Tis the season of top 10 lists, and NGLC is jumping right in with our top 10 blogs of the year. This list of the 10 most popular blog posts is an interesting mix that highlights the key activities of the NGLC initiative this year and puts a spotlight on several individual grant recipients and their innovative work to transform education through technology.
10. Progress Report.
Ten postsecondary blended learning-focused projects were among the 29 organizations awarded grants in the first wave of NGLC funding and their efforts were featured in a new report released last December. The report detailed the designs of the grant recipients’ scalable models and their strategies for scaling, including internal capacity, technology platforms, and supports provided to faculty and staff at adopting institutions.
9. Do the Math SAILS into Tennessee High Schools.
The Building Blocks for College Completion grant recipients were awarded grants to scale their innovations for use at other colleges and universities. Following their grant period, Chattanooga State Community College’s John Squires announced that the Do the Math developmental math course design was scaling statewide…in high schools. The intent of the initiative is to increase the number of students entering Tennessee community colleges ready for college-credit math.
8. NGLC Announces $12M in New Grants.
The announcement of a new call for proposals was understandably a big draw to NGLC blog readers. Announced this past February, NGLC has awarded 38 grants for this wave of funding which focuses on K-12 breakthrough models. We just closed a second cycle call for launch grant applications. The final deadline for applications comes on January 13 in the new year; NGLC seeks applications for $100,000 planning grants to design a new breakthrough school model.
7. Rethink: Planning and Designing for K-12 Next Generation Learning
NGLC partnered with iNACOL to produce a toolkit for educators that are interested in starting blended, competency-based, and personalized learning initiatives and schools. The toolkit helps innovators ask the right questions and connect with a community of educators committed to next gen learning.
6. Watch Next Generation Learning in Action: USC Hybrid High School: A High School for the 21st Century.
This post featured a video in the “Profiles of Next Generation Learning” series about the breakthrough school grantee USC Hybrid High’s model in its first-year. It was a great video, but the USC Hybrid High model is significantly different today from what it looked like in its first year. For a more accurate picture, check out the school’s updated profile.
5. Pathway to Possibility: A Framework is Renovated and Refined.
In early spring of 2013, NGLC put forth a revised white paper on the six dimensions of next generation learning, reflecting our perspective on what next gen learning is and what it requires. The report includes practice examples drawn from the NGLC portfolio of grant recipients – across higher education and K-12, both building block tech innovations and whole school/degree program breakthrough models.
4. The Potential of Games and Simulations in Higher Education.
David Gibson of simSchool described how simSchool, a higher ed. tech innovation funded by NGLC in Wave I Building Blocks for College Completion, was built upon research on game-based learning and virtual performance assessments. In simSchool, a teacher-in-training virtually stands in front of a classroom and teaches simulated students, who react and learn based on their actions.
3. NGLC Releases Profiles of Latest Grantees.
This is a post from late in 2012. But NGLC blog readers returned to it throughout 2013 to see its presentation of the original profiles of the 10 breakthrough degree program models and 20 breakthrough school models awarded grants in 2012. These profiles have just been updated–see our Breakthrough Models Designs page to explore all K-12 and higher education breakthrough models supported by NGLC.
2. 19 Promising (and Common Core-aligned) Tools and Resources for Middle School Classrooms.
Posted last December following the capstone convening of grant recipients from NGLC’s Wave II Building Blocks for College Completion, this post also remained popular throughout 2013. It showcases the digital tools—collections of vetted digital curricula, virtual games, teacher professional development, and complete learning module packages—created and piloted by the grant recipients. The tools are organized within the post by a Common Core literacy innovations list and a Common Core math innovations list.
And the number 1 most popular blog post of the year:
1. Putting the “Breakthrough” in Breakthrough Model Schools.
On July 15, NGLC announced eight new recipients of Breakthrough School Launch grants and 30 recipients of Breakthrough School Planning grants. This post described some of the common threads among the launch grant recipients. And you can learn even more about the eight Launch grant recipients through their new profiles (see #3 above). The popularity of this post in particular has us here at NGLC excited for the upcoming announcement in spring 2014 of grant awards to additional bold and inspiring breakthrough model schools.