News Feature | September 24, 2013

Education IT News For VARs — September 24, 2013

Bernadette Wilson

By Bernadette Wilson


Business Solutions searched recent headlines for news of interest to VARs serving educational systems and institutions.

Education Technology Start-ups Earn Funding

Seven education technology start-ups recently graduated from LearnLaunchX, Boston’s educational technology accelerator. A Wall Street Journal Market Watch article reports the companies were selected by a competitive process, received $18,000 in seed funding, and participated in a three-month developmental program. The products the new companies presented to investors include curriculum materials based on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Coalition, an assessment and feedback tool that uses optical character recognition, a planning tool for creating instruction that aligns with Common Core Curriculum, and tools to create interactive video instruction.

Accelerators are located in other parts of the country — and recently, the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education has planned to launch its own education technology accelerator.

ASIS Awards $42K To 2013 Security Funding Competition Winner

Spencer Technology Academy, Chicago Public Schools, will receive $42,000 from the ASIS Foundation as the 2013 School Security Funding Competition winner. The money is slated for improved security. The foundation will honor Spencer Technology Academy at ASIS 2013 this week.

California Education Tech Task Force Seeks Addition Of Cabinet Position

A article reports California’s Education Technology Task Force will recommend a cabinet-level position to oversee technology investments at the state’s Department of Education. The department oversees $60 billion in federal and state education spending. Additional recommendations include teacher training and certification in technology instruction, designing facilities to accommodate technology, establishing private sector partnerships, and investing private and public sector funds to improve technology in schools.

Study Compares Digital Curriculum To Textbooks

SRI International received a $3.5 million U.S. Department of Education grant to study a new elementary school mathematics curriculum in 52 West Virginia schools. Nonprofit Reasoning Mind created the curriculum that uses technology to increase student engagement and gives students and teachers instant feedback. One area of focus in the study is comparing conventional textbook approaches with digital curricula.

Education IT Talking Points

A Daily Journal article reports a few hours after Center Grove High School in Indiana issued 2,000 iPads – programmed so only teachers and administrators controlled what was on them —- hundreds of the students had found ways to reprogram the units so they could download games and apps. 

In New Zealand, Southland schools will use SelectaDNA technology to protect electronic equipment from theft. A article reports the marked objects will reveal a serial number under UV light.