Voice from the Industry RSS Feed

Assessments: From Compliance to Instruction

During my 20 years of teaching, the use of assessments was for compliance only: give a test, get a grade, and inform students and parents of a passing or failing grade. After working with advancing assessment systems for the last 10 years it’s clear district needs regarding formative assessment systems have changed from compliance to instruction.

Administrators and educators now depend on technology-based assessments to better implement their long-term plans. For industry leaders, there are four important things to know regarding:

  • Assessing
  • Reporting
  • Communicating
  • Action
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EdTech: Turning Relevance and Results into Revenue

In today’s education market, it’s more important than ever to provide products and services that solve specific needs and achieve clear results. Assuming that an EdTech company has developed important, relevant products and has documented proven results, then revenue should follow, right?

Often, companies invest extensively in product development but underestimate the required investment for sales and marketing. Why is it that the best product doesn’t always win? Typically, a company has been out-sold by a competitor who strategically and tactically surpassed them with better questioning, positioning, differentiation, and closing skills. Read More »

Get Schooled: What Ed Marketers Can Gain From Native Ads

Native advertising, commonly known as “sponsored content,” is a strategy where brands partner with a news outfit to place paid content that resembles the media outlet’s regular editorial content and similarly educates readers. Before deploying sponsored content, ed marketers need to understand their responsibilities to their prospects and customers – and what they stand to lose if they violate legal or ethical principles. Some take-aways:

  • When placing sponsored content, insist that the publication, blog, or social media site clearly labels the content as a paid advertisement – without exception.
  • Marketers should be meticulous about the substance and style of native ads.
  • Content teams should start the topic-brainstorming process by researching what has already been said about the issue.
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The Instructional Value of Surprise for Knowledge Retention

Teachers can use unexpected events to bring students’ brains to attention and illuminate the pathways to memory storage.

Can you think of a time when you were surprised? Of course you can. We all can. There’s actually a scientific reason that explains our ability to recall such times, as Dr. Judy Willis, a neurologist and classroom teacher, explains in her book, Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning.

How does all this translate to education? Are there ways in which educators can structure their lessons to take advantage of “surprise”? Read More »

Congratulations – You’ve Got Competition for Enrollments

K-12 schools and districts are used to competing – whether it is in athletics, academics, or other activities, competition is a familiar and welcome theme in schools. But competing for enrollments is a new, rapidly growing challenge for which many districts are not prepared. Here are four steps to effectively compete for student enrollment, new families, new teachers, and business partners:

  1. Positioning
  2. Messaging and marketing communications
  3. Interactive engagement
  4. Test and adjust
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Personalized Learning: A Student-Centered Approach for Learning Success

Personalized learning is no longer just a buzzword or a passing fad. In fact, more and more school leaders view the successful implementation of personalized learning programs as top priorities for their classrooms. In a recent survey conducted by EdWeek Market Brief, 86% of district leaders report that they have implemented personalized learning in their schools but also report that obstacles persist.

  • What is personalized learning?
  • Don’t take a leap—build a bridge
  • Hallmarks of student-centered learning
  • Future success
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Fake News and Marketing Hype: Two Sides of the Same Coin

The best way to get education decision-makers’ attention is to create content that clearly demonstrates how you can help them.

You can’t read or watch any form of media these days without seeing a mention of “fake news”—whether it be from our president, various watchdog groups, or the general public. Most of us can agree that fake news isn’t a new trend but one that has been brought to light ever more brightly by the infinite channels of news outlets, bloggers, and trolls who make their living by publishing and sharing content online that is designed to attract eyeballs, whether or not it’s true.

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ASU/GSV Bootcamp 101: “Sending the elevator down” yields important lessons from entrepreneurs and leaders

I still believe that, as industry leaders, we need to send the elevator down to help encourage and motivate the next generation of leaders. I encourage more of us to do this on a regular basis. But I also encourage the next generation to refocus their conversations with leaders and be clear about their desired outcomes up front.

It’s important to recognize that teachable moments exist. And sometimes the best learning occurs when we realize there’s a failure and we look to learn from it. Here are some examples of clear failures that some entrepreneurs revealed to me on pre-GSV Summit calls, but none of them were willing to actually acknowledge them. Read More »

How Research Can Serve Both Product Development and Marketing

Conducting foundational research as part of your design process ensures that your education product is best in class, resonates with academic experts and professional organizations, and is positioned to take advantage of all market opportunities. This research can also be used to prepare a must-have component of your marketing communication strategy. Consider the following:

  • Drawing on the project’s academic experts and extending beyond their knowledge base
  • Understanding policy trends
  • Making it a joint effort with product development and marketing
  • Important questions to ask independent researchers
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Parent Satisfaction in Private Schools

As school choice initiatives have grown in recent years, a new priority has evolved for school administrators. While student success is ultimately the focus and mission for all schools, many are looking more closely at parent satisfaction as a critical driver for school success. Nowhere is this trend more intentional than in private school environments, where parent satisfaction is one key to competing successfully and maintaining student enrollment in increasingly crowded markets.

When deploying new technologies, consider what parents value the most and develop a strategy that incorporates those values into the tools that parents will consistently use. In a private school setting, consider the following values to increase parent satisfaction:

  • Happy parents value communication
  • Happy parents value transparency
  • Happy parents value community
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