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Learning Impact Blog

Header for Learning Impact blog (April 2022) with Rob Abel's photo and title: The Non-Profit, Member-Guided Goodness of 1EdTech

As we close in on the official transition from 1EdTech Consortium to 1EdTech, I wanted to add to my previous posts about the 1EdTech brand to explain the value of having two affiliated organizations under the 1EdTech brand: the 1EdTech Foundation and the 1EdTech Consortium.

Image of Value of 1EdTech Consortium and 1EdTech Foundation

The Role of 1EdTech in Public and Private Benefit

1EdTech logo with taglineThe 1EdTech brand promise is to power learner potential through a united community dedicated to an open and trusted educational technology ecosystem that makes life better for all stakeholders. Yes, it’s a bold statement, but one made with humility given the 25-year history of enduring impact we have already made, with much more to come.

My friend, colleague, and mentor of many years, Dr. Bill Graves, would often talk about how education is both a “public and private good.” This simple phrase has deep meaning. It is a source of pride for those in our community who have given themselves to the world of education. It means that in education, there is both public benefit (the positive impacts on society) and private benefit (the positive impacts on the individuals). You don’t need to think too long to realize they are both needed in our world. The phrase also means that we recognize that there is a compact with society to serve more than private gains.

The reality of public and private benefit is reflected daily in the work of the 1EdTech Consortium.

Publicly owned organizations work shoulder to shoulder with privately-owned organizations as equal partners. They are all held to the same high standard of enabling the foundation for an open and trusted ecosystem. Most importantly, this high bar is reinforced with a Board of Directors that cut across the various types of organizations and is charged with taking responsibility for achieving the community goals, including overseeing the community-based consensus-driven approach that has been a key to the success of organizations like ours.

The Non-Profit Status of 1EdTech and 1EdTech Consortium

There are many types of non-profit organizations and many ways that for-profit organizations can be related to non-profits. Different kinds of non-profits can be associated with each other. In the world of standards and edtech associations, there are different types of non-profits and even for-profit organizations. I will explain here the reasons that 1EdTech Consortium will continue to be organized as 1EdTech was, as a 501c6 non-profit.

A 501c6 is generally characterized as an “industry league” or “chamber of commerce.” It is exempt from taxes but not a charity (a contribution is not considered deductible as a charitable donation by the IRS). The other potential non-profit designation in the 1EdTech/1EdTech by-laws is a 501c3. A 501c3 organization is a charity. 1EdTech Consortium/1EdTech Consortium is clearly operating for the public good and would pass any IRS test in that regard, and that is why it could operate as a 501c3. For clarity and transparency, we feel that the 501c6 designation is a better fit for a membership organization in which the members have voting rights, and a majority of the Board of Directors comes from the members.

The Value of Adding a Non-Profit Charity as an Affiliated Organization

1EdTech Foundation logoI spent many hours discussing how to best manifest the ideas of public and private good into the business structure of 1EdTech.  This led to the (relatively quiet) formation several years ago (but, unfortunately, after Bill’s passing) of the 1EdTech Foundation, a public charity dedicated to supporting the mission of 1EdTech (this type of relationship is supported by what the IRS refers to as a “Type I” supporting organization). It’s a very simple idea to create a public charity that utilizes philanthropic funding to advance work that can accelerate the open and trusted edtech ecosystem that is managed more directly through our organizational operations.

The 1EdTech Foundation has already attracted some very generous funding from various sources but has really just begun. Moving 1EdTech Consortium to the same brand of 1EdTech (technically the 1EdTech Consortium) makes the connection clearer.

You might wonder why this is necessary, as many know that 1EdTech has received grants from some of the major foundations in the past? The short answer is that many philanthropic sources prefer giving to 501c3s. The longer answer is that separating the operational aspects of the mission and the policy aspects of the mission can be a good thing, which is why we envisioned this setup.

In my next post of the series, I will discuss some specifics of our philanthropic work.

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Sandra DeCastro, 1EdTech Vice President, Community Programs5 Reasons Why for HED

Contributed by Sandra DeCastro, Vice President of Community Programs

 

Top Five Reasons for Higher Ed Leaders to Attend Learning Impact

I like to think that every one of our Learning Impact conferences is remarkable. It's always the place where leaders—among our members and in the edtech sector overall—can focus and collaborate on solving the top-of-mind issues facing higher education. It's where we hear from experts about where we're heading and what we need to plan for in the 1-5 years to keep the learning going. And it's where we get inspired by our peers and colleagues for their work advancing teaching and learning technology.

This year is no exception, especially since it will be our first as the 1EdTech Consortium.

If you haven't yet, be sure to check out our comprehensive program for higher ed at the 2022 Learning Impact Conference, June 13-16, in Nashville. Here are some highlights and things to look out for when you're there!

 

#1: Digital tools to recruit, retain, and reengage students

Institutions face many of the same challenges like attracting students and families who may question the value of what we offer and keeping them engaged and successful once they arrive. Adjusting to new technologies and bringing students back from the pandemic adds to those challenges, but they also offer opportunities for innovation. The 1EdTech community is already implementing these innovations to improve the student experience and is ready to share them with you.

Attendees will learn about:

  • Student expectations for technology in a post-pandemic world as they transition from K-12 into college
  • Effective applications of artificial intelligence in the classroom to support student success initiatives
  • How digital tools allow for more personalized pathways and equitable experiences for learners and educators
  • Tools designed to track and measure academic engagement without increasing the burden on faculty

 

#2: Strategies to turn data into actionable insights and improve student success

While interoperable edtech can enhance learning experiences, it can also lighten the lift for researchers and administrators who need data to make recommendations for improving student engagement, retention, and success or simply to report out to various funding and regulatory organizations. 

The 2022 Learning Impact will kick off with a half-day workshop for higher education academic and technology leaders to share institutional use cases for collecting and processing learner data, leverage these open processes to drive student success, and collaborate with your colleagues to identify and work on breaking through barriers institutions face when implementing analytics initiatives to drive student success. 

 

#3: Aligning learning outcomes and employer needs

One of the top reasons college students say they want to attend college is to learn the skills and competencies for a successful career. 

We'll take a closer look at a study examining how institutions align and measure learning outcomes with workforce trends and the implications of the findings. Get examples of how other institutions match learned skills with employer needs and implement upskilling programs to help make the cultural changes you want to see in your institution. 

 

#4: Creating meaningful digital credentials to help learners sell their skills

One trend we see is that the traditional transcript no longer communicates everything a learner can do. Digital credentials are quickly becoming an effective solution to that challenge and can help students and professional learners sell their skills to find future success. 

1EdTech is already involved in the work. Our members are ready to share lessons learned, whether you're looking to capture skills gained in and outside of classrooms, help your learners sell their skills, increase the value of your existing digital credentials, want to bring your program to scale, recognize your employees, or are just trying to figure out where to start.

 

#5: Ways to stay ahead of the edtech curve

If there is one thing we know about technology, it's constantly changing, and we need to keep up with it through innovation. While we celebrate what we've accomplished over the past few years, we also want to be sure we continue to look ahead.

Plus, hear from thought leaders like University Innovation Alliance CEO Bridget Burns, who will share her insights on innovative practices to expand access, address costs, and promote completion for students of all backgrounds.

I hope to see all of you in June Learning Impact! You can find the full conference schedule and registration information here.

 

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Tim Clark5 Reasons Why for K-12

Contributed by Dr. Tim Clark, Vice President of K-12 Programs

 

Top Five Reasons for K-12 Districts to Attend Learning Impact

You've all been hard at work these past few years, just trying to make sure your students don't fall through the cracks. While it's been stressful, exhausting, and a little scary, we're seeing some significant innovations as a result of your efforts—many that can benefit everyone.

This is why I'm looking forward to reconnecting with all of you at the 2022 Learning Impact Conference, June 13-16, in Nashville. I hope we can use this time to reflect, share, and look to the future, with all of us engaging in the conversation.

If you haven't had time to check out our program, or you're on the fence about whether to attend, here are our five favorite reasons why you should join us, courtesy of the 1EdTech→1EdTech K-12 and Statewide Programs team.

 

#1: Learn valuable lessons from districts creating innovative digital ecosystems that align with their curriculum

If the pandemic taught us anything, it's that there is no escaping the need for technology that educates and engages students in classrooms and at home. One key to success is aligning the mission of the academic and curriculum departments with the technology teams.

While some districts are creating digital curricula, others are still trying to decide where to start, and even more fall somewhere in the middle. Regardless of where you are on your journey to creating a digital ecosystem for your district, there is no reason to start from scratch or repeat the challenges others have already faced.

At Learning Impact, you'll see how district leaders are improving teaching and learning through:

  • Customizable and embedded lessons and assessments
  • Ensuring digital tools align with academic standards
  • Creating systems that allow teachers, students, and families to track a learner's progress together

 

#2: Get clarity on how educational technology can help address equity gaps in your district

We know that to have a truly successful curriculum, it must fit the needs of all students and address equity gaps in our districts.

Digital apps and resources provide a unique opportunity to create rigorous, engaging, and culturally relevant curricula in all academic spaces and will be a key focus of this year's Learning Impact Conference.

We will hear from none other than Gloria Ladson-Billings, the go-to expert on culturally relevant instruction.

Conference-goers can also attend panel discussions with institutional leaders who are already addressing the equity gap with exemplary digital curriculum models, hear from one state department of education that is addressing inequities with a long-term plan using 1EdTech standards, and find out how districts are using standards to adapt their curriculums to meet constantly changing learning standards for diverse populations of students.

 

#3: Find innovative edtech to help you achieve your strategic goals (and meet the supplier partners who can help you get there)

When tackling major systemic challenges, you want to be sure your changes and the systems you put in place are actually making a positive impact on your students' education.

One benefit of an interoperable digital ecosystem is that the data is there and accessible for you to use. Hear from your peers on:

  • The importance of and how to create robust data cultures to move your strategic plans forward
  • How to turn the data you collect into actionable insights
  • Ways to use data to drive curriculum innovation, identify areas of improvement for individual schools, and understand the environmental factors impacting student learning
  • Measuring financial and academic returns on investments in digital learning products

Plus, learn how districts created their ecosystems through partnerships with suppliers and find the suppliers that will best fit your needs.

 

#4: Prioritize protecting student information

One of the main concerns in moving teaching and learning online is how to keep personal information safe.

The number of digital tools available for teachers to choose from continues to grow, and sometimes it's difficult to know if a tool is set up to both educate and protect students. Add to that a district's need to collect information in order to ensure its effectiveness, and it can feel overwhelming.

To address those concerns, we're making sure that protecting learner information is a consideration in all of our standards as student information moves from one platform to another. In addition, we have our TrustEd Apps certification that makes it easy for educators to identify tools that adhere to standards specifically designed to protect student data privacy.

Still, as technology advances, so does the need to stay on top of learner privacy. That's why attendees have the opportunity to learn about existing 1EdTech standards and tools and make their own voices heard as we consider new recommendations and standards for the future.

 

#5: Network with other forward-thinking leaders, and get ahead of the edtech curve

Rob Abel likes to say, "The best way to predict the future is to invent it."

At Learning Impact, we'll hear expert views on where edtech is going in the next 1-5 years, take a closer look at the trends that are determining how we assess student learning, and how best to leverage open standards to move the needle toward our future goals. You need to be part of this.

I hope to see all of you in June Learning Impact! You can find the full conference schedule and registration information here.

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