Building Consensus and Momentum: A Policy and Political Landscape for K-12 Competency Education

A growing number of states and districts have embraced competency education, a new approach to teaching and learning that has the potential to solve the nation’s workforce challenges. Competency learning emphasizes student mastery, rather than seat time, to ensure every student demonstrates his or her knowledge and skill in a subject before advancing.

However, when KnowledgeWorks and Nellie Mae Education Foundation surveyed forward-thinking practitioners across the county, a majority of those surveyed said they are interested in competency learning, but have been unable to implement it in the classroom, school or district.

Competency education cannot be scaled unless policymakers address the barriers that make it challenging to transform teaching and learning. Barriers stem from federal laws that reinforce the traditional time-based elements and mandated statewide and federal testing systems.

In KnowledgeWorks’ first-ever e-book, authors address three policy areas to focus on in building an educational system that supports competency education. By focusing on these areas, states would be given the flexibility needed to innovate, evaluate and build systems that positively impact student achievement.

Read the article and read or download the entire book from KnowledgeWorks at


The Nellie Mae Education Foundation recently shared a new report with you that explores the policy landscape for K-12 competency education. You might be interested in watching the video below, which explores what competency-based learning looks like in action.

Watch the video What is Competency Based Education? on You Tube at


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10 Privacy Principles for Student Data

More than 30 education groups endorse privacy principles designed to guide student data use in schools.

Education groups are working together to increase transparency around how they use and protect valuable student data.

On Tuesday, March 10, the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and the Data Quality Campaign released 10 privacy principles that earned the support of more than 30 education groups representing education leaders, teachers and parents. These principles provide high-level guidance on protecting student data privacy in schools and show that the education community is serious about privacy.

“There’s lots of work still to be done in making those principles reality, but I think just being able to articulate this hopefully starts a new conversation on trust,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. Continue reading

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Privacy Pitfalls as Education Apps Spread Haphazardly

At school districts across the country, the chief technology officers responsible for safeguarding student data are tearing their hair out.

Scores of education technology start-ups, their pockets full from a rush of venture capital, are marketing new digital learning tools directly to teachers — many are even offering them free to get a foothold in schools. That has enabled educators nationwide to experiment with a host of novel “adaptive learning” products, like math and foreign language apps that record and analyze students’ online activities to personalize their lessons.

But the new digital tools have also left school district technology directors scrambling to keep track of which companies are collecting students’ information — and how they are using it.

“A teacher can sign up for anything, without the knowledge of anyone else in the district,” said Steve Young, the chief technology officer of the Judson Independent School District, a school system with some 23,500 students in San Antonio. Continue reading

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Brain Awareness Week: March 16-22

The publications and resources of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and the Dana Foundation offer accessible and reliable news and information about the brain and brain research.  All are available online at, the website of the Dana Foundation.

Below is just a sampling of the free materials available online and by subscription at, as well as descriptions of the materials available for order in bulk quantities by registered BAW partners (USA only).

Visit the News and Publications & Multimedia sections of for more information about our print and web publications, as well as audio and video.

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Digital Learning Day 2015

The countdown is on…

Hey New Hampshire Schools!  Digital Learning Day is almost here.  You still have time to plan an event and add it to the Digital Learning Day map.

Watch the live stream on Friday, March 13th at 1:00 PM.

Watch the Digital Learning Day Live Stream here from You Tube!

Digital Learning Day

Digital Learning Day Map

Digital Learning Day on

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How Technology Makes Education Exciting

Education is a brilliant combination of teaching someone and developing one’s knowledge simultaneously. You will see teachers saying how they have not been able to develop or further themselves professionally. Both teachers and students should further and move towards their goals in order to make education central to the learner and establishing more efforts towards making it fulfilling.

If even one of the two fails to further their own self, they would fail to establish the true meaning for education. For long now MOOCs have been working towards making education and professional development complete for teacher honoring their needs to grow. Technology has partnered with teachers to make education better and to help them go on with providing good education to their students too. MOOCs, though a tradition with technology, has proven to offer teachers with free hands to pursue their development.

With such cool tools and MOOC by your side, you won’t need to find ways to enhance learning of both the teachers and students within a class. Technology makes advancement of both teachers and students collaborative.

Read the entire article on Voniz at

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2015-2016 Chris Nelson Memorial Grant Applications Open on March 14


Chris Nelson Grant

The 2015-2016 Chris Nelson Memorial Grant Application period opens this Saturday, March 14th.  The mission of the Chris Nelson Memorial Grant Program is to provide educators an opportunity to fund a specific project in their classroom, school, and/or district.  Projects to be funded will have a foundation in the use of emerging instructional technologies to assist and enhance content delivery.

NHSTE will fund three projects for the 2015-2016 school year.  Each project will receive $4000 to aid in software and hardware purchases as well as professional development for all educators involved with the project.  If you have an idea for a project that will greatly enhance the learning of your students, through the use of technology, we urge you to apply for one of these grants.

For more information about Chris Nelson, the grant, and the application, please visit or email grant chairperson, Celeste Best, at


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