innovativeHappy Monday! Good Morning, as we say good-bye to Open Ed. Week, we can happily say hello to the word of the week: creativity. Technology is being used creatively in order to further enhance the learning experience for students of all ages. From Legos for K-12, to textbook-free higher ed., to professional development for adults, different materials are being used thanks to innovative minds in the world of ed. tech.

As it is always good to start small  and use different things as building blocks to the top, we look at the world of legos. Many of us may have enjoyed using these plastic multicolored blocks to build towns, houses, castles, and even rocket ships. Now, Ed. Surge claims that a new tool, called Story Starter, is  the new face of creativeness at Lego Education. The backbone of this innovative set of Legos consists of 5 plates on which students can place their different ideas and creatively illustrate them before  writing them down. This methodology even meets the Common Core standards of the US as it uses the 4 main components of language learning: speaking, reading, listening, and writing.

REVIEW: Hands-on with LEGO StoryStarter (Ed. Surge)

U.S. Research Center on Advanced Learning Technologies Proposed (Ed. Week)
Research centers can often be seen as places that foster creativity.U.S. Congressman George Miller feels that this is very true, as he is advocating for “the creation of designed to cultivate breakthroughs in learning sciences and technology that could benefit schools—an idea modeled in part on a highly-touted effort in the defense sector.”

Community College to Offer Textbook-Free Degree (the Virginia Business Magazine)
Creativity has also reached into the world of higher ed as a community college in Virginia has announced their newest accomplishment. Tidewater Community College is launching a textbook-free degree that works in partnership with Lumen Learning to provide low cost OER alternatives resources. TCC even states that this might save a students 1/3 of their college costs.

California Shifts the Ground Under Higher Education (Chronicle of Higher Ed.)
The State Senate President of California, Darrell Steinberg, is announcing a bill that looks to creatively solve the state’s troubles of giving community college students access to “foundational” courses. This bill would give wait-lkisted studetns the ability to take these basic courses online that do not have to be from colleges and universities. Instead, low-cost and alternative organizations, such as the StraighterLine can also be used.

Companies, Organizations Offer Ed-Tech Training Options (Ed. Week)
Lastly, we look at the world of adult professionals and lifelong learning. Different ed. tech. companies such as Discovery Education and Virtual High School Collaborative (VHS) are creating courses that can be taught either online or face-to-face. These courses aim to teach professionals new skills and further streamline other processes with the use of technology.

Well? Are these new developments creative and innovative? Do you know of any other creative endeavors in the world of ed. tech.? Please feel free to let us know by commenting below!

Have a great week! In other news:
Humans Fight Over Robo-Readers (Inside Higher Ed.)
K-12 Technology Usage: Student Mobile Trends (infographic) (Ed. Tech. Times)
Minerva Project Wins Leading Stanford Scholar (Ed. Surge)

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