CHARM CITY LIVIN': Baltimore got inundated with 30+ edtech tools this weekend at the Baltimore Summit! Check out a sample of the tools below:
Free! Math teachers, this is for you! Want to teach number lines and estimation with games about hungry fish and pizza? Motion Math is offering a free iPad trial of seven of its games, covering topics from addition to negative numbers to pie charts.
Free! If your students get anxious about testing, drop the multiple choice and try Class Compete. Students solve academic problems in the non-threatening context of a game, giving them confidence and test-taking abilities just in time for you-know-what season in March.
$3.99: Team Q needs your students’ help in their quest to stop master thief Ladrone and find the lost city of Ich’aak! In Dig It’s Mayan Mysteries game, your students can learn about Mayan culture while deciphering glyphs, finding artifacts, and visiting ancient cities. A classroom edition provides log-ins for 30 students at $189.
License: Take your students on a virtual field trip with Cicero Kids! Users enter into an online, interactive museum, learning about history from the origins of the World Wide Web to what happened when when Isaac Newton saw an apple fall from a tree. Pricing varies based on class size and length of use--check out licensing options here.
WORDSMITH: Are your students studying for the SAT? Tell them to put away the flashcards and pick up a laptop. Vocabulary training platform Propagate has released the free beta version of its product, which integrates vocabulary into any digital text. Students can highlight words and track definitions whenever they log on, when they’re scanning Wikipedia or surfing Nicki Minaj’s fansite.
YOUNG PROBLEMSOLVERS: It all started with a 14-year-old’s science project. At Rice Middle School in Plano, TX, seven 8th graders have proposed developing an app that would help dyslexic individuals read by personalizing changes, like size or color, of text. The app, “Mind Glass,” was one of eight national winners of the Verizon Innovative App Challenge. $20,000 will go to Rice Middle School, and the young innovators will have a chance to work with developers from the MIT Media Lab to build their app. More from The Dallas Morning News.
TOS TIPS: On February 26, the US Department of Education provided a model for how schools and districts can evaluate the student privacy terms of service from edtech companies (PDF here). The resources, which cover areas from initial data collection to data transfer in the case of a company sale, offer a checklist for evaluating terms of service, warning signs of unsafe data practices, and a training video.
- Data De-Identification: “Because it can be difficult to fully de-identify data, as a best practice, the agreement should prohibit re-identification and any future data transfers unless the transferee also agrees not to attempt re-identification.”
- Data Sharing: Terms of service should include, “Data cannot be shared with any additional parties without prior written consent of the User except as required by law.”
- Access: “A good contract will acknowledge the need to share student information with the school in order to satisfy FERPA’s parental access requirements.”
FUTURE READY MOOC: Ready to get MOOC'ed? The Friday Institute at North Carolina State University, along with the Alliance for Excellent Education, are offering a free "MOOC-Ed" course designed to help superintendents, instructional technology officers and other district leaders develop goals and actionable plans for digital learning initiatives. The eight-week course starts on March 2 and walks through the Future Ready Schools Framework, which lay out ingredients for how leaders can support smart tech adoption in schools. A certificate of completion, worth 20 hours of professional development, will be available to active participants.
MASSIVELY PASSIVE INCOME: MOOCs stand for "massively online open courses." On Udemy, there's apparently massive money to be made as well. The San Francisco, CA-based online learning marketplace, which boasts more than 20,000 courses and 5 million students, says its top 10 instructors have earned a total of $17 million. One Udemy instructor even teaches a course on how to make money on Udemy. The company has so far raised $48 million in venture capital.