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.
I love the fact there is an organization trying to make sure technology innovations get to schools so kids can learn more, beter, faster and so on. How best could companies use this to create a more educated and innovative workforce? How can they help themselves to be this ideal?
Having to ask for the input of the many parties involved might cause a delay in the project, yes. However, the benefits far outweigh this. It is the users who will be using the tech in the end, so it only makes sense to include them in consultations. Better delays than coming up with something that is unusable to the users that it is intended for.
From what I've seen, this is the only way that issues related to education can actually get beyond simple discussions....when being addressed as a whole and at a higher level.
Yes, I agree, it does make the process slow, but sadly I think is the only way to get momemtum on issues. Many school district have wonderful programs, but they can't get to launch them because of lack of support at a higher level.
But if Education is intertwined with other needs, than things take a new perspective, and thus received greater support.
The title basically says it all. For education technology to really move forward and to gain traction, there should be assistance and input from other sectors to make it successful. As Batye said, from the technical side of the team to the actual users who will benefit from it.
I think collaboration is very important. Lets also not forget the people whom will do the teaching teachers, show them how technology can be used to monitor their students performance in less time, how they can improve in presenting their topic to students in a way that is engaging and fun. I have heard stories as well that altough we have all these education technology available to teachers, they don't use it in their class.
Susan, inorder to expand wings of knowledge collaboration is very much required in our schools and colleges. Among them Industrial-academic collaborations are more important, where the new technologies can bring to our campus and students may get benefit from that.
The blogs and comments posted on EnterpriseEfficiency.com do not reflect the views of TechWeb, EnterpriseEfficiency.com, or its sponsors. EnterpriseEfficiency.com, TechWeb, and its sponsors do not assume responsibility for any comments, claims, or opinions made by authors and bloggers. They are no substitute for your own research and should not be relied upon for trading or any other purpose.
Please join us for the "IT Convergence Strategies: Why, When and How " to learn more about:
• 5 truths about infrastructure convergence today that go beyond the hype
• How to exploit the 4 phases of convergence maximum efficiency and agility
• Key milestones to plan for on the convergence journey
• Why integrated management is a critical component of convergence plans
• The importance of an open, modular approach, such as Dell’s active infrastructure, to building a converged data center
Enterprise Efficiency is looking for engaged readers to moderate the message boards on this site. Engage in high-IQ conversations with IT industry leaders; earn kudos and perks. Interested? E-mail: email@example.com
Dell's Efficiency Modeling Tool The major problem facing the CIO is how to measure the effectiveness of the IT department. Learn how Dell’s Efficiency Modeling Tool gives the CIO two clear, powerful numbers: Efficiency Quotient and Impact Quotient. These numbers can be transforma¬tive not only to the department, but to the entire enterprise. Read the full report
Now that TGen has broken new ground in genomic research by using Dell's storage, cloud, and high-performance computing solutions, the company discusses what will come next for it and for personalized medicine.
The Translational Genomics Research Institute wanted to save lives, but its efforts were hobbled by immense computing challenges related to collecting, processing, sharing, and storing enormous amounts of data.
There's a lot of hype about virtualization of networks, NaaS, and SDN, but there's a couple of proven applications that enterprises could adopt right now and potentially save money and improve operations.
Skype/Outlook UC integration means we're going to have competition and fragmentation of UC client architectures, but is that bad? Modern devices can support IM, email, voice, and video clients, so maybe it's the back end of UC we need to be worried about.
Workers are now used to portable device support throughout their everyday lives. We should be looking at the policy of providing fixed-desk devices to support stationary workers. Could portable support be smarter?
Input devices run the gamut, from the humble Missile Command-style trackball to advanced speech recognition. Unfortunately, these input devices can be used for evil as well as good. Case in point: mobile ads that want you to talk to them.
Enterprises want three things in storage systems: First is some speech-recognition way of capturing videoconference data for indexing; second is semantic/AI analysis of emails and IM for content indexing; third is a better system for managing hierarchical layers of storage.