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"Shark Tank" Competition Used To Select Education Tech 57

theodp writes "With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the tech billionaire-backed NewSchools Venture Fund, the Silicon Valley Education Foundation used a competition based on the reality show Shark Tank to determine which educational technology entrepreneurs would win the right to have teachers test their technology on students for the rest of the year. 'Ten companies, selected from 80 original applicants,' reports Mercury News columnist Mike Cassidy, 'had three minutes to convince a panel of educators and then a panel of business brains that their ideas would be a difference maker in middle school math classes.' The winners? Blendspace, which helps teachers create digital lessons using Web-based content; Front Row Education, which generates individual quizzes for students and tracks their progress as they work through problems; LearnBop, which offers an automated tutoring system with content written by math teachers; and Zaption, which lets teachers use existing online videos as lessons by adding quizzes, discussion sections, images and text."
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"Shark Tank" Competition Used To Select Education Tech

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  • by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @01:22PM (#46239187) Homepage Journal

    but the simple method of firing 10% of the worst teachers and reassigning their students to the rest does more to improve schools than anything else.

    Most teachers know who the worst of the worst are. Principals know.

    If union rules make such an act impossible, keep these 10% worst teachers on payroll and have them sit around watching youtube, but send their students to better teachers.

  • by aicrules ( 819392 ) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @01:52PM (#46239409)
    Hey the fact is union contracts do prevent VERY bad teachers from being fired. And the net result can be very GOOD teachers get let go instead. Just because one teacher has worked for 20 years doesn't mean they should be automatically kept instead of the 2nd year teacher. Especially if the 20 year teacher is TERRIBLE.

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe