The latest news and information about startups and innovations in education.
Here are this week’s edtech news stories!
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According to EdSurge, $1.45 billion of venture capital (a mere 1.1% of the $130 billion in US venture funding) was invested in education startups in the US in 2018; there were only 112 education-focused deals. In line with the trend in venture capital overall, this represented an increase in overall capital but a concentration in fewer deals (mainly large late-stage rounds).
Education is regarded as a tough market for achieving VC scale returns. In this article, four leading edtech VCs and six of the top generalist VCs (who have a track record of education investments) share where they see opportunity in this sector.
Report after report cites low usage numbers for software, a problem driven largely by districts not thinking through how an ed-tech product should be used prior to buying it and then setting realistic expectations for usage, experts say.Most software licenses districts buy never get used and—98 percent—of licenses aren’t used intensively.
To solve this problem, experts say the best way to get the best bang for your education technology buck is to set expectations for how often a particular piece of software should be used and track usage.
One potential reason for low usage rates: District leaders in charge of buying software can’t always consult with every teacher to figure out what meets his or her needs.
There’s no shortage of ideas about how nontraditional practices are taking off in K-12 schools, but often scant data to back them up — let alone data that can surface patterns and blind spots where we may not be paying attention.
The Canopy project, a collaborative initiative led by the Christensen Institute that reimagines where school innovation data come from and how they are analyzed, shows how building better collective knowledge enables a view into student-centered learning trends that may be difficult to detect.
There is a trend towards increased usage of virtual reality and augmented reality in the classroom. While these tools have great potential, they face a number of obstacles, including high price and a lack of content, which will need to be overcome in order for them to have a meaningful impact on education.
Most software licenses districts buy never get used, according to a November 2018 report by BrightBytes, and 98% aren’t used extensively (10 hours or more between assessments). Here’s what Klein recommends schools do about it:
1. Give educators meaningful opportunities to offer feedback on potential ed-tech purchases.
2. Listen carefully to educators’ critiques of the ed-tech products and services currently used in the district.
3. Have a usage plan or goal in place and continually check in and measure progress against the goal.
Edtech, like many other industry-specific offshoots of technology, has been disrupting the complex and diverse world of education, changing the way learners and their instructors interact in the process. First embraced by schools, colleges and universities, edtech, short for education technology, has gradually found its way into the corporate world, perhaps as a testament that learning and self-development don’t often stop on graduation day.
Laura Truncellito- Laura is the founder and CEO of Language Scholars, LLC, a company which seeks to utilize cutting edge technology to enhance global learning and communication. email@example.com
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