Smart Friends,

It’s finally here - the moment we’ve all been waiting for! Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning is now available!

This book is written by parents for parents, but it’s a tool for educators as well. It is designed to help parents navigate the learning experience for their children, making it a resource for teachers to use for parent engagement. We know it’s an important goal for teachers and other education leaders to get parents more involved and this book will help you do just that.

So what exactly is this book? It’s an in-depth guide (including a specialized tool kit) to help parents create, choose and advocate for powerful, student-centered learning experiences for their children. Time and time again, we’ve observed that families are left out of the equation when it comes to determining the primary audience for education reports, papers and articles—even though they are among the hungriest for informed opinions that can help them.

What is it not? It is not a general guidebook on parenting--you can find hundreds of those at the library. This book offers numerous paths to powerful, student-centered learning; this project focuses on innovations in teaching and learning that boost engagement, activate interests, extend access and personalized learning.

Written in partnership with the The Nellie Mae Education Foundation, the book includes relevant information from 60+ parent contributors, along with framing and insights from its co-authors, who are all also parents and share a background in education: Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart, began his education career as a school district superintendent; Dr. Carri Schneider, director of policy and research at Getting Smart, is a former public school teacher and education leadership professor; and Bonnie Lathram, learner experience manager at Getting Smart, is a former public school teacher, counselor and school design coach.

We’re pretty excited by what reviewers are already saying:

“I’ve followed the Smart Parents blog series and love having Smart Parents’ stories on The Huffington Post. This book is both an inspirational journey, full of stories from parents who are igniting their children’s passions, and a practical toolkit — complete with advice to help parents at any stage of the journey in advocating for powerful learning.” Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief, The Huffington Post

“Parents are children’s first and most influential teachers, and the environments they create shape the kind of students their children become. Smart Parents combines captivating storytelling with cutting edge research to show us how we, as mothers and fathers, can set the stage for optimal learning.” Annie Murphy Paul, learning science writer, columnist and speaker; author of forthcoming book Brilliant: The Science of How We Get Smarter

Tom also tailored information from the book for educators this week on the blog:

EdTech 10. Tying into several of the topics in Smart Parents, this week’s EdTech 10 featured stories about Deeper Learning, teacher leaders, motivation and engagement.
  • Deeper evidence. Students in high schools that were part of networks associated with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Deeper Learning Community of Practice performed better than similar students in comparison schools on a range of measures. This is according to Deeper Learning: Improving Student Outcomes for College, Career and Civic Life is a new report from the American Institutes for Research’s Education Policy Center. Deeper learning opportunities are just as important for EdLeaders and teachers.
  • Leading the way. The case for teacher leaders is growing with a new study from the RAND Corporation that examines Leading Educators Fellowships in Kansas City and New Orleans from 2011 to 2014. One teacher leader, and Getting Smart Teacher Blogger, is Lindsey Own who has outlined her process of success in mentoring new teachers.

What We're Reading

Getting Smart on Personalization and Privacy

 By Carri Schneider

In October 2012, Digital Learning Now & Getting Smart released “Data Backpacks: Portable Records & Learner Profiles” report and Powering Personalization infographic.

The original paper and
updated version released in 2015 explore two primary recommendations to power personalization and protect student privacy–The Data Backpack & The Expanded Learner Profile.

In addition to the updated full paper, Digital Learning Now and Getting Smart partnered with the Data Quality Campaign for a blog series and culminating collection called Getting Smart on Personalization and Privacy.

Smart Bundle explores ongoing opportunities and challenges, features insights and shares the voices of those who have been actively working to implement similar policies and initiatives.

Follow related topics at #EdData.

Reader Favorites

5 Projects for Your Project-Based Learning Classroom This Year

10 Things That Haven’t Changed for Teachers in Ten Years

5 Tips for Teaching Project-Based Debate in Middle School

How  To...

Get Hooked on Podcasts

By Megan Mead 

Here at Getting Smart we have caught the podcast bug and we just can’t get enough. Whether it is listening in or creating our own we are hooked. Here are 5 things that we dig about podcasts:

  • They are a great way to learn. No matter what you’re interested in, there is someone who is talking about it. Listen, learn and be inspired.

  • They are a great way to share information. We are passionate about innovations in education, so starting our podcast was a fun way for us to share this passion with others.

  • They are SUPER entertaining. If I wasn’t so excited to see my kids at the end of the day, I would sit in my car an extra hour to finish up my “shows.”

  • They are easy to access. Find the purple podcast app on your phone, search for your favorite (like The Getting Smart Podcast) and then subscribe. Download your favs on wifi and you are ready to listen anywhere, anytime.

  • They offer new and creative opportunities for business. Not only do they help build thought leadership, but they can help promote your business.
Check out all of our podcasts here.

Download our newest podcast now! In this episode, we talk to The Nellie Mae Education Foundations Nicholas C. Donohue and Andrew Frishman from Big Picture Learning, as well as Smart Parents co-authors Tom and Bonnie, about student-centered learning: what it is and why it is important for parents to understand and advocate for it. If you haven’t subscribed to the Getting Smart Podcast, do so today on iTunes or Stitcher.

If you are interested in advertising on one of our upcoming episodes, email Podcast advertising allows for evergreen ads that are creative, fun and reach a targeted audience.

Stay Connected with Getting Smart

Copyright © 2015  Getting Smart, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you signed up at

unsubscribe from this list