EdTech Story Starters for Journalists

I enjoy researching some of today’s issues in education policies and reform; assessments, the CCSS, Obama’s Race to the Top funding, MOOCs and the role of adaptive learning in the classroom.

I found a wealth of information on Educational Writer Association’s Story Starters website and wanted to share. Go here to find background information on STEM education, NCLB, higher education reform and a plethora of other topics.

Be sure to check out these highlights:

Glossary of Education Reform
Find topics A to Z in this glossary of terms for journalists

Five Questions to Ask
If you are writing a piece and perhaps struggling to make sense of it, look no further. Ask these five questions to get the creative juices flowin’

Organizations
Find a list of organizations pertaining to a particular topic

This week’s cleaning house, the EdTech rattlers

Competency-based degrees, MOOCs and EdTech Innovators

Towson University launches its business incubator, TowsonGlobal, responsible for connecting EdTech companies and entrepreneurs.

Boston becomes the MOOC capital of the Northeast with the recent announcement of BostonX, a joint partnership with EdX offering free online courses.

President Obama commends my alma mater, Southern New Hampshire University on affordable solutions to competency-based degrees. View video here.

Pearson expands blended/online learning with Howard University. Students can now choose up to 25 online degrees with this flagship program.

Cengage Learning pre-negotiates bankruptcy.

NoRedInk, the online grammar tool is $2 million strong. Don’t fear the red pen!

My first Meetup event

I spent this evening at my first networking event for EdTech in Boston. Organized by LearnLaunchX, I joined maybe forty guests in a hot, no AC room on the sixth floor of the PayPal offices on Oliver Street, walking distance to the aquarium.

We mingled, we exchanged business cards, we awkwardly looked at each other wondering who would crack the ice first, and we all probably had wished it went on for a few more hours… After our initial meet & greet session, we broke into groups to discuss topics that we previously chose on mobile, adaptive learning, MOOCs, flipped classrooms and ‘others.’

In the alotted time, there was only an opportunity to meet twice in small groups. For my first discussion on adaptive learning, we defined this method of using technology to adapt to different learning techniques, and shared ideas how to blend adaptive approaches and individualized learning. Everyone who contributed brought their own unique background and knowledge into the conversation.

The second discussion I sat in on was about MOOCs, or massive open online courses. We identified ways they are disrupting traditional pedagogical approaches — no more brick and mortars. (We now have face-to-computer interaction with virtual teachers.) Conversly, MOOCs are furthering our idea of a competency-based curriculum and everyone agreed with my point, MOOCs can become influential in the K12 market if used as a supplemental learning device. And we also talked briefly about the number of class enrollees verses those that actually completed the course. To no surprise, the number of enrollees far surpasses the latter.

What I learned about my first event: Butt in, but be polite, don’t drink the beer unless you want a bad breath (no I did not indulge, I needed to be an observant pedestrian taking public transportation back home) and print those business cards. I walked away with a small pile of business cards and if you can make at least one really good connection, you are all set.

Oh, did I mention the beer? There was Coors Light and some other generic brew. Now that’s where my entry fee went…

UPDATE: FB photos from the event