From the Editor

Anne Wujcik, EditorI am so looking forward to EdNET this year. It will be wonderful to reconnect with long-time friends and industry colleagues as well as to meet new people and learn about new organizations who working on education solutions. Safe travels everyone. See you in Atlanta.

I was at an event at the local grade school this week that reminded me about what a gift a good librarian is to a school's teachers and students. I think we sometimes forget about the amazing things that librarians/media center specialists do to support learning at their schools. Librarians are at the heart of the school information network. They know a lot about what's going on in individual classrooms. They distribute catalogs with personal notes pointing out resources just right for the next unit a teacher is planning. They forward e-mails to the "right" people and introduce teachers to new products of all sorts. The library is often home to the school's maker space.

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Voice from the Industry

Elliott Levine, Chief Academic Officer, HP AmericasEd Tech Bubble Coming—Cause of Death: “Free”

With a record-setting $2.5 billion+ invested in ed tech companies worldwide in the first half of 2015, venture capital firms, venture funding arms of major companies, and private investors are jumping on board to get their piece of the action. Unfortunately for many, I foresee the ed tech bubble about to burst in the next 18 months. Most of the investments, including many of the “sweetheart” companies loved by the VC community, will fall victim to the bubble because their flawed business model being used today crashed and burned 15 years ago…they just weren’t wise enough to learn from history.

Business models for ed tech companies need to be:

  • Rational
  • Reasonable
  • Realistic and
  • Sustainable

Read on to see some examples of today’s flawed business models.

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

Vicki Smith BighamOk friends, happy Friday! The Snoop is headed to Atlanta today as our team prepares for EdNET 2015, and I sure hope you are headed there, too. It will be an amazing time, both in learning from the programming planned and with that all-important networking. I hope you have your appointments planned, but before you head out, check out my many, many scoops for you this week....

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New Report Describes Policies and Practices Promoted by Race to the Top, School Improvement Grant Programs

States and schools receiving funding under a $7 billion Obama administration investment in Race to the Top (RTT) and School Improvement Grants (SIG) generally used more of the education principles embedded in those programs than those not receiving such grants, a new report released by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) finds. The report presents results from a multi-year collaboration between experts at the American Institutes for Research (AIR), Mathematica Policy Research, and Social Policy Research Associates. The report sets the stage for a long-awaited study—expected in 2016—of the program’s effects on student achievement.

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46 States Introduced 182 Bills Addressing Student Privacy In 2015

Released today, the Data Quality Campaign's new analysis of 2015 state legislation provides clarity on the continuing evolution of student data privacy legislation. "The scope and number of bills shows states are putting great thought into how they can use data to support students while also safeguarding it," said Paige Kowalski, vice president of policy and advocacy for the Data Quality Campaign.

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