Trends | EdTech Developers Tour

The Office of Educational Technology at the US Department of Education is back on tour. They’ve traveled to several cities since they launched the Ed Tech Developer’s Tour back in May in D.C. with 1776, a global incubator and seed fund that works closely with technology and edtech innovators and entrepreneurs. So far, they’ve stopped in Philadelphia (Milken-Penn GSE), Austin (Ed Tech Austin), Boston (LearnLaunch), Twin Cities (Ed Tech Meetup Twin Cities + StartupWeekend Twin Cities), and Baltimore (Betamore + Ed Tech Maryland). You can follow the conversation through their hashtag #edtechdev  This week they’ll be in Los Angeles for the next stop, joining the Educelerate LA event hosted at GeneralAssembly (Santa Monica).  Then they’ll move on to Denver, joining the Ed Tech Colorado Meetup event at The Commons on Champa. Along the way they’ll host in-depth discussion of the recently released EdTech Developer’s Guide.  For future tour dates check out: and follow the hashtag #edtechdev for updates.

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Cool Tool | Edmodo Spotlight

CREDIT Edmodo SpotlightContent creation and discovery are crucial components to redefining learning in the 21st century. The ways in which teachers and students interact with content have the potential to make a significant difference in the evolution of adaptive learning tools that actually impact learning outcomes, according to Edmodo CEO Vibhu Mittal. Keeping pace with this trend, global education network Edmodo announced Edmodo Spotlight, a content marketplace that enables the collection, sharing, and discovery of valuable educational resources to improve student learning. On Edmodo Spotlight, educators share helpful resources, review resources from all over the the web, curate collections of their favorites, and sell and purchase original material from educator peers, as well as from third-party publishers. The ability to search by grade level, subject, resource type and price point makes it quick and easy to find specific types of resources, saving teachers time. In addition to educators, parents can also access resources for their respective child’s learning pathway. Overall, it provides teachers the opportunity to share their original content, and to better sort educational resources in a crowd-sourced fashion, so that the best materials are surfaced and used in the right way to advance student learning.

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Cool Tool | Planet Mechanic

PlanetMechanicIn Filament Games’ latest release, Planet Mechanic, students learn about planets by helping an alien race choose the conditions of its home world. By experimenting with a planet’s core attributes, manipulating its atmosphere, tilt, rotation and lunar cycles, students see firsthand how these factors change temperature, time and seasons. Aligned to Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core State Standards and Benchmarks for Science Literacy, the game encourages players to learn how the Earth-sun-moon system affects the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons. It also teaches students how gravity affects the motions of planets and other objects within galaxies and the solar system. Like other Filament Games titles, Planet Mechanic is equipped with a Teacher Dashboard that allows teachers to check in on student progress by giving real-time insight into which learning objectives their students have encountered. The Teacher Dashboard informs teachers exactly where students are struggling so that instructors can provide timely intervention when students need it the most. An out of this world experience that keeps students grounded in solid science basics from some very intelligent and creative earthlings, check it out for yourself.

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Cool Tool | BloomBoard Marketplace

CREDIT BloomboardThis marketplace offers easy access to thousands of free and paid professional learning resources to help educators improve their practice. Find courses, eBooks, articles and videos from trusted content providers, all accessible from a single destination. It works like this: explore, learn and share. Exploring, the search and filter tools make finding the professional resources you’re looking for easy. In the upper left corner of the homepage, you can search by Teacher Skills or Student Skills. Click one of these options to filter by resource type, subject area, grade level, and more. In learning, the marketplace contains a vast array of resources including courses, eBooks, articles, and videos. Select the best resources for you based on ratings and reviews from peers and expert curators. After discovering a new skill or strategy, there’s only one thing left to do: give it a shot. Then, there’s sharing: when you find an interesting or valuable resource, leave a review about how it helped you in the classroom, and then pass it along. You can use the share button to send any useful resources to a fellow educator, a group of peers, or through your social networks. Creating an account is easy and free. Visit

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Cool Tool | Grammarly

CREDIT GrammarlyGrammarly is a leading online application for perfecting English writing. Its online spell and grammar checking application helps users find and correct English writing issues. Its powerful algorithms check for more than 250 types of spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, enhance vocabulary usage and suggest citations. It’s available as a web application and Microsoft Word Add-in. Also, a free Chrome Extension was recently launched that grammar and spell check your online writing from emails to Facebook messages. This extension will be available for other browsers as well. With over four million users, the application’s main users are students and teachers. Grammarly’s software shows specific and actionable comments so students can understand and correct mistakes in their writing assignments. As they notice the reoccurrence of the same errors, they have an opportunity to identify and break bad habits. Classroom teachers also appreciate its time-saving components, including the plagiarism checker. Within just a few moments, educators can verify that a document is original and offer detailed feedback about writing mistakes. Grammarly has obvious applications in the classroom, but teachers and students are not the only ones who use its automatic grammar checking capabilities. Bloggers check their posts, Tweets, and Facebook communications with Grammarly. Professional writers customize what writing corrections are flagged by selecting one of the 30 available document types. Very cool tool! Check it out.

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