U.S. Department of Education Releases Study and Accompanying Toolkit on Ed Tech for English Learners

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) today announced the release of the National Study on English Learners and Digital Resources. The study provides the first national look at how districts and educators use educational technology to instruct English learner students—the fastest-growing student population in the country.

Today’s students are entering classrooms that have seen rapid adoption of digital technologies in instruction. With these new technologies, teachers of English learner (EL) students, whether they are general education teachers or specialists in EL student instruction, have exciting new tools to support learning.

This toolkit brings suggestions and resources for educators who want to utilize new technology-based resources to help their EL students gain proficiency in English and meet academic goals. The toolkit offers five guiding principles for educators to apply in exploring new ways of working with and supporting EL students through technology. In addition, the toolkit has a companion—The Developer Toolkit which provides guidance for developers on the needs of English learner students and their teachers, tips on supports to include with their products that may be especially useful for English learners and ways they can communicate about their products with districts and educators of English learner students to facilitate adoption.

Full story at ed.gov

Building an Education Marketplace

With school choice supporters helming both the White House and the U.S. Department of Education, media attention to school choice has focused on potential changes at the federal level. It’s true that change could come from Washington: Trump could make good on his promise of $20 billion for school choice, or after hearing arguments last week in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley, the Supreme Court could pave the way for more choice programs by ruling that Blaine Amendments, which prohibit state funds from going to religious schools in 37 state constitutions, are unconstitutional. However, the real action to date on school choice has been at the state level, as evidenced with this month’s dramatic expansion of education savings accounts, or ESA, in Arizona.

The first ESA program was established in Arizona in 2011. It places part of the state’s per-pupil education funding into a restricted-use account that parents can spend to customize their child’s education by choosing among education service providers. ESAs circumvent Blaine Amendments because the state does not transfer the funds to schools or education service providers; parents do.

Full story of building an education marketplace at USNEWS

U.S. Department of Education Recognizes 14 States and 40 Districts Committing to #GoOpen with Educational Resources

The U.S. Department of Education today announced the launch of 14 statewide #GoOpen initiatives committed to supporting school districts and educators as they transition to the use of high-quality, openly-licensed educational resources in their schools. This inaugural cohort of #GoOpen states joins leaders from an expanding number of #GoOpen districts and innovative platform providers in setting a vision and creating the environment where educators and students can access the tools, content and expertise necessary to thrive in a connected world.

“Openly licensed educational resources can increase equity by providing all students, regardless of zip code, access to high quality learning materials that have the most up-to-date and relevant content,” said Acting U.S. Education Secretary John King. “The leadership, mentorship, and collaboration of these #GoOpen states and districts are critical, not just to grow and sustain this movement, but to transform our schools.”

Full story of #GoOpen with educational resources at ed.gov