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Unlocking Gaming Potential: Ted Mitchell on the NewSchools Venture Fund/Zynga.org Learning Games Accelerator

What is important when it comes to forming partnerships with tech organizations? How do organizations approach corporations and other organizations when partnering on a new project? Learn from the NewSchools Venture Fund/Zynga.org Learning Games Accelerator. Earlier this year, NewSchools Venture Fund and Zynga.org announced a partnership to form a learning games accelerator. Ted Mitchell, CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund, discusses the partnership, the accelerator, and what nonprofits should consider when embarking on collaborations with other organizations. Read more

Transformative leaders: First cohort graduates from innovative doctor of education leadership program

The graduates of the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) doctor of education leadership (Ed.L.D.) degree program leave campus headed for a range of jobs in the education sector. Many of them will continue to work with the organizations where they recently completed 10-month residencies as part of the program, a partnership among HGSE, the Harvard Business School (HBS), and the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). HGSE Dean Kathleen McCartney called the Ed.L.D. degree “a disruption in higher education” that brings outstanding, experienced candidates to Harvard, teaches them to be transformational, and sends them off with “a disposition to act.” The first graduates are going on to senior positions in first-class organizations, including Khan Academy, NewSchools Venture Fund, KIPP, the Boston Public Schools, and the Iowa Department of Education. The Ed.L.D. alumni will improve student opportunity, achievement, and success, McCartney added, because, “As they are fond of saying: Failure is not an option.” Read more

Mapping the Edtech Market: Where in the edtech world are you?

European explorers reveled in their versions of a mappa mundi, or map of the world. Such representations were worse navigation aids than Apple maps on a bad day–but marvelous pictorial representations of relationships and principles. When the NewSchools Venture Fund issuedits first “edtech market map” last October, many found it a useful catalogue of companies, even if the industry was moving quickly. Today NewSchools updated its map. This version includes 50 additional companies, fresh information on products […] Read more

Charter schools in Boston score higher on key tests

Boston charter schools outperform other public schools on three popular barometers of student achievement — the MCAS, the SAT, and the Advanced Placement exams — but tend to have lower four-year graduation rates, accord­ing to a study being released Wednesday.The biggest bounce in achievement ­occurred on the SAT. On average, charter school students scored 100 points higher than their peers in other public schools, according to the study, which was prepared by […] Read more

Common Core: A Platform for Equity and Innovation

Check out the nonprofit NewSchools Venture Fund portfolio. Educreations aims to maximize the reach and impact of great teachers by enabling them to create online video lessons that students can access anytime, anywhere. Engrade is a free set of web-based tools for educators allowing them to manage their classes online while providing parents and students with 24/7 real-time online access. Schoolzilla is a cloud-based data management platform for education practitioners built by the Aspire school network. Read more

NewSchools Summit 2013 Recap: Thoughts leaders, entrepreneurs and educators converge to share ideas and concerns

NewSchools Venture Fund Last Wednesday, an invite-only crowd of nearly a thousand of education’s daring entrepreneurs, policymakers, admins, teachers–and even a few students–gathered outside of San Francisco for the 2013 NewSchools Summit. And what a flurry of action it was, with bigwig thought leaders sharing Big Ideas on the big stage, panel discussions on teachers, parents, and the Common Core, and our around-the-clock interviews with edupreneurs from startups and schools. (Stay tuned for […] Read more

NewSchools Venture Fund to address shortage of ed-tech capital

Selling technology to schools is still a formidable task, but it’s a far less expensive and extended process than it used to be.And because of this friendlier climate, we’re seeing the second wave of education technology tools and a surge in interest from businesspeople and entrepreneurs. But the education field only received 1 percent of venture capital funding between 1995 and 2011 — and educational startups still face a critical shortage of resources.Oakland, Calif.-based NewSchools […] Read more

NewSchools & New Tools: PD, Games & MOOCs

Tom Friedman summed up what we saw as a major theme of the conference by saying “With edtech, don’t lose focus on what matters most – great teachers.” This theme seemed to be echoed in the sessions our team attended and hallway conversations. Even superstar teachers, with higher pay, lots of support and admins that care still struggle with what seems like an impossible job. Its time to improve the condition and […] Read more

Zynga To Launch Learning Games Accelerator

Zynga.org will spend $1 Million and partner with NewSchools Venture Fund to create an accelerator that focuses on edtech and learning games.Zynga.org is Zynga Inc.’s nonprofit organization that is “dedicated to inspiring people to live, play and learn through social games.” They aim to get gamers involved in social issues through “content and campaigns” within casual games.The NewSchools Venture Fund is a “philanthropy firm working to transform public education for low-income children” […] Read more

Embracing education change: Summit in Burlingame focuses on standards, school needs

Forty-five states have joined together on a vision of shared standards called the Common Core, an idea that will embrace collaboration, technology and sharing on a scale never before seen in U.S. education. Change can be challenging though. For teachers, it will require a new way of looking at curriculum, even if Shakespeare is still an author to be studied. For students, it will mean focusing more on critical thinking and problem […] Read more