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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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ESSA and Its Impact on Personalized Learning

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) gives states and districts the opportunity and responsibility to create a more engaging and effective education system. ESSA embraces a more expansive view of student performance by requiring multiple measures of educational outcomes. Moving away from summative-based accountability aligns with models of personalized learning that incorporate a more comprehensive view of achievement. Read More »

Reality Check: Augmented, Virtual, and Wearable Technology in Education

For months on end The New York Times, Bloomberg, Forbes, Fortune, and others have touted 2016, and later 2017, as “the year of virtual reality.” Was it? Will it be? There’s no argument that alternate, augmented, virtual, wearable, and highly portable digital technologies have been around for some time, with breathless media reports waxing and waning, as they are wont to do. But the question remains: can we avoid the hype-cycle to develop and deploy these technologies where there are real use cases supporting them? Maybe this time is the charm. Read More »

Two Major Trends in the Future of Large-Scale Assessment

Media reports are full of stories that the new administration intends to “repeal the Common Core,” expand vouchers and charter schools, and slash education funding. Talk about disruption. What does all that mean for large-scale accountability testing? In my view, not very much. Large-scale accountability assessments will continue to be necessary in the current administration because they provide information on school performance and provide evidence to support policy-making at the state and federal levels. Large-scale accountability assessment will continue to evolve on many fronts. I see two significant aspects to this evolution.

  1. Continuing Trend Toward Balanced Assessment Systems
  2. Continuing Expansion of the Role of Technology
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Emergence of OERs Part of the Solution to Improving Student Outcomes

Every year there seems to be a new movement in education, more specifically ed tech, that promises to address all the pitfalls that came before it, offering new hope to finding the elusive “answer” to the reason why so many students are failing to achieve the goals we expect of them. Current models, whether traditional textbooks, “set-in-their-ways” teachers, or large and bureaucratic organizations, are vilified, and the new model is always deemed the answer. Oftentimes, however, these models or solutions are started and offered by companies that have never spent a day in a real classroom, which is why they fail when the rubber hits the road. Read More »