Education Tech Requires Collaboration

Susan Nunziata, Director of Editorial | 12/7/2012 | 32 comments

Susan Nunziata
Collaboration is key when it comes to making education technology readily available. Two recent initiatives in New England bring home this point.

The first is LearnLaunch, a nonprofit formed December 4, 2012, with the goal of supporting education technology startups throughout New England. The organization will hold its first conference, Across Boundaries: Innovation and the Future of Education, at the MIT Tang Center in Cambridge, Mass., February 1 to February 2, 2013. The conference will include presentations by teachers, as well as showcasing instructional technology in use in classrooms nationwide, according to a statement from LearnLaunch.

The second is an initiative in Maine, in which the state's Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) is forming an alliance with other states for cooperative purchasing of educational technology. They're doing so through the National Association of State Procurement Officials. According to apost in E2's sister site, Educational IT:

MLTI has published a request for proposal (RFP) accepting bids for 'equipment and services to empower a wireless, student-centered, digital learning environment that provides students with learning technology on a 1:1 (one machine per student/teacher) basis.'

LearnLaunch, meanwhile, describes its goals in a prepared statement:

LearnLaunch brings together innovators, K-12 and higher ed educators, investors, students, school leaders, buyers and distribution channels, and provides structured services such as classes, forums, conferences and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs. It also streamlines and enriches communication between investors and entrepreneurs, and incorporates two established Boston organizations, EdTechup and Kids Club, each of which was founded by LearnLaunch principals.

Seems it takes a village to get the education technology ecosystem sorted out. Yet, these initiatives, and others like them, are certainly a step in the right direction. Sharing knowledge, resources, and power in the form of negotiating good pricing for bulk purchases makes a lot of sense. The more that education IT executives can streamline and standardize the process the better, given the limited time and resources available.

Collaborative education technology initiatives such as these also open the door for unique ideas and solutions that may not otherwise have seen the light of day. The technology in use at schools is not just shaping the kids of today, it's shaping the workforce of tomorrow.

On the downside, the more players involved in any initiative, the more slowly things sometimes move. While it's important to have all voices heard, it's certain that skirmishes will arise between school districts and between states when it comes to which technologies are preferred. There's plenty of politics to account for in the education environment. Education IT professionals will have to be adept at diplomacy if they have any hope of benefiting from these collaborative initiatives.

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Gigi   Education Tech Requires Collaboration   2/17/2013 10:26:50 PM
Re: Collaboration
Susan, thanks for the link. In our country normally college out students used to work with some companies for a couple of years to gain experience and to learn all the in & out of corporate world, business etc. now the situations had changed due to the incubator facilities and angel/venture fund, they can directly walk out as an entrepreneur.
Susan Nunziata   Education Tech Requires Collaboration   2/12/2013 11:19:54 PM
Re: Collaboration
@Gigi: Excellent question. I don't have an answer for you, will have to research that. I do know that the results will differ state-by-state in the U.S., as we have not only federal but state and local government rules that influence the abilities of entrpreneurs to succeed. Meanwhile, here's an interesting article on whether Schools can teach you to be an entrepreneur.
Gigi   Education Tech Requires Collaboration   2/10/2013 10:13:08 PM
Re: Collaboration
Susan, In US and other countries, how is the environment and support from government authorities for the success of such startup companies. What's the success rate of students startup companies, especially in US?
Susan Nunziata   Education Tech Requires Collaboration   2/7/2013 5:27:16 PM
Re: Collaboration
@Gigi: this makes alot of sense and it's a phenomenon we're seeing around the globe. From the US to China, newly minted college graduates are having a difficult itme finding jobs. To provide them the skills they need to start their own businesses will ultimately be good for the economy everywhere.
Gigi   Education Tech Requires Collaboration   2/4/2013 10:42:27 PM
Re: Collaboration
Susan, exactly. Every year 'n' number of students is completing their professional colleges/universities. Governments won't be able to provide job for all such peoples and private sector will be interested in taping only the top talented. So others will remains as unemployed, which can create more headaches to society. So if we are helping them to groom as entrepreneurs, that the best thing we can do for the society.
Susan Nunziata   Education Tech Requires Collaboration   1/30/2013 7:10:02 PM
Re: Collaboration
@Gigi: that's an even more laudable goal. Given how the economy is moving, entrepreneurship may well be the path to career success going forward. The days of finding long term work with a government agency or corporation are probably over. That's why the numbers of startups and small businesses continue to grow every year.
Gigi   Education Tech Requires Collaboration   1/21/2013 1:48:57 AM
Re: Collaboration
Susan, our ultimate aim is grooming the student's community as job creators rather than job seekers. We are one the way to success because so far 132 student companies has registered with in last 18 months and some of them moved out to their own facility also. Our aim is to train and groom them with confidence for facing the entrepreneur challenges. We are always behind them with full support and help, when they needed.
Susan Nunziata   Education Tech Requires Collaboration   1/14/2013 11:45:35 PM
Re: Collaboration
@Gigi: That is an outstanding example and really encouraging to hear about initiatves such as this. It benefits the students and also brings their creative ideas and talents into the corporate and government spheres. Nice!
Gigi   Education Tech Requires Collaboration   1/14/2013 11:18:49 PM
Re: Collaboration
Susan, college/university outgoing students are of excellent capability with innovate thoughts and ideas. If we are able to utilize it or providing necessary infrastructure/facility to execute it, the results are Amazing. So we had planned to act as a bridge between these academia and industry through offering various trainings, incubator facility, R&D facility etc for a short period (max 36 months). There after they have to relocate from our incubator facility to government provided tech /industrial parks.
Susan Nunziata   Education Tech Requires Collaboration   1/11/2013 10:05:06 PM
Re: Collaboration
@Gigi: That's an excellent example and I applaud your efforts! well done, can't wait to see what this next generation of entrepreneurs delivers in the way of technology advances and workplace scenarios.
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