hear them tell stories about the early days--including some rough moments--with EdSurge CEO Betsy Corcoran on this special EdSurge Extra Podcast.

THIS WEEK IN PRIVACY: Listen up, feds and parents. A coalition of 18 national organizations, including the Data Quality Campaign and COSN, has released a set of recommendations around the federal role in safeguarding student data. And over on the parent side, the Future of Privacy Forum has released "A Parent's Guide to Student Data Privacy," which offers a generic overview of policies affecting what schools, companies and parents are legally allowed to do with student data.

THE VIRTUAL HEART OF DIXIE: Starting in the 2016-2017 school year, all public high school students in Alabama will have the option to take courses online, if Gov. Robert Bentley signs a bill passed by the state legislature. More than 27,000 Alabama high school and middle school students currently take online courses through the ACCESS distance learning program, which uses live video feeds of teachers and web-based assignments.

TO DEEP FRY OR NOT TO DEEP FRY: This brings "alt-tech" to a whole new level: Apparently, there's a heated debate going down in Texas as to whether or not deep fryers should be banned in schools. Seriously.

TAKE IT FROM KENTUCKY: According to the School Improvement Network's Cameron Pipkin, the best object lesson in Common Core implementation is in the state of Kentucky. How have they done it? According to Pipkin, Kentucky's success can be narrowed down to three key elements, including a thorough alignment of standards with curriculum.


COLLEGE FINANCES: For many high school seniors, getting into college is just the first hurdle. How much will those four years cost? How can students find scholarships and student loans? EdSurge's Charley Locke took a look at the edtech tools out there to help students, families and counselors navigate all the financial maze of paying for college. (Hint: Tell your students to start applying to scholarships way earlier than they think.)

MATHEMATICS: Hat tip to Richard Byrne for this find: Math Vocabulary Cards is a free iPad app for elementary students that blends a simple online index card design with math vocabulary terms. Teach English language learners? No worries--Math Vocabulary Cards can be used in Spanish or English.


CHALK IT UP TO EXPERIENCE: It's not often that you find chalkboards in modern-day American classrooms. But over in Japan, chalkboards pop up all over. Here's why one researcher says Japan's use of the chalkboard is more tech-savvy than the approach most American classrooms take to digital technology.

WILL GAMES REPLACE TEACHERS? Kids often rush through homework to play games. But what if playing games was homework instead? According to attendees of the the Games for Learning Summit last week, we might just be able to apply concepts from Assassin's Creed to the classroom. EdSurge correspondent Marisa Kaplan reports on how Uncle Sam is imploring developers to build more meaningful games than simple drill-and-kill snoozers.

EARLY READING GAPS: Since so much of young learning happens at home, five-year-olds enter preschool with a wide range of developmental stages. Common Core state standards, however, suggest that these young learners should master skills that include recognizing words and reading beginner texts--demands that some educators call detrimental to students' development, as Mindshift reports. If students see themselves as inferior readers in kindergarten, are they less likely to be confident, successful readers later?


Free! Think about how intriguing it would be to receive a letter from yourself as a kid. Teachers can provide a digital time capsule experience to your students (or rather, their future grown-up selves) through futureme.org, where users write themselves an email, to be delivered at a specified future date. Users must be at least 13.

Free! CommonLit aims to help you bring relevant, classic texts into your lesson plans. The site sorts texts—including poems, short stories, and historical documents—by Lexile level, grade, and theme, from "Fear & Paranoia" to "Growing Up." It also provides discussion questions for each theme.

Freemium! WriteReader offers young students a way to write as they learn to read. Kids as young as three years old can use the iPad app to record and tell a story in their own words, which is then transcribed into text through a speak-to-text feature—that way, students hear the correct pronunciation while looking at the correct spelling of their words. Adults can publish the books, to either a private or public audience. Create one book for free, or make a one-time in-app $4.99 purchase for unlimited books.

Edtech Jobs

Looking for a job in edtech? You've come to the right place. EdSurge has the leading edtech jobs board with over 400 openings from schools, nonprofits and companies. Check out all our jobs today!   ·  Post your job  ·  See all edtech jobs

Play to Learn: Dig-It! Games™ presents Roman Town™ , an immersive, engaging learning experience that blends history and puzzle-solving into a unique adventure game. Challenging mini-games exercise strategic thinking, spatial reasoning, memory, logic, math skills and more. Puzzles introduce players to ancient games and various aspects of Roman life, while facts gathered during the quest present an in-depth look at Roman history and daily life. The authentic content within Roman Town aligns to multiple standards, including the Common Core for ELA and Math.

Product Manager  GG|Interactive
Responsible for coordinating and aligning the team with the needs and desires of the product’s customers, which includes students, teachers, administrators, and internal support.
Product  ·  Startup  ·  Vancouver, WA

Various Teaching and Non-Teaching Jobs  MESA Charter High School
Math, Engineering, and Science Academy (MESA) Charter High School is a new high school in Bushwick, Brooklyn that is seeking to fill various teaching and non-teaching position
Teaching  ·  School  ·  New York, NY

Director of Operations  Cambridge Coaching
We are looking for an ambitious, capable leader who will helm our rapidly growing company.
Sales  ·  Startup  ·  New York, NY

Sales Support  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
HMH is seeking a Sales Support professional who will provide courteous, timely, and efficient support to account executives, per diems, consultants, directors of sales, regional vice presidents and vice presidents, and customers at all times.
Sales  ·  Large Company  ·  Rolling Meadows, IL

Online Marketing Manager  TES USA (Wikispaces, Blendspace)
TES is looking for an Online Marketing Manager to join the marketing team in support of TES Resources, Wikispaces, and Blendspace, and help millions of teachers be the best they can be.
Marketing  ·  Startup  ·  San Francisco, CA

Managing Director  Insight Education Group
Managing Directors are responsible for the overall success of the contracts within their portfolio. They are integrally involved in upholding the core mission and vision of the company and report to the President of Insight Education Group.
Executive  ·  Startup  ·  Location Flexible

Academic and Research Director  edX
Are you ready to join us in transforming the education landscape? At edX, our mission is to offer a world-class education to everyone, everywhere. You can help.
Product  ·  Startup  ·  Cambridge, MA

Edtech Events

Post an event  ·  See all events and meetups

Access 31 Free PD Webinars for Credit - Looking for new and innovative ideas to engage your K-12 students in their learning? Share My Lesson partnered with top-notch content providers to create 31 professional development sessions – all free and available on-demand. Spanning the curriculum, each online session is eligible for 1 hour of PD credit. Topics range from ELA and mathematics to digital games, bullying prevention, classroom management, and working with parents. Get re-energized with Share My Lesson. Register today for free. Share My Lesson

ETIN-SIIA's Education Industry Summit - Don't Miss THE industry conference for the K-20 ed tech marketplace! This year's conference will feature what's next for teaching and learning in a mobile and global world and how your company can support the changes that schools want and need.
3 May - 5 May  ·  San Francisco, CA  ·   more than $250

Google - Education on Air - TFA and the Join us for a free online conference. You have the best seat in the house (your own!) to learn with other educators. Explore the conference schedule below.
8 May - 9 May  ·  Online  ·   Free

Entrepreneurs United: Game Changing Innovations - TFA and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation will host the 2nd-annual Entrepreneurs United conference for TFA alumni entrepreneurs. This conference is designed to inspire and propel education entrepreneurs of all stages. Join us! Registration has launched!
8 May - 9 May  ·  Kansas City, MO  ·   $1 to $50

1776 Education Conference: Learning for the Next Generation - Join 1776 and innovators from around the world to discuss how the education industry is undergoing its biggest upheaval in history yet. What are the trends and how are startups playing a major role in creating the future?
11 May  ·  Washington D.C.  ·   $51 to $250

Prospective Teacher Info Session - Thinking about applying for a teaching position at TEP? Attend an in-person information session with TEP's Principal, Zeke Vanderhoek. Take a tour of the school, and learn more about the teacher application process and teaching at TEP.
13 May  ·  New York, NY  ·   Free

Content in Context conference - Content in Context, the annual conference of the AAP PreK-12 Learning Group, is three days' worth of high-powered programming for education business professionals.
1 Jun - 3 Jun  ·  Washington, DC  ·  more than $250

Bring Summer of Minecraft to Your Community - Interested in running a summer Minecraft program? Connected Camps Summer of Minecraft is offering an online program of challenges and in-game events. Sign up for access to moderated servers or join as an affiliate for free guides and support.
6 Jul - 1 Aug  ·  Online  ·  Free


Post an opportunity  ·  See all opportunities

New speakers. New ideas. Not overdone. Not to be missed. Join AAP for CIC 2015: Development and Delivery for Digital Learners, June 1-3, 2015, in Washington, DC. You deserve better than the same outdated advice from the same people. AAP's annual Content in Context conference delivers FRESH perspectives on the most pressing issues facing our industry, schools and students BEFORE anyone else. Businesses can consider their impact and plan accordingly for partnerships, product development, sales and marketing. See why attendees rave about CIC and register today!

SpringBoard Math Contest Win Prizes worth 50K for classrooms - Spring Board is a nation-wide free-to-participate math contest from March 23 to May 10, 2015. Classrooms win iPads, gift cards and other prizes worth $50K by doing more and better math on Splash Math compared to others, and compared to themselves!
10 May  ·  Elementary school teachers  ·  Total Prizes worth $50,000 up for grabs

NewSchools Venture Fund Pre-Application Survey: Tell Us Your Big Idea - Our Innovative Schools portfolio provides grant funding and customized support to teams of educators across the U.S. who are designing schools that prepare and inspire students to reach his or her most ambitious dreams.
10 May  ·  Innovative Schools  ·  Grant funding and customized support

The Fifth Annual Google Science Fair - The Google Science Fair is a global online science and technology competition open to individuals and teams from ages 13 to 18.
18 May  ·  Individuals and teams from ages 13 to 18  ·  $50,000 in scholarship funding

Imagine K12 Edtech Startup Accelerator - Now accepting applications for fall 2015! Push your startup forward with the help of strategic advice, mentorship, highly engaged networks of entrepreneurs and educators, and $100K funding from Imagine K12. Alums include ClassDojo, Remind, NoRedInk.
1 Aug  ·  Edtech Companies  · $100,000 of initial funding

Second Annual Digital Innovation in Learning Awards - EdSurge and Digital Promise are thrilled to launch the 2nd annual DILA competition! With 15 DILAs that celebrate the work of educators, administrators, and organizations, our applications and nominations are open to the public.
24 Aug  ·  Teachers and Administrators  · Free trip to the DILAs, editorial features and shared videos on EdSurge and Digital Promise, and the opportunity to spread your mission and practices



Thanks for reading. As always, drop us a note if there's something you missed in this edition of Instruct. We love hearing from readers!

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