Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Success in EdTech

EdNET starts off with a bang - how to succeed in the K-12 marketplace from people who know - Michelle Molnar has a great write up in Marketplace K-12:

"Companies that sell into the K-12 marketplace need to provide research to support their products' value, give teachers and students more data so they can monitor educational progress, and look beyond U.S. borders for growth.

The marketplace isn't always a friendly one. Education businesses face a sometimes "broken" procurement model, "abysmal" K-12 budgets, and questions about why they expect to make money for their role in providing products or services to educate America's children."

From the speakers - 
  • Karen Cator from Digital Promise - provide laser focus on measured outcome, hone to ability to read data so educators can help students, user research to explain value to educators, give students access to data so they can take charge of their own learning
  • Diane Tavenner from Summit Public Schools - existing platforms don't give us access to the data we want, need modular content and resources that can be sued individually or in combination across subject areas, LMS that allow students to control their learning, operability across devices
  • Scott Hines from Hines Global learning - districts are in the way - he markets directly to teachers, to students and parents to gain traction and get things done.
  • Linda Burch from Common Sense Media - three hottest apps from their Graphite site that rates tech - Toontastic - digital story telling via cartoons, Learn with Homer, learn to read app for kids 3-6 and Design Squad teaching engineering to 3-8 year olds. 
  • Andrew Calkins Next Generation Learning Challenges - many app developers are bypassing districts going direct to teachers.
Pretty great list. I will add to the pile on that going direct to districts seems like a waste. More and more districts are pushing dollars to the schools giving teachers much more say in the process. Building trust with teachers through free content, trials and full engagement is the best way to grow your edtech business.