The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium will host a conference this week about the design and implementation of its assessment system for the Common Core State Standards.
Nearly 900 districts are looking to apply for the first-ever federal Race to the Top District program, according to the United States Department of Education. The program will award $400 million to individual districts and consortia for programs related to school reform, specifically in the areas of teaching and learning.
One of the two consortia working on online versions of high-stakes tests has released its first set of exam item prototypes; and if these samples reflect the direction of the full array of next-generation assessments in language arts and math, students can mostly kiss the standard multiple-choice bubble question goodbye. Production versions of the new exams are scheduled to be administered for the first time in 2014-2015.
- By Dian Schaffhauser
The federal government is teaming up with a state university and an ed tech advocacy group to launch a new online community of practice (called "epic-ed") that's designed to support "all stakeholders going through digital transition within technology-enabled learning environments."
In the fifth installment of their monthly column, blended learning experts Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker discuss the policies prohibiting and fostering the growth of blended learning.
- By Michael Horn, Heather Staker
With the first-ever Connected Educator Month, the DOE aims to bring teachers, districts, and educational organizations together online.
- By Bridget McCrea
Vermont has become the 17th state to join the Partnership for 21st Century Skills' Leadership State Initiative.
In advance of the ISTE 2012 conference taking place this week in San Diego, the International Society for Technology in Education named Brian Lewis as its next chief executive officer. Lewis's term will commence when current, long-time CEO Don Knezek steps down in September.
A new report is calling on the federal government "to increase funding options" for high-speed broadband, statewide networks, schools' broadband capacity, access to broadband in community centers, and aid to help low-income families have broadband access at home.
- By Andrew Trotter
July 1 is approaching; that's the day when your E-rate-funded school better have a plan in place for teaching students about online safety and cyberbullying.
- By Dian Schaffhauser