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rational [edtech] exuberance

­­I’ve been enjoying the thoughtful pieces on the increased excitement about education technology from Frank Catalano in GeekWire, Betsy Corcoran in All Things D and Audrey Watters in Hack Education.  From our vantage point at NewSchools, the excitement is palpable. Our education technology pipeline has increased 5x from last year and at least 10x from 2010.  Educators in our portfolio schools are energized by the new teacher tools, blended learning supports and […] Read more

Pathbrite and readImagine: the cool ideas that didn’t get on the TODAY Show

Even if you didn’t see the TODAY show last Wednesday, you’ve probably heard a good bit about the winners of the Innovation Challenge, the contest NewSchools ran last week in partnership with Citi and NBC News as part of the three-day Education Nation programming. You may have heard less about the two runners-up, and that’s too bad, because their ideas are important and, dare we say it, beautiful.As you know if you […] Read more

NoRedInk Wins Citi Innovation Challenge

A hearty congratulations and a warm welcome to NoRedInk this morning, winners of the 2012 Citi Innovation Challenge!  Led by entrepreneurs Jeff Scheur and Leo Shmuylovich, NoRedInk creates content and tutorials from students’ favorite celebrities, friends, and personal interests to help them practice grammar and writing skills. The team will receive a $75,000 prize and the opportunity to join NewSchools Portfolio—the most innovative, promising, early-stage entrepreneurial organizations working to make a difference in public […] Read more

The Innovation Challenge

Today marks the start of the Citi Innovation Challenge, which will culminate in a live pitch session at NBC News’ “Education Nation” Summit on Tuesday, September 25th. For a second year, NewSchools is partnering with NBC and Citi to design and carry out the Innovation Challenge. This year’s Challenge will feature three startups: ReadImagine, Pathbrite and NoRedInk. I’m excited about this year’s Challenge because now more then ever, we need the optimism and […] Read more

Education Entrepreneurs: Joel Rose & Chris Rush

Joel Rose and Chris Rush launched the first School of One program in New York City in 2009 at a time when few had heard about the promise of blended learning. Combining teacher-led instruction, technology-enabled individual tutoring, small group learning stations, and a unique scheduling algorithm that helped create a personalized learning program each day for each student, the program demonstrated the power of technology to customize learning based on each student’s […] Read more

Education Entrepreneurs: Ralph Bland, New Paradigm for Education

“And that’s where the new high school will be.” I gazed out the window at a dirt field as Ralph Bland, CEO of New Paradigm for Education, pointed. Impossible, I thought. In less than five months, he expects to have a school ready for the first day morning bell?After getting to know him over the past months, I’ve come to realize that with Ralph, nothing that stands in the way of the […] Read more

Education Entrepreneurs: Jennifer Green and Christina Hall

With school just beginning, parents across the country are particularly attuned to whether their child got into the classroom of the best teacher for the grade level. When there’s a brand new teacher in the classroom, it’s hard to know whether to be excited or not. The two entrepreneurs who co-founded the Urban Teacher Center set out to change that. Jennifer Green and Christina Hall’s vision is that a new teacher will […] Read more

Education Entrepreneurs: Simmons Lettre and Carrie Irvin

A year ago, a Charter Board Partners “team meeting” meant co-founders Simmons Lettre and Carrie Irvin gathering around Carrie’s kitchen table. Today, their seven-person team serves over 30% of DC’s charter schools by providing customized support on charter school governance. Their theory of action is simple yet powerful—great boards will lead to great schools.As a movement, we’ve often relied on the “superhero” school leader—someone who can simultaneously provide feedback on a mini-lesson, […] Read more

Education Entrepreneurs: Eric Westendorf and Alix Guerrier

Having played sports for most of my life I’d consider myself a master of the “high-fives” – there wasn’t one I hadn’t tried. That is, until I met LearnZillion co-founders Eric Westendorf and Alix Guerrier who introduced me to their aptly named “aggressive high-five.” My first encounter with the aggressive high-five came this past June when I was lucky enough to snag an invite to LearnZillion’s TeachFest. For this event Eric and […] Read more

FounderDating

Finding your perfect match can be a grueling experience. Many people on the hunt for their significant other have gone to great lengths to increase their odds of finding Mr. or Mrs. Right, using all available tools in their hunt. They’ll scour OK Cupid or Match.com for apposite partners, use Yelp to find the perfect first date dinner spot, and maybe even use an app for fashion recommendations on what to wear.For […] Read more