After visiting @LearnLaunch and presenting at the #ClassroomoftheFuture Showcase, I am encouraged about the potential for education improvements but also alarmed at what seems to be missing from the EdTech conversation. Technology is moving in a direction where personalized learning and global education is a possibility, but public funding is not changing at the rate that it needs to in order to connect the EdTech Industry with public education and sustain that connection.
After day 1 of the LearnLaunch conference, I’m struck with the following thoughts: This year’s conference is even better than last year’s. With 850 people in attendance, the energy is palpable and the networking non-stop. There is a true sense of community and partnership. It’s not surprising that it sold out.
LearnLaunch, a Boston-based organization dedicated to driving innovation and transforming learning, and Versari, a Dublin-based provider of scaling solutions for early stage learning technology companies, announced a collaboration to promote transatlantic innovation in the Education Technology sector. The partnership will utilize both organizations deep-rooted infrastructure and support systems, and aims to offer a compelling solution for learning technology entrepreneurs from initial inception to Series A stage of financing. It will include market services, geographic expansion opportunities, and network benefits for EdTech companies on both sides of the Atlantic.
LearnLaunch Accelerator, the leading education technology startup program, announced today that it is now accepting applications for its new BREAKTHROUGH program designed for edtech startups that have already achieved market entry, but need help creating and implementing scaling and funding strategies to support rapid growth. In its inaugural cohort, the LearnLaunch BREAKTHROUGH program provides a condensed version of LearnLaunch Accelerator’s traditional accelerator experience.
For the past 20 years, the percentage of the U.S. adult population that lacks basic literacy skills has not changed. Today, over 36 million adults in the United States read at or below a basic level. That’s about one out of every seven adults. These adult learners struggle to do many of the things a lot of us take for granted, like read prescription drug information, understand an employment agreement, vote in an election, or even read a bedtime story to their kids or help them with their homework.
We’re just over two weeks into our #StoryShares Kickstarter campaign, and we’re pausing to reflect on our experience so far.
It has been a roller coaster ride!
We’re 52% to our goal, and we have a little less than $24,000 left to raise.
Students at six New England Universities are about to have a much easier time searching for employment thanks to uConnect, a platform making career services a part of the campus culture. The platform helps colleges and universities use digital and social media channels to strategically engage students and drive usage of resources in their career centers. From December through February, the universities will be rolling out the uConnect platform that includes career news and advice, job postings, alumni networking opportunities, and recruiting opportunities on communication channels that resonate best with student populations.
Planning for a Kickstarter campaign is no small task. We’ve had to work hard to refine our narrative, design the reward tiers and prizes, and set our goals at the right levels. We’ve had to enlist the support of others to produce a video and craft an outreach plan – relying on our partners, our users, social media, and our own personal networks – that will get the word out to as many people as possible.
Education technology can and will have a powerful impact on teaching and learning. Teachers use digital tools to get real-time information about student progress, share information more effectively with families, and engage students in collaborative, real-world projects. But developing edtech products is a complex process that too often leaves teachers, entrepreneurs, and investors dissatisfied and discouraged. It doesn’t have to be this way. New, collaborative models are showing that educators and developers can work together to create products that allow teachers to customize instruction and boost student learning.
Most educators I know are obsessed with learning. They live in a constant state of exploration; seeking out information and resources that will stretch their students’ (and their own) understanding of the world. Nevertheless, there exists a perception that teachers are resistant towards adopting new technologies in the classroom.