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To Succeed in Ed Tech, Become a Lifelong Learner

To truly help the educators we aim to serve, we in the ed tech industry need to start by listening to them. Once we understand the specific problems a school or district is facing, it’s tempting to offer a quick solution that just so happens to include buying something that we’re selling—but if we’re looking to build a long-term, meaningful partnership, the push for a sale has to wait.

The good news here for ed tech marketers is that, in addition to always looking for an opportunity to teach, the best educators are constantly looking to learn. Read More »

The Tech Districts Never Knew They Needed

There is no one-size-fits-all checklist that K-12 administrators can run through to ensure all of their technology needs are met when they make a purchase. A big-picture approach to planning the elements of a technology purchase can help districts think through the entire implementation process while also meeting all of their specific needs. Key decision-makers should think far beyond the purchase itself and consider what needs may arise throughout the years after a purchase. Read More »

The Forgotten Mainstream – College Bound Not College Ready

Although participation in Advanced Placement and dual credit programs has doubled over the past decade, more than half of this year’s college freshmen had no successful practice with college-level work while they were in high school. Most of these students will fail to complete college on time and will end up burdened with student loans yet lacking a college degree and unable to fill one of the 65% of new jobs that require a postsecondary degree. We call these students the “Forgotten Mainstream,” and they are overrepresented by low-income, minority, and first-generation college students. Read More »

Using Assessment-Driven Solutions to Empower the Personalized Learning Classroom

As countless educators who have successfully navigated the road to personalization can attest to, the destination of student mastery is well worth the journey. And just as drivers trust a GPS to get them to their destination, educators are using assessment and instruction solutions to gain reliable insights to inform their approach to personalized learning.

  • Assessment solutions offer the fastest route
  • A bright future ahead
  • Personalized learning: It’s about the journey and the destination
Read More »

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
Read More »

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.
Read More »

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
Read More »

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
Read More »