Musings from Austin - SXSW EDU 2018 Recap

SXSW EDU holds a special place in our calendar, as I outlined on their blog a few months ago, “Quality Time Takes Quantity Time.” It serves as:

  1. A useful touchpoint on the high water challenges of the education innovation space;

  2. An opportunity to connect with old and new friends to share our work and theirs; and  

  3. An anniversary for us to reflect on progress on our mission to expand equitable access for all students to the tools and teaching that drives the best outcomes for them.  

A week after the close of the conference, I’ve had 17 seconds to decompress and reflect on what we saw, heard and thought while in Tejas…

Four Reasons We Come to Work Every Day

We’re biased. I’ll admit it. Our CEO tells us that we should operate with a “bias toward responsible action” in every decision we make, with team and customer interest at the heart of everything we do. In fact, it’s a core value that every new employee is introduced to even before day one – during the interview process.

In essence, this commitment to responsible action translates to a cohesive team built on integrity and trust. Every member of our collaborative team functions with support from the others, but ultimately has all of our trust to make decisions, take action and move forward in the best interest of our network of educators based on the best information available. That level of organization-wide trust is rare and can only exist in an environment filled with rock star team members who strike that delicate balance between autonomy and collaboration. Here are a few of the awesome team members who help advance learning, and provide educators with tools to personalize learning at scale and increase equitable access for all students — and make working at Lea(R)n a joy. 

2018 Summer Lea(R)n Fellowship Now Accepting Applications

LearnPlatform was designed by, with and for educators. Three summers ago, we kicked off the Lea(R)n Fellowship program to take that collaboration to the next level. Last year, the program received a record number of educator applicants from across our home state of North Carolina — great teacher leaders who want to help make results matter. We are excited to open applications for the fourth year of the Lea(R)n Fellowship program. Applications will be accepted and reviewed until May 25th at 11:59 pm eastern. Fellows selected to participate in the 2018 program will be notified by June 4th.

Learn more and apply for the program here: Apply now

What is EdTech Management?

What does edtech management mean for your organization? Does searching for improved efficiencies excite and energize you? Or does it feel like a chore to be put off until next summer (or the summer after)? However the topic makes you feel, it's more than likely that there is some confusion around what it is. Hear from district analyst, Kevin Uy, and director of customer success, Dr. Amanda Cadran, as they discuss what edtech management is and how it's approached in schools and districts across the country. 

Elkin City Schools Redefines EdTech Management to Personalize Learning

Three schools totaling 1,200 students compose Elkin City Schools (ECS), a small North Carolina district nestled close to the Virginia border. Small but mighty, this innovative district consistently strives to ensure all of its students receive the necessary skills and knowledge to meet or exceed their academic potential and prioritizes hands-on and one-on-one learning experiences for students.

To best serve their educators and students, the ECS team wanted a deeper understanding of the tools that were being used in classrooms and to create a more efficient software request process to ensure appropriate resource allocations for the implementation and evaluation of those products. Read the full case study to see how Elkin City Schools has improved its edtech vetting, purchasing and implementation workflows, and provided training to give teachers more involvement in the software request and selection process.

EdTech Price Index: Mapping the Journey to Smart Spending and Implementation

Last year, district administrators brought us a challenge: figure out actual edtech costs.

  1. If we all know that education technology gets purchased, but has varying degrees of use, how can we figure out what the stuff we're paying for actually costs?

  2. How can we understand our actual investments — let alone compare investments in different edtech tools to one another — to inform what's best for our budgets?

  3. In our individual situations, how should we best understand and compare product pricing that comes in all sorts of fee structures?

Enter the EdTech Price Index™…

A Few of the Faces Behind LearnPlatform

Our co-founder and CEO, Karl, is rather fond of bragging about our team. Aside from adding some flush to our cheeks, it feels good to have a leader who believes in and supports us. He often refers to Lea(R)n as “the best (and most charming) team in edtech,” and while that braggery causes most of us a sincere level of embarrassment and the “charm” is sometimes in short supply before a cup of coffee, this hard-working team is sincerely committed to helping advance learning and providing educators with tools to personalize learning at scale and increase equitable access for all students. Here are a few people who tirelessly strive to make results matter, delight our customers and partners, and are a pleasure to have as teammates.

Gifts that Keep Giving: Six Resources to Kick Off 2018

The holiday season is here at last. Before we put our feet up by the fire and break out the eggnog, we wanted to share some of our favorite resources to help educators better organize, streamline and analyze their edtech. Here are six resources to help your organization survive the holidays in style and get in tip-top shape to kick off the new year.