EdNET Insight - Voice from the Industry http://www.ednetinsight.com en-us http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Central by Imulus (http://imulus.com) info@ednetinsight.com Being a Good Ed Tech Partner http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/being-a-good-ed-tech-partner.html “Listen to your customers.” It’s a tried-and-true business adage but often easier said than done. To listen is one thing but to understand what is being said and act upon what you have heard can be challenging. In the K-12 market, this is compounded by the fact that educators are so busy. <p><ul> <li>Use educational research to drive product development.</li> <li>Make it easy for educators to provide concrete and specific feedback to their needs that is both understandable and actionable.</li> <li>Be receptive to feedback and allow time to listen.</li> <li>Let educators know their voices are being heard.</li> </ul></p> ]]> Friday, March 27, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/being-a-good-ed-tech-partner.html Marketing in the Age of the Digital Transition http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/marketing-in-the-age-of-the-digital-transition.html It is time to throw away the old textbook-business model and focus on what drives learning and success for our customers. <div><ul> <li>Educators know best what works for their students.</li> <li>As terms like adaptive, personalized, and differentiated take hold in the educational business-partner community, success or failure will hinge on making it easy to implement new resources in the classroom and on the proven results of student success.</li> <li>As we partner with educators and administrators to help students succeed, we are creating self-directed learners who will be college- and career-ready.</li> </ul></div> <div>It is time to move forward and make digital content the first part of the conversation.</div> ]]> Friday, March 06, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/marketing-in-the-age-of-the-digital-transition.html Doing Your Homework: How to Develop a Successful Ed Tech Solution From the Start http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/doing-your-homework--how-to-develop-a-successful-ed-tech-solution-from-the-start.html My experience as an educator, principal, and Chief Officer of School Improvement in some of the nation’s most struggling schools forged my path to creating an education talent management system whose success relies heavily on the initial groundwork or “homework” we completed well before a launch date was even penciled in. We simply cannot allow schools, teachers, or students to be guinea pigs for a prematurely launched product. Ed tech organizations need to do their homework before launching a solution. <p>Success in ed tech solutions requires the following initiatives:</p> <p><ul> <li>Fieldwork Experience</li> <li>Strategic Partnerships</li> <li>Extensive Research</li> </p></ul> ]]> Friday, February 20, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/doing-your-homework--how-to-develop-a-successful-ed-tech-solution-from-the-start.html Career and Technical Education: Addressing the Skills Gap Through Industry and Education Collaboration http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/career-and-technical-education--addressing-the-skills-gap-through-industry-and-education-collaboration.html <p><ul> <li>The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ reports that 8.7 million Americans are currently unemployed despite the existence of 5 million unfilled jobs.</li> <li>Improved collaboration between the educational system and the industries in need of workers is one solution to this “skills gap.”</li> <li>Businesses need to be engaged in the development of their local and regional educational programs, while educators match their curricula to industry requirements so students receive the education and skills needed for employment.</li> <li>By creating a stronger partnership between industry and education, students will enter the workforce with the ability to succeed in in-demand careers.</li> </ul></p> ]]> Friday, February 06, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/career-and-technical-education--addressing-the-skills-gap-through-industry-and-education-collaboration.html Now is the Time http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/now-is-the-time.html <center>&nbsp; <p>We are fifteen years into this century.</p> <p>This is the century of the entrepreneur.</p> <p>Each individual must be entrepreneurial.</p> <p>Schools must prepare entrepreneurial thinkers.</p> <p>Now is the time.</p></center> ]]> Friday, January 30, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/now-is-the-time.html It Couldn’t Get Much Harder to Access Digital Content and Services – The Case for Single Sign-On for Schools http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/it-couldn-t-get-much-harder-to-access-digital-content-and-services---the-case-for-single-sign-on-for-schools.html Holiday shopping recently, I overheard a customer in the Apple Store getting help. “I’m a schoolteacher, and I have a thousand passwords. Some can’t use this. Some can’t use that. I can’t remember them all!” And she’s right. Students and teachers on average have to remember at least 25 passwords, and an average of 5 minutes per lesson is lost recovering passwords, accessing web-based services, or hunting down technical support. <p><ul> <li>If a school uses multiple applications that require logins and these applications are web-based, the school could benefit from single sign-on (SSO).</li> <li>Implementing SSO for schools could increase productivity, enhance security, and reduce support costs.</li> <li>Increasingly, SSO platforms are cloud-based, affordable, and even free and easy to implement.</li> </ul></p> ]]> Friday, January 09, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/it-couldn-t-get-much-harder-to-access-digital-content-and-services---the-case-for-single-sign-on-for-schools.html Advice to Start-Up Ed Tech Companies http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/advice-to-start-up-ed-tech-companies.html This may sound strange, but for small companies, not all growth is good growth. Measured growth is best. <p><ul> <li>Listen to your customers and engage them in every step.</li> <li>Recognize and balance the sometimes competing and conflicting needs of customers, investors, and employees.</li> <li>Ask good questions and stay fact- and data-driven.</li> ]]> Friday, December 19, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/advice-to-start-up-ed-tech-companies.html Anticipating and Responding to the Changing Needs of Education http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/anticipating-and-responding-to-the-changing-needs-of-education.html Nearly three decades working in education have shown me that our industry can be both cyclical and reactive and that change is inevitable. As an education, technology, and curriculum company, it is a constant juggling act anticipating and responding to the changing needs of our schools and educators while remaining steadfast enough to block out the day-to-day static and noise and continue to trust in our internal vision and development plan. As a leader, there are a few principles I have followed to navigate these dynamics. <p><ol> <li>Know who you are.</li> <li>Stay true to who you are but accept that who you are will change.</li> <li>Focus on kids.</li> <li>Invest in people and embrace change.</li> </ol></p> ]]> Friday, December 12, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/anticipating-and-responding-to-the-changing-needs-of-education.html Career and Technical Education: Graduating the Nation’s Future Workforce http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/career-and-technical-education--graduating-the-nation-s-future-workforce.html <p><ul> <li>The average high school graduation rate for career and technical education (CTE) students is 90.18%, compared with an average national graduation rate of 80%.</li> <li>CTE programs teach students academic and technical skills in the context of career areas, creating relevant learning experiences that can play a significant role in helping them complete high school and prepare themselves for postsecondary education and training.</li> <li>As workers retire and technology advances, the gap between open positions and workers qualified to fill them will continue to widen, and skilled workers with CTE training will be in high demand.</li> <li>Research shows that education and training beyond high school will be required for at least two-thirds of job openings by 2018; CTE programs prepare students to meet these requirements.</li> </ul></p> ]]> Friday, November 14, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/career-and-technical-education--graduating-the-nation-s-future-workforce.html Common Career Technical Core – It’s What America’s Students NEED! http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/common-career-technical-core---it-s-what-america-s-students-need-.html For the past several years, the Common Core for academic subjects has dominated the national media on education, but what you may not have heard about is the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC). <div><ul> <li>CCTC is important for students.</li> <li>CCTC is important for the economy.</li> </ul></div> <div>Read on to learn more about CCTC and what you can do.</div> ]]> Friday, October 24, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/common-career-technical-core---it-s-what-america-s-students-need-.html When Data Is a Win-Win http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/when-data-is-a-win-win.html October brings one of those rare opportunities when various forces in the K-12 education eco-system come together to do good for themselves, for each other and, most importantly, for the students we all serve. Project Tomorrow’s annual Speak Up survey is a win-win on multiple fronts. <div><ul> <li>At the classroom level, the survey provides teachers and students with an opportunity to have their voices heard.</li> <li>The data provides schools and school districts with a sense of where they are in the advancement of digital learning compared with schools and districts across the nation.</li> <li>State education agencies benefit from having as many districts as possible respond to the call for participation in Speak Up.</li> <li>The edtech vendor community benefits greatly from the reports produced by Project Tomorrow.</li> </ul></div> ]]> Friday, October 17, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/when-data-is-a-win-win.html I Never Saw Them Coming…The Education Disruptors! http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/i-never-saw-them-coming-the-education-disruptors-.html Do you ever find yourself driving down the road, minding your own business, hardly any traffic, looking straight ahead, and the next thing you know you are surrounded by fast-moving cars that quickly zoom past you? <div>Put this in a business context: you are most focused on looking straight ahead for your organization and not bothering to glance side to side or to see what is coming up fast from behind…you need to be aware of these fast-moving entities. They are called…<em>The Disruptors!</em></div> <ul> <li>Fueled by one estimate that puts first quarter Venture investment in edtech start-ups at $500M<sup>1</sup></li> <li>Most often answering a market need</li> <li>Can represent a strong opportunity for partnership and a possible predictor for where the market is headed</li> </ul> Here are two case studies of companies that I consider education market Disruptors! ]]> Friday, September 19, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/i-never-saw-them-coming-the-education-disruptors-.html Vicki's Top 10 Tips for Making the Most of EdNET http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/vicki-s-top-10-tips-for-making-the-most-of-ednet.html This is the 26th year of the EdNET Conference, and I have been honored to be involved in 23 of them. That makes me a veteran! <p>My tips are intended for the newcomers to EdNET but can also serve as a set of reminders for conference veterans so that all may make use of the networking tools and opportunities before, during, and following the conference.</p> ]]> Friday, August 29, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/vicki-s-top-10-tips-for-making-the-most-of-ednet.html Winning the Talent War in the Competitive Education Market http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/winning-the-talent-war-in-the-competitive-education-market.html Today’s education market is constantly changing and rapidly growing. While a growing market is a positive sign for the education space, it also is an indicator of a significant challenge hiring managers are facing as they compete to build world-class teams. There are several key issues within the hiring market: <ul> <li>You Know Your Sales Metrics, But Do You Know Your Recruiting Metrics?</li> <li>How to Manage Candidate Supply and Demand: The Rising Importance of Hidden Candidates</li> <li>The Impact Competition Has on Growth-Directed Education Start-Ups</li> <li>The Top 3 Most In-Demand Candidate Skill Sets in Today’s Market</li> <li>Advice for Hiring Managers</li> </ul> ]]> Friday, August 22, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/winning-the-talent-war-in-the-competitive-education-market.html The Importance of Identity Management and the Implications on Federated Identities http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/the-importance-of-identity-management-and-the-implications-on-federated-identities.html We hear so much today about the importance of student privacy. That’s certainly a matter that needs to be protected and managed, much like health care privacy. An identity management system breaks individual identities down into digital “attributes,” and then those attributes can be shared using a method called “Federation.” <ul> <li>More information can and should be shared, but this must be done at the discretion of administration and also within a secure IT infrastructure.</li> <li>With good Identity Management and Federation to create a framework to share only the right information with the right parties, we can ensure optimal progression for students.</li> </ul> ]]> Friday, August 08, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/the-importance-of-identity-management-and-the-implications-on-federated-identities.html Career and Technical Education: Strengthening the Nation’s Workforce With Relevant, Career-Specific Training http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/career-and-technical-education--strengthening-the-nation-s-workforce-with-relevant--career-specific-training.html <p><strong>Key Bullets</strong>:</p> <ul> <li>The top 10 hardest jobs to fill in the U.S. include skilled trade workers, accounting and finance professionals, IT staff, and engineers.</li> <li>Today&rsquo;s career and technical education (CTE) programs benefit all students by combining rigorous academics with relevant, career-specific instruction.</li> <li>A hallmark of today&rsquo;s CTE programs is the partnership between high school and postsecondary institutions.</li> <li>Examples of successful partnerships can be found across the country.</li> <li>Improved alignment between the educational system and industry is needed to ensure the strength of our nation&rsquo;s workforce, global competitiveness, and economic health.</li> </ul> ]]> Friday, August 01, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/career-and-technical-education--strengthening-the-nation-s-workforce-with-relevant--career-specific-training.html HTML5—Are We There Yet? http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/html5-are-we-there-yet-.html <p>As an industry, we have to prove that we can work on all devices (including tablets) if we want to sell to schools. And at the same time, we need to build innovative and effective new solutions. Here I share some hard-won lessons about the business impacts of alternative platform choices, and my objective is to help non-technical C-Level decision makers evaluate their options.</p> <p>The central challenge is picking the right platform that will deliver a balance of:</p> <ul> <li>Rich and effective user experience&nbsp;</li> <li>Long-term platform sustainability (modern code base)</li> <li>Easy implementation in the classroom</li> <li>Minimal development costs (up-front costs)</li> <li>Minimal maintenance complexity (ongoing costs)</li> </ul> ]]> Friday, July 25, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/html5-are-we-there-yet-.html Choose to Work in Education—Not Because It Is Easy, But Because It Is Hard! http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/choose-to-work-in-education-not-because-it-is-easy--but-because-it-is-hard-.html <p>Neil Armstrong famously said, &ldquo;That&rsquo;s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.&rdquo;</p> <ul> <li>Every single teacher is equivalent to Armstrong.</li> <li>Teachers cannot be expected to accomplish meaningful objectives without support from educational stakeholders.</li> <li>There are many specifications that educational content developers must consider.</li> <li>Educational content influences the teacher-student interaction.</li> <li>Developing high-quality educational content and high-quality schools is hard work.</li> <li>We must succeed at this work, because it is hard.</li> </ul> ]]> Friday, July 11, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/choose-to-work-in-education-not-because-it-is-easy--but-because-it-is-hard-.html The Emerging Role of Technology in PreK-12 Professional Development http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/the-emerging-role-of-technology-in-prek-12-professional-development.html <ul> <li>Professional Development is a robust segment of the PreK-12 education market.</li> <li>New standards spark an increased need for training. </li> <li>Key trends show technology being used in creative ways to extend and enhance the PD experience.</li> <li>Personalized Professional Development is as critical as student personalized instruction.</li> <li>Bottom line remains—we need to provide educators with the time, resources, and tools to improve their craft.</li> </ul> ]]> Friday, June 20, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/the-emerging-role-of-technology-in-prek-12-professional-development.html We Don’t Need No … Wait. Maybe We Do. http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/we-don-t-need-no---wait--maybe-we-do-.html <p>Does your education product need to support badges? Not the kind dismissed in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (or, later and less seriously, in Blazing Saddles), but the kind promoted by Mozilla&rsquo;s new Open Badges technical standard?</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Unlike most digital badge systems used for participation, motivation, and mastery, Open Badges can also exist outside of the issuing product or platform and follow the student.</li> <li>Open Badges are based on an open technical standard that anyone can incorporate into an educational product.</li> <li>Pros are that they&rsquo;re free to adopt, are student-centric, and are hard to counterfeit.</li> <li>Cons are that they&rsquo;re very new, the quality of issued Open Badges can vary widely, and the terminology is a bit juvenile.</li> </ul> ]]> Friday, May 23, 2014 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/voice-from-the-industry/we-don-t-need-no---wait--maybe-we-do-.html