Navigating Next

What IS coming next in the teaching and learning process and in the post-PC world?  And how do we in the industry not just prepare for it – but help build the infrastructure, products and services to support the changes that schools want or need?

We know there is an increased focus on choice and accountability within both K-12 and postsecondary institutions.  This focus drove many of the sessions and conversations at the recent SIIA Ed Tech Business Forum: Doing Business During Seismic Shifts. Speakers and attendees discussed the changes happening in today’s schools, the factors driving these changes, and how they expect even more change in the near future.

The ed tech companies who develop digital products and services for the K-12 and/or postsecondary sectors see many opportunities—and of course challenges—in the coming year and beyond. Just what are those opportunities and challenges – and how well will we address them?  While the program isn’t fully developed, here are some topics that we plan to address:

Support for:

  • personalized learning, via adaptive curricula and authentic assessment, and from micro-courses to “flipped” classrooms
  • the increased emphasis on educator and institutional accountability, from the institutions who want to evaluate teachers, their resources, or programs.
  • data-driven decision-making, especially those institutions who are using learning analytics to facilitate intervention, predict future performance, and improve instructional approaches
  • online and blended learning, especially the new modes for delivering instruction

 Learning more about and working with:

  • government entities and education foundations developing free open education resources and management systems
  • the many organizations developing  technical standards for product development
  • new social learning models which are effecting our traditional distribution channels

To remain successful, education technology companies look ahead and navigate the “next’ that will affect their segment of the marketplace. Since education shifts do not happen overnight, the companies have time to change business models or product development strategies where needed.

We will look at these new business models and development strategies at the Ed Tech Industry Summit on May 5-7 will focus on the opportunities and challenges of ‘Navigating Next’, as well as leverage the fact that we’re in San Francisco. Of course, we also celebrate the work of our Innovation participants, CODiE finalists, and those selected to receive the Ed Tech Impact Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Steering Committee is set to start planning the program and there’s room for a few more ‘worker bees’ who can help SIIA recommend topics, speakers, sponsors, and Innovators,  then help extend the invitations, review the applications, and help us promote the conference. It takes a great deal of work to plan and run this conference and while SIIA has great staff to much of the heavy lifting, we rely on our members to provide the thought leadership, and help guide the content, program, and promotion.

To help companies be successful at “Navigating Next” and adapt to the seismic shifts in education, we will make it a priority at the Ed Tech Industry Summit to help attendees understand where the customers are today and where they’ll be in the future.

Join us in San Francisco on May 5-7!


Karen BillingsKaren Billings is Vice President for the Education Division at SIIA. Follow the SIIA Education Team on Twitter at @SIIAEducation

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