THE Blended Classroom
Teaching & Learning Strategies for 21st Century Education 2/14/2018


Expert Commentary

  • Collaboration: It's Got to be Taught (and How to Do It)!

    Some students can naturally problem solve, but for those who are less communicative or social, the benefits of collaboration (establishing leadership roles, delegation of tasks, the scheduling of team communication, listening, debating and the re-delegation of new tasks, all to make the final piece richer as a result of multiple minds working together, rather than one) are lost on them. It's just onerous.

  • The Holy Grail of Ed Tech Apps: Require Minimal Teacher Investment and Provide Maximal Student Impact

    Why don't techies typically understand how to reach the Holy Grail of ed tech with their apps? In this week's blog post we look to Kahoot! — a Jeopardy-style game — to better understand the value of making a teacher's life easier!

  • How Rural Teachers Can Use Technology to Upgrade Their Classrooms

    When it comes to rural schools, there are many challenges that educators face. Some of them — lower salaries, high turnover, and lack of resources — have no easy answer. However, new technology is making it easier than ever for teachers to combat one of the most prevalent challenges of teaching in a rural environment: the multitude of roles and responsibilities educators need to juggle.


Ed Tech News

  • Educators, Policymakers Say Problem Solving is Important, Not Emphasized in School

    Nearly all educators and policymakers say that it's important for students to learn creative problem-solving skills in school, but approximately two-thirds say that current curricula do not emphasize creative problem solving enough, according to a new report out this week.

  • Education Workers Take More Mental Health Days than People in Other Industries

    Nearly 60 percent of education employees have taken a "mental health day" to deal with work-related stress, a count that's significantly higher than in other industries. That's according to a recent survey of 1,004 office workers and business decision-makers in the United States and Canada. The survey, conducted by KRC Research on behalf of Staples, asked employees in various industries about current trends in the workplace, including health, wellness and stress issues.

  • Non-Fiction is a Non-Starter in American Classrooms

    In spite of the push since the release in 2010 of the Common Core learning standards to get students to read more nonfiction, lift hasn't even reached 10 percent in most states. The only outliers were New Jersey and Vermont, where the gain was greater than 10 percent.

  • Do Pre-K Teachers Even Need College Degrees — Let Alone Online Ones?

    A report out from NEPC questions the findings of a report on online programs for pre-K teachers from New America. At the heart of its concerns: whether bachelor's degrees are really essential for the job.

  • Report: Digital Literacy Is 'Hot' but Not Important

    In education there's hot, and then there's important. In the category of K-12 reading and writing, digital literacy may be hot, but it's hardly important. That's just one of the many conclusions shared in this year's "What's Hot in Literacy Report" from the International Literacy Association, which surveyed 2,097 education professionals in 91 countries and territories. The report defined hot topics as "those trending and receiving the most attention among educators, policymakers and the media, whereas important topics are those that are most critical to advancing literacy for all learners."

  • Grant Alert: $30,000 in Classroom Tech Upgrades, Deadline March 23

    A K–12 grant program is offering 10 grants of more than $3,000 each to educators to bring new technologies to their classrooms.

  • FERPA Finding Reminds Schools to Review Terms of Service

    Do parents have to relinquish their students' rights under FERPA when the school signs an agreement with a company whose terms of use don't comply with FERPA?

  • New Project Launches Global Standards for Flipped Training

    The Flipped Learning Global Initiative has introduced a new effort to establish international standards for flipped training. The standards are meant to ensure that educators are trained using the most current global research and best practices in flipped learning, according to a news announcement.

  • Smartphone Addiction Is Normal Need to Connect on Overdrive

    We stare at our phones all the time not because the devices themselves are addictive, but because we're driven to socialize, according to a recent literature review by researchers at McGill University.

  • Agentic Launches Grant for Student-Centered Learning

    Agentic Learning has launched a new competitive grant program offering two districts consulting, leadership coaching and software access designed to support the development of student-centered approaches to learning.

  • Epson Debuts 7 Education Laser Projectors

    Epson has debuted seven new models in its new PowerLite L-Series of laser projectors for education. The forthcoming Epson PowerLite L615U, L610U, L510U, L400U, L610W, L500W and L610 offer resolutions reaching WUXGA and brightness ratings of up to 6,000 lumens.

  • iCivics Updates Free Online Tool for Teaching History and Civics

    The new version of DBQuest from iCivics was redesigned for easier sharing, use on tablets, teacher tracking of student progress and simpler addition of new teaching modules. The work was supported with a grant from the Library of Congress and relies on the use of primary sources from the library's online collections.

  • Knewton Unveils $44 Adaptive Digital Textbooks

    Ed tech company Knewton has launched a collection of digital courseware that integrates its adaptive technology with open education resources, with the intention of selling directly to instructors and students. Previously, the company licensed its adaptive functionality to textbook publishers for integration with their course content. Under the new strategy, the company noted, it could own "all aspects of the user experience" and "make a greater impact on outcomes and affordability." Each title in the new line costs $44 for two years of digital access.

  • New Service Uses Speech Recognition, Auto-Scoring for Early Reader Assessment

    Non-profit NWEA is launching a new oral reading fluency assessment for K-3 that uses speech recognition, automatic scoring and computer adaptive technology rather than human judgment and individual administration.

  • Crestron Updates AirMedia Wireless Presentation Technology

    Crestron has introduced the next generation of its AirMedia wireless presentation technology. AirMedia 2.0 allows users to connect their smart devices and laptops to a room display, regardless of operating system, from anywhere in a classroom space.



    Upcoming K–12 Grants

    • Networks for School Improvement

      Sponsor: Gates Foundation
      Award: Two categories: $500,000 to $4 million
      Number of Awards: Three to five "type 1" grants ($1 million to $4 million per year for up to three years); 10 to 15 "type 2" grants (up to $500,000 total for one to two years)
      Application Deadline: Feb. 21
    • Aperture Education Micro Grants for Social & Emotional Skills

      Sponsor: Aperture Education
      Award: Up to $5,000
      Number of Awards: Four
      Application Deadline: Feb. 23
    • Innovative Practices in K–12 Education

      Sponsor: Braitmayer Foundation
      Award: Up to $35,000
      Number of Awards: Not specified
      Application Deadline: March 15
    • Classroom Improvement Technology Grant

      Sponsor: Turning Technologies
      Award: $3,000 per grant
      Number of Awards: 10
      Application Deadline: March 23
    • America's Farmers Grow Rural Education

      Sponsor: Monsanto
      Award: Up to $25,000
      Number of Awards: Varies ($2.3 million available)
      Application Deadline: Nominations due April 2; grant proposals due April 15
    • ACS-Hach High School Chemistry Classroom Grant

      Sponsor: American Chemical Society
      Award: Up to $1,500
      Number of Awards: Not specified
      Application Deadline: April 14 (grant opens Feb. 1)
    • Academic Enrichment Grants

      Sponsor: McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation
      Award: $30,000 maximum ($10,000 over three years)
      Number of Awards: Not specified (five awarded last year)
      Application Deadline: April 15 (submissions open Jan. 15)
    • Teacher Development Grants

      Sponsor: McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation
      Award: $30,000 maximum ($10,000 over three years)
      Number of Awards: Not specified (two awarded last year)
      Application Deadline: April 15 (submissions open Jan. 15)
    • Young Scientist Challenge

      Sponsor: Discovery Education and 3M
      Award: $25,000 grand prize; other prizes vary
      Number of Awards: 71 (61 for students, 10 for educators)
      Application Deadline: April 19
    • Siemens STEM Day

      Sponsor: Discovery Education and Siemens
      Award: $10,000
      Number of Awards: 1
      Application Deadline: April 27
    • American Honda Foundation STEM Grants

      Sponsor: American Honda Foundation
      Award: $20,000 to $75,000
      Number of Awards: Not specified
      Application Deadline: Feb. 1 and Aug. 1 for new organizations; May 1 for returning organizations
    • ESA Foundation STEM Grant

      Sponsor: Entertainment Software Association Foundation
      Award: Not specified, but suggested upper limit for first-time applicants is $50,000
      Number of Awards: Not specified
      Application Deadline: Letters of inquiry due May 15 (submission period opens April 14)
    • NEA Foundation Learning & Leadership Grants

      Sponsor: National Education Association Foundation
      Award: $2,000 or $5,000
      Number of Awards: Not specified
      Application Deadline: Feb. 1, June 1 and Oct. 15 of each year
    • NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grants

      Sponsor: National Education Association Foundation
      Award: $2,000 or $5,000
      Number of Awards: Not specified
      Application Deadline: Feb. 1, June 1 and Oct. 15 of each year
    • SparkFun Community Partner Program

      Sponsor: SparkFun
      Award: STEM/STEAM-related prize packages, event and team sponsorships and other types of support
      Number of Awards: Varies
      Application Deadline: Ongoing: third Thursday of each month; awards announced on the last business day of each month
    • Adopt a Classroom

      Deadline: Ongoing
    • Brinker International Grants

      Deadline: Ongoing
    • Brown Rudnick Community Grants

      Deadline: Ongoing
    • Corning Foundation Grants

      Deadline: Ongoing

      Deadline: Ongoing
    • Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Grants

      Deadline: Ongoing
      Award: No more than 10 percent of an organization's annual operating expenses or 25 percent of the total budget for the project being funded; awards have ranged from the hundreds to the millions of dollars.
      Number of Awards: Varies
      Qualification: Project should "directly serve or impact children living in urban poverty, particularly in the areas of education, family economic stability (including microfinance) and childhood health."
    • Naiku Innovative Teacher Grant

      Deadline: Ongoing (approx. 10 awards per month)
    • Sony Grants for Education

      Deadline: Ongoing (grants awarded on a rolling basis)
    • TAF Project-Based Learning Grants for Grades 6–12

      Sponsor: Toshiba America Foundation
      Award: Two categories: Up to $5,000 and more than $5,000
      Number of Awards: Not specified
      Application Deadline: Up to $5,000 awarded on a rolling basis; Feb. 1 deadline for applications for more than $5,000

    Call for Papers & Proposals

    Upcoming Events


Professional Resources