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Defining Impact in Education Technology

“I have trouble understanding double, triple bottom line funds – there can only be one bottom line for impact funds. That’s why they call it the bottom.”  – a paraphrase of Kevin StarrI am thrilled by the attention the education market has been getting lately, from double bottom line, impact, and profit-maximizing funds alike. What “success” looks like is different to each stakeholder, and I consider myself lucky to work at a well financed fund […] Read more

Technology and Student Engagement

In the age of mobile computing, attention and engagement have become commodities. Advertisers are willing to spend millions for mere seconds of viewers’ attention. With all the ads and apps buzzing in students’ pockets in the 21st century classroom, we had to ask ourselves: how are learning technologies (books, desktops, tablets, and otherwise) keeping up with the rising bar of grabbing attention? What are the best practices for engaging students today? Specifically […] Read more

Diversity: Why is it Important?

I remember the exact moment I realized the importance of diversity in education reform. This realization occurred during a diversity exercise at the opening retreat for a high school leadership program. Ironically, I realized how important diversity was through an exercise that I thought was counterproductive to the inclusive aspect of diversity.We were standing in a circle and the exercise called for us to close our eyes, listen to a series of […] Read more

TinyTap Taps into Educational Games and Interactive Lessons

 Just as indie coders can create hot new apps, teachers and students can develop educational content with widespread appeal. However, teachers and students often face technological barriers to producing and distributing great content. TinyTap, a platform for creating interactive lessons and educational games, solves this problem: TinyTap allows anyone to easily create and share engaging educational materials.When you open the TinyTap app, you are prompted to either create new lessons and games or to […] Read more

Proximity

I had the great honor to listen to Bryan Stevenson from the Equal Justice Initiative speak at last week’s NewSchools Summit. Bryan is an attorney who has dedicated his life to not only ensuring equal justice to those who have been written off by their community, but to helping this country consider how we can truly work together across racial, socioeconomic, and geographical lines to ensure that we all reach our greatest potential and support each other along the way. Read more

Silicon Valley Gives: May 6, 2014

Join NewSchools Venture Fund on May 6, 2014 for Silicon Valley Gives, hosted by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. SV Gives is a day to come together for 24 hours of local giving. It’s your chance to make a real difference, right here in our community.All donations to NewSchools as part of Silicon Valley Gives will help fund an excellent public education for local underserved students.We believe that all children, regardless of zip code, […] Read more

Summit 2014: Keep the Conversation Going

“Mr. Say ain’t nothin’. Mr. Do is the man.”— Junebug Jabbo JonesThis year at Summit, 205 organizations who care deeply about education have committed to diversifying their leadership. To push forward with this important work we’ve created a forum for those of you who have made this commitment as well as for those of you who might be compelled to take this work on. We’d love to hear about what you’re doing to make these changes, challenges you […] Read more

Live From Summit 2014: From Talk to Action: Increasing the Diversity of Education Leadership

Dr. Howard Fuller, Distinguished Professor of Education at Marquette University, introduced the closing plenary of Summit 2014. Dr. Fuller highlighted the important distinction between ed reform as a movement that is done to communities of color and ed reform as a movement that is driven by people of color. If the education reform movement is not supported by the communities it serves, then Dr. Fuller told us: “We will lose.”James Shelton took the […] Read more

Live From Summit 2014: Reimagining Urban School Districts

With 95% of public schools students in the United States attending traditional district schools, it is imperative that we find a way to improve school districts more rapidly, especially in urban areas where students are most at risk. Cami Anderson, the Chancellor of Newark Public Schools in New Jersey, and Paul Hill from the Center for Reinventing Public Education discussed options for scaling what works in districts in order to reach our […] Read more

Live from Summit 2014: CCSS and Designing Digital Learning

In a series of discussions moderated by Betsy Corcoran of Edsurge, entrepreneurs and other education stakeholders tackled both the problems and opportunities in K12 learning. Their discussion centered around two central questions and were asked to share out initial answers, partially listed below. What excites you about the potential for learning technology? Differentiated learning, immediate feedback, less expensive education, increased access, greater scale, more productivity, learning outside of class What concerns or worries […] Read more