First-ever Israel EdTech Summit brings a global reach

Debut event featured ed-tech entrepreneurs, educators, and more

The first-ever Israel EdTech Summit has just wrapped, bringing together a decidedly global group of educators, startup founders, and other critical stakeholders to discuss innovations in the future of ed-tech. The event, held June 8-9, took place at the Tel Aviv Cultural Center.

Throughout the two days, more than 500 attendees from around the world — including China, Brazil, Germany, and the United States — listened to panel discussions on topics such as personalized learning and big data, improving STEM education, and the role of capital in ed-tech investment success. Other sessions focused on closing the skill gap, bridging tech inequality among students, and building out a successful company.

The keynote was delivered by former president of Intel Israel Mooly Eden.…Read More

3 Friday Shortcuts

Coursera hires a former Yale president, a Florida university struggles to grant credit to MOOCs, and more in this week’s Shortcuts

shortcut-news-yaleWelcome to Friday Shortcuts, a round-up of the ed-tech news that didn’t make it onto the front page of eCampus News this week–but you should know about anyway.

Shortcut 1. Former Yale president heads to Coursera as CEO

In a move that will further differentiate itself from its main competitor, Udacity, massive open online course platform  Coursera has hired Richard Levin as its new CEO. Levin was the president of Yale University for two decades.…Read More

New grants aim to spur ed-tech innovation

Canvas Grants will give $100,000 for K-12 and higher-education projects that use technology in creative ways

Instructure is accepting proposals from K-12 schools, colleges, and universities from now until Jan. 20.

Want to develop an app that can recommend the best courses, videos, or other resources for your students, based on their specific needs and interests? Or apply the principles of “universal design” to the creation of online courses? There’s a new grant for that.

Instructure, the Utah-based company that makes the Canvas learning management system, has announced $100,000 in grants to spur innovation in K-12 and higher education.

Through its Canvas Grants, the company will provide $50,000 for higher-education projects and $50,000 for K-12 projects that use technology to advance learning in unique or creative ways.…Read More

MOOC platform Coursera raises $43 million in funding

Coursera will soon double the number of its employees.

A growing backlash and simmering resentment among some faculty toward massive open online courses (MOOCs), coupled with low retention rates, means the technology’s future, and its ability to change higher education, is not yet certain.

But a handful of investors have enough faith in the much-hyped movement that they have just given more than $40 million to MOOC platform Coursera.

The funds come from GSV Capital, International Finance Corporation, Laureate Education, Inc., Learn Capital and venture capitalist Yuri Milner. Altogether, $43 million was raised during Coursera’s Series B funding.…Read More

Cash for educational apps?

Developers of the best apps will receive $1,000.

Leading learning management system providers, including Instructure, Desire2Learn, and Blackboard, are offering $250 rewards to anyone who creates an app for the Learning Tools Interoperability standard, also known as LTI.

The “LTI App Bounty” initiative, announced May 13, is meant to encourage innovation and create a host of useful apps that could fill in missing functions in existing LMSs that have developed a reputation as “anti-social” in an age of social networking, said Brian Whitmer, Instructure’s co-founder.

“There’s agreement that this needs to happen to open things up a bit,” he said, adding that LMSs have resisted change an innovation for many years. “I’d like to say vendor lock-in has decreased, but I think it’s just starting to change. … I think that’s a symptom of an unhealthy ecosystem, and something that we really need to change.”…Read More

10 ed-tech tools of the 70s, 80s, and 90s

We don’t know about you, but sometimes our mind is blown here at eSchool News and eCampus News hearing about the ed-tech  kids get to learn with these days: mobile gaming apps, clickers, smart boards?  Many of the editors still remember how wonderful it was being called to the front of the class to write on the blackboard with colored chalk!

As a fun Friday list, the editors of eSchool News have compiled a list of the education technologies we and our teachers used back in the day…you know, before the internet even existed.

Can you think of an ed-tech tool not on the list? What was your favorite classroom tool when you were in school?…Read More

Pearson launches ed-tech incubator for startups

Publishing giant Pearson has launched an incubator program for ed-tech startups, following in the footsteps of other educational companies like Kaplan, Mashable reports.

Pearson Catalyst, the new program, will match educational startups with Pearson brands and resources. The company’s vast amount of content will be available to help participants further develop their products to target and personalize online learning.

Sharing industry insight and connecting with new companies will allow Pearson to promote learning and take advantage of new ideas, says Diana Stepner, head of future technologies.…Read More

Top higher-ed tech trends for 2013

A new survey outlines key higher-ed tech trends for 2013.

A survey of colleges and universities previews some of the top higher-ed tech trends set to emerge in 2013. The survey comes from Edudemic, a site connecting educators and students with ed-tech tools and resources.

Smart phones figure prominently, and 89 percent of surveyed colleges said they send text messages as part of their emergency communications. Ninety-three percent of college stuents text message, and 53 percent own a smart phone. A new trend will focus on using SMS communications to update students on deadlines and assignments, provide instant contact in case of emergency, and keep students, faculty, and staff informed on general updates and campus activities, according to the survey.

Social media, already a huge tech trend that offers endless possibilities in the classroom, will continue to be a major force in higher education. Every university surveyed said it maintains a Facebook account, 80 percent have a Twitter account, and 70 percent operate YouTube or Vimeo channels. Eighty-three percent of schools said they use social media to engage alumni, and 38 percent engage the local community through social media tools.…Read More