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What We're Reading: Weekly Recap [2nd Edition]

Posted by Admin on Jan 16, 2015


Everyday, we read and share via social media a range of stories from a variety of international sources about education technology. As the week comes to a close, we compile a few of our favourite articles as a basis to summarize the themes, trends and notable EdTech events from the past five days.
Each Friday we publish a variation of this recurrent post to showcase what we're reading, things that inspire us and other findings we have recently discovered about the EdTech industry. 

3 Interesting Editorials: 

Among many other articles, we especially enjoyed reading these stories that advocated alternative perspectives on blended learning and a view from MIT about the direction adult learning is going: 
edsurge.png  EdSurge: Is This the Future of Adult Learning?
 Venture Village: Learning to Code: How CareerFoundry Educates to Launch Successful Careers
Mind.Shift.png MindShift: Some Benefits and Drawbacks of Blended Learning 


Google & Education:

Since the start of 2015, Google has revealed a few updates to their educational offerings in an attempt to accelerate learning and incorporate more of their technology into classrooms. Their Google for Education team published a 'Brigining Learning Online' guide; providing a 5 step plan for adding more EdTech solutions to schools. This site seems more like a basic starting point for the larger Google product suite, but it is an encouraging resource to help make the case for why more EdTech is needed. 
Google also announced two additional product improvements this week: 
  • A mobile app (compatible with Android and iOS systems) for Google Classroom that widens access to the previously web-based tool. According to TechCrunch, there has already been over 30 million assignments submitted to Google Classroom and this new app provides innovative ways to take photos and videos to attach to their homework. 
  • The second announcement, which is for the more general Google user, relates to the new language detection capabilities of Google Translate. Venture Beat reported that the software will now automatically know which language is being spoken when the app is used, in addition to allowing consumers to take a photo with their camera for instant visual translation. 
These two developments reveal Google's continued interest in creating user-friendly tools and apps that further education and allow greater learning capabilities through easy to use technology.      

Discovery Education's Math Textbook:

Last week, Discovery Education debuted a new Math Techbook as part of their digital textbook offering. They promoted it during an engaging corresponding panel event that discussed insights that were focused mostly on the U.S. market, but where interesting nonetheless. EducationDive summarized the 5 key takeaways: 
  1.  [U.S. Teaching] Districts must be 'determined, resilient, and focused' 
  2. Students shouldn't be told they won't use certain math in the 'real world'
  3. Educators must feel like it's safe to try new approaches 
  4. Effectively teaching math is critical for jobs of the future 
  5. The math acheivement gap with female and minority students is critical 
Despite its primary purpose being the launch of a new Techbook, this panel, featuring influencers like Google's Chief Innovation Evangelist Michele Weslander Quaid, presented a plurality of perspectives on ways Math education can improve using technology. 

Know of a favourite story that you enjoyed and we missed? Share with us on Twitter or email us and we may include it in next week's What We're Reading post. 

Topics: EdTech Ventures

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