WHAT CAN'T AMAZON DELIVER? The company that started with goods and groceries will now be delivering live tutoring, thanks to a partnership with San Diego, CA-based TakeLessons, a marketplace for local and online lessons. It's part of Amazon's new Home Services, which offers customers in most US urban areas a variety of services, from plumbing to car stereo installation. (TakeLessons raised $7 million in a Series C round in 2014 and $18 million total since its launch in 2006.) Haven't you always wanted to learn some French while you hire goats to graze your pasture?
TESTING, TESTING: Here's a bit of testing news that doesn't involved Common Core, PARCC or SBAC. The College Board has just posted sample PSAT questions online, as well as an entire practice test to help prepare students for the revamped exam. Designed in relation to the SAT's makeover (which was announced last year in the midst of SXSWedu), the PSAT will not involve that hardy SAT vocabulary, and it emphasizes "closing reading and analytical skills," as Politico described in its morning blast on Monday, March 30.
CLIO ONLINE, one of the biggest publisher of digital materials for the elementary school market in Denmark, has sold a majority stake to Bonnier Business Press, a part of international media conglomerate, Bonnier AB. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 2006, Clio Online offers digital assessments, content and lesson planning tools to approximately 2,000 school customers, "including 75% of all Danish primary and lower secondary schools." More details in the release.
TOO COOL (PERFECT FOR SCHOOL): We've got our favorite edtech teacher and administrator tools for the week right here, as highlighted in our Instruct newsletter. By the way--got a favorite S’Cool Tool you like to use? We would love to hear and share your recommendations! If you’ve got a tool that makes you or your students sing from the proverbial mountaintops, fill out this form to let us know. It might just get featured!
Our tools of the week are:
Free! If you’re looking for a way to collect and review student assignments electronically, here’s an idea. The Showbie app, available on for iOS, allows you to give assignments, receive student work, and add written, drawn or recorded comments directly onto them. Here’s to easing up your classroom workflow!
Free! Do you use online texts and videos in your classroom? With DocentEDU, you can tailor sites from the web for your own lessons, by adding comments, highlighting, videos, maps, graphics, and questions. Your students can add their own annotations to the text, too. DocentEDU also offers a grading tool for all those answered questions and assignments.
Free! Take an LMS, mix in a classroom response tool like Socrative, and you’ve got Quipper. Available on browsers, iPhone, iPad, and Android, London-based Quipper offers a way to deliver short lessons and ask multiple choice questions of your students. After answers are submitted, the platform provides analytics based on class responses and messages for communicating with students individually.