Center for Education Innovations: This Week's News & Views

Duncan McCullough

With the launch of CEI Plus, information on more than 600 programs featured in our community has never been easier to assess and share.  Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is incredibly important for increasing transparency and knowledge of what works in education. With the new CEI Dashboard, featured programs demonstrate their commitment to information sharing and vital evaluations with the new Results Badge and M&E Reporting Checkmarks.  Practitioners, policymakers, and funders can now quickly discover how active the CEI community is in sharing and building upon results.  We are excited to see how programs leverage this increased collaboration, so that future innovations continue to increase their effectiveness. 

CEI Plus isn't the only new tool on CEI; the new Educational Technology Topic Portal launched this week.  Over 130 programs featured on CEI use technology to improve learning outcomes and the quality of students’ educational experiences.  With this new Topic Portal, you can explore the experiences, knowledge gained, and data gleamed from these innovative projects.  The Portal includes an Overview, Database-at-a-Glance report, Data Visualizations, searchable list of Programs, and other News and Resources related to technology’s potential in global education. 

Nicholas Burnett delivered a keynote address this week on the state of out-of-school youth at the Council for Education in the Commonwealth’s Annual Conference for 2015, in London.  Burnett reviewed the specific obstacles facing youth without access to education in countries across the globe.  The convening also discussed the unique challenges posed by conflict areas and persistent barriers like child labor and ethnic discrimination, among others.  The event was an important opportunity for collaboration, and will help set the stage for the upcoming Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers Meeting later this month.

Opportunities

June 7 - Later this year (October 6-9) leading investors, entrepreneurs, and practitioners will come together at the Social Capital Markets, or SOCAP 2015 Conference.  Registration is open, and there is still time to submit an idea to the conference’s programming.  If you have content or knowledge concerning impact and innovation in social capital markets, click here to share it with the convening.

June 9 - The Economic and Social Resource Council is seeking grant proposals related to the Mediterranean migration crisis.  Greater data collection and analysis will be a vital element of responding to the current crisis.  Proposals that demonstrate a solid methodological framework to conduct research among migrant groups in this area are encouraged to apply.  For further guidance on proposal expectations and funding details, please visit the call’s site here.

June 10 - Brookings hosts an event next week, “Getting Education Bills to the Finish Line”, that should be of particular use to many in our CEI community.  The event focuses on the legislative context of the United States, but promises to present beneficial lessons for implementing state-led reforms for other countries as well.  The event will be held from 2:00 to 3:00pm, and will be streamed live as well.

June 10 - The Education for All Global Monitoring Report continues its rollout with the UK Launch in London.  The afternoon event will discuss the unmet goals ending this year, as well as what steps are being taken for the next round of international frameworks.  For more information on attending, or receiving a live stream of the event, click here.

Open - With the recent migrant crisis exacerbating challenges in the region, Open Society Foundations’ Burma Project remains an important opportunity for organizations working in the country to “address and prevent human rights abuses; promote independent media and access to information; encourage peace and reconciliation; empower women, youth, and ethnic minorities; and encourage an end to discrimination.” For more information on guidelines and applying, click here.

Open - Toniic is a community with over 200 impact investors from more than 25 countries.  Through our partnership with them, we are looking for innovative programs delivering a positive social impact to emerging markets.  CEI programs that are innovative, scalable, and in search of financing are exactly the types of projects investors at Toniic are hoping to find.  For more information on joining this valuable platform, click here.  And to apply for this unique opportunity, please contact Yasmin Lalani.

Ed News

NPR’s Education Blog examines the potential of game-based learning strategies to improve outcomes through an interview with Greg Toppo - author of the book, The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter.  Toppo speaks insightfully about how the challenge of games can translate into academic growth.  There is also some fascinating discussion about gaming’s potential not only for learning, but assessment as well.  Toppo is a former teacher who speaks thoughtfully on the subject.  And to explore CEI’s community of programs focusing on learning through play, click here.

How does education policy include the voices of those it is trying to serve?  The Global Partnership for Education hosts a blog piece by Frits Brouwer on exactly this topic.  Brouwer, who is the Dutch Youth Representative to UNESCO, understands the vital role for youth participation, especially in crafting the next round of international commitments for 2030.  The post discusses recent and ongoing efforts to integrate youth into the governance structures that are shaping policy, and calls for greater funding and technical assistance to develop these reforms further.

The World Bank this week reflected upon the importance of early childhood development.  The blog post features Elaine Burke, who began her outreach working with families and young children in Kingston, Jamaica 1986.  Since then, Burke’s research and analysis has played a major role in the understanding of reaching out to children early.  She discusses the utility of toys in learning, early nutritional interventions, and other lessons learned from her decades in the field.  A photographer accompanied the author on the interview, and several illuminating pictures are also included.

Point of Departure

The OECD Education Rankings Report has nations around the world buzzing.  76 countries are listed in order of how well their 15 year olds perform on math and science assessments.  These rankings provide useful metrics for trend-analysis and comparisons, but is there a better way to compile these rankings?  What other subjects would you include, and what other assessment strategies might the OECD be overlooking?

Image courtesy of Passarelles Numeriques, a CEI-profiled program featured on our new Educational Technology Topic Portal.

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