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Next Generation Learning Challenges Innovation Briefs

March 2014

Next Gen Tools: Matchbook Learning's "Spark"
2014
This publication by Jodi Lewis closes the series "Next Gen Tools," a collection of briefs that examine technology tools and strategies in use by Next Generation Learning Challenge grantees to support K-12 and postsecondary student success. The final publication focuses on "Spark," a data integration tool created at Matchbook Learning to support its student-centered, mastery-based, blended learning school model. The tool integrates multiple points of student data from various online resource and assessment providers on a daily basis. Spark provides teachers with a one-stop view of a student's proficiency to help inform instructional strategy, and to help teachers group students for future learning opportunities.

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Next Gen Tools: Education Achievement Authority Professional Development
August 2014
This brief focuses on the blended, mastery-based professional development course developed by the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan for teachers in its student-centered learning schools. An artifact includes screenshots of the teacher dashboard and professional development playlist that guides the professional learning experience in the Buzz learning platform.

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Next Gen Tools: Pre-Service Teacher Learning Collaborative
August 2014
This brief examines the pre-service teacher development collaboration between Piedmont Middle School and Jacksonville State University. In order to create a pool of new teachers experienced in blended learning and other technology-enabled teaching strategies, the partnership increased pre-service learning time and developed co-teaching courses for JSU’s student teachers.

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Next Gen Tools: Degreein3 Math Modeling
August 2014
This brief features the online Degreein3 Program's unique approach to an entry-level math course at Columbus State University. "Math Modeling" incorporates learning support modules into its curriculum, offering prior learning assessments to allow proficient students to pass these pre-college-level math units. Having the learning support modules built in provides other students the opportunity to practice pre-college-level coursework in preparation for the credit-earning portion of the course.

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Next Gen Tools: Blended Learning Classroom Design
July 2014
This brief features the school facility at Merit Prep Newark, a blended learning school featuring large classrooms that enable groups of 100-plus students to progress at their own individualized pace through online resources and assessments, with a team of two to three teachers to facilitate deeper concept inquiry, project-based learning, and collaboration among students. The design teams master and apprentice teachers in one classroom, thus enabling educator learning opportunities.

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Next Gen Tools: Competency Report
July 2014
This brief describes the development of a competency report for Northern Arizona University’s (NAU) Personalized Learning program. NAU’s competency reports describe the skills and abilities that students have achieved in their progression towards a degree. These reports demonstrate accomplishments that are potentially more relevant to future employers than the listings of courses, grades, and credits on a traditional transcript.

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Next Gen Tools: Faculty Engagement
May 2014
This brief describes the collaboration and development of the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate, a competency-based postsecondary degree program. Faculty from South Texas College—a community college—and Texas A&M-Commerce—a regional university—worked together with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to develop, design and implement TAB.

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Next Gen Tools: E3 Civic High School
April 2014
This brief highlights e3 Civic High School’s adaptable facility infrastructure that supports the school's personalized learning and collaborative, project-based curriculum, aimed at encouraging independence and flexibility in learning so students learn in any setting and at any time.

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Next Gen Tools: Activate Instruction
March 2014
This brief highlights a free online-based learning platform co-developed by Summit Public Schools, Illuminate Education, and the Girard Education Foundation. It integrates curricula with assessments, enabling students to progress at their own pace.

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Next Gen Tools: CFA Learning Environment
March 2014
This brief highlights College for America’s comprehensive platform that tracks learning and degree progress and provides data management and analytics.

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Authors: Jodi Lewis

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