THE Blended Classroom
Teaching & Learning Strategies for 21st Century Education 3/28/2018



  • Critical Thinking and Next Generation Science Standards

    Join ed tech veterans Cathie Norris, Elliot Soloway, and Joseph Krajcik as they tackle one of the most pressing issues in science education today: Next Generation Science Standards and the shift those standards entail. Cathie Norris is a Regents Professor and Chair in the Department of Learning Technologies, School of Information at the University of North Texas. Elliot Soloway is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in the Department of CSE, College of Engineering, at the University of Michigan.

  • Hands-On PD: The Key to Helping Educators Facilitate PBL

    A curriculum direcrtor shares her successful professional development strategy for preparing educators to teach project-based learning.


Ed Tech News

  • Foundation for Blended and Online Learning Report Examines Tech Solutions to Rural Ed Challenges

    Rural schools face a raft of challenges schools in more densely populated areas do not, including declining enrollments, high socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, high transportation costs, lack of computer and internet access in student homes, low teacher pay, high teacher turnover, fewer teachers and fewer courses available to students.

  • MERLOT Updated for Better Searchability

    MERLOT, the granddaddy of open educational resources developed by the California State University system, has entered its third decade of operation with a new facelift. The project, as always, provides a gateway to OER. But with its newest release, search functionality has been expanded and coding has been done using responsive web design to make it mobile device-friendly.

  • Data Analysis Finds Charters More Inclusive for Special Ed Students

    Charter schools tend to serve more students with disabilities in more inclusive settings. Nearly 85 percent of students with disabilities in charter schools attended class in general education classrooms for 80 percent or more of their day compared to 68 percent of students with disabilities in traditional public schools.

  • Harvard, Florida State, MIT Research to Tackle Young Child Reading

    The work will encompass multiple streams: use of brain research; development of diagnostic tools and interventions to help young children before they fail; and build-up of capacity among educators, parents, other caregivers and policymakers to understand personalized learning and its instructional strategies.

  • Report: Profit Motive Pervades Online Charter Schools and Blended Programs

    A new report from the Network for Public Education offered little good news about virtual and blended education in K–12. "Online Learning: What Every Parent Should Know," is less of a guide for parents than an indictment of the profit motive behind online learning.

  • What Was That Math Student Thinking? Cornell Prof Aims to Find out

    Researchers at Cornell University are working on software that will help math teachers understand what their students were thinking that led them to finding incorrect answers.

  • Why Game-Based Learning Works for This Math Teacher

    When Giulia Bini introduced the use of a video game in her high school calculus class, she saw a 100 percent pass rate on testing about limits compared to 80 percent in the previous year; plus, grades rose by 10 percent. The game she used, Variant: Limits by Triseum, places players on an imaginary planet. To rescue the planet from "imminent doom," they help "Equa," the main character, solve a series of increasingly tough calculus problems.

  • NSF Grant to Cover Master Degrees in STEM Teaching and Bonuses

    The $2.8 million from the National Science Foundation will cover tuition and fees for teachers working in middle and high schools to earn their master of education degrees with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math; they'll also receive a $10,000 annual stipend for four years afterwards to train other teachers in schools serving populations of students who are under-represented in the STEM fields.

  • New Smart InkScan App Turns Pen-and-Paper Notes into Digital Ink

    Smart Technologies today introduced Smart InkScan, a mobile app that converts handwritten artifacts into a digital file that can be edited and shared. The app, currently available for iOS devices, allows users to take a photo of notes from any medium — paper, whiteboard, napkin, etc. — and then push the digitized content directly to a Smart Board with I.Q.

  • TechGirlz Sets STEM Outreach Goal: 20K by 2020

    Podcasting. Designing mobile apps. Using digital mapping. Creating animation with Python. Encrypting messages. Arduino programming. These are a few of the free workshop plans made available as "TechShopz in a Box" by TechGirlz.

  • NGSS Expands Science Peer Review Panel

    Three-hundred people applied for the jobs. Those chosen will join a group of 38 other educators on the panel. Over half have identified engineering as an area of content experience, a high-need area for the focus of the Science panel's work, and about half of the new peer reviewers have spent more than a decade as classroom teachers.

  • Walton Grant will Ready Principals to Run 'Autonomous' Schools

    A $1.7 million grant will help Indianapolis Public Schools as the school system shifts away from centralized support and its principals take on more autonomy. According to the final paperwork, the purpose of the grant is "to support the development of internal capacities, processes, and systems necessary for implementing full, building-level autonomy for every IPS school."



    Upcoming K–12 Grants

    • InvenTeams

      Sponsor: Lemelson Foundation and the School of Engineering at MIT
      Award: $10,000 per grant
      Number of Awards: Up to 15
      Application Deadline: Initial applications due April 9
    • Environmental Literacy Program

      Sponsor: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (U.S. Department of Commerce)
      Award: Grants tend to fall in the $450,000 range. See NOAA's awards page for details.
      Number of Awards: Varies (two in 2017, five in 2016, six in 2015)
      Application Deadline: April 9
    • 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
    • Social Emotional Learning Innovation Fund

      Sponsor: NoVo Foundation, Education First, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
      Award: Up to $5,000 for teacher grants; up to $25,000 for district grants
      Number of Awards: Not specified (67 teachers and 30 districts won grants last year, representing 12 percent of applicants)
      Application Deadline: April 20
    • Siemens STEM Day

      Sponsor: Discovery Education and Siemens
      Award: $10,000
      Number of Awards: 1
      Application Deadline: April 27
    • 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
    • Champion Creatively Alive Children Grant Program

      Sponsor: Crayola and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)
      Award: $2,500 plus $1,000 in Crayola gear
      Number of Awards: Up to 20 major prizes, plus one Crayola Classpack for every applicant submitting by the early bird deadline
      Application Deadline: June 22 (June 4 for early bird prize)
    • 2018 K-12 IT Makeover Contest

      Sponsor: APC by Schneider Electric
      Award: $10,000 in IT-related equipment upgrades
      Number of Awards: 1
      Application Deadline: June 30
    • 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
    • Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST)

      Sponsor: National Science Foundation
      Award: $10 million to $20 million
      Number of Awards: 9–18 total in three categories
      Application Deadline: Aug. 8
    • 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

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