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From the Editor

Anne Wujcik, EditorOn Monday, President Obama hosted the 5th White House Science Fair, featuring 36 exhibits manned by young scientists and engineers from across the country. Participating students had all previously won honors at a broad range of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competitions, such as FIRST Robotics, the National eCybermission Competition, the Intel Science Talent Search, Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge and the Google Science Fair, among others. This year's event included a specific focus on girls and women who are excelling in STEM and inspiring the next generation with their work. There's a video of the highlights at https://www.whitehouse.gov/science-fair, including a wonderful segment of the President interacting with a team of six-year old Girl Scouts who had created a battery-powered page turner for people who are paralyzed or have arthritis (and who seemed decidedly unimpressed by being at the White House).

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Voice from the Industry

Greg Wright, CEO, NaikuBeing a Good Ed Tech Partner

“Listen to your customers.” It’s a tried-and-true business adage but often easier said than done. To listen is one thing but to understand what is being said and act upon what you have heard can be challenging. In the K-12 market, this is compounded by the fact that educators are so busy.

  • Use educational research to drive product development.
  • Make it easy for educators to provide concrete and specific feedback to their needs that is both understandable and actionable.
  • Be receptive to feedback and allow time to listen.
  • Let educators know their voices are being heard.

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She Snoops for Scoops: The Personal Side of the EdNET Community

Vicki Smith BighamWell, it's Friday, friends, and the scoops are short but always good, right? Stop for a quick read before your weekend starts!

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The Incredible Kid-Ingenuity on Display at the Fifth White House Science Fair

At the fifth-annual White House Science Fair, President Obama welcomed more than 100 students from more than 30 states for a celebration and showcase of their truly remarkable achievments in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). As part of the Science Fair, approximately 35 student teams exhibited innovative projects -- including discoveries and insights in key areas such as disease diagnostics, clean energy, and information security -- as well as inventions ranging from the “why didn’t I think of that?” (automatic page-turner for people with arthritis) to the “who’d have ever thought that possible?” (a hiccup-curing lollipop!).

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Alliance for Excellent Education’s New Planning Tool Helps School Districts Determine Readiness for Technology

Nationwide, more than 1,700 school district superintendents have taken the Future Ready pledge—a promise to personalize learning for students using digital tools. To help them fulfill their promise—and determine their readiness to do so, the Alliance for Excellent Education today unveiled the Future Ready Interactive Planning Dashboard, a free online tool to help school districts assess their needs and make data-informed decisions on how to effectively use technology to engage students, empower teachers, and improve learning outcomes. Rooted deeply in best practice research and focus groups with education technology experts, the dashboard is a proven model for implementing digital learning that combines educational technology with quality teaching.

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