The broken edtech ecosystem investors once avoided is changing | @TechCrunch

Is it worth creating your own education technology software?

Is there a market and, if there is, can they afford to pay you?

“Don’t go into education technology, no one makes any money,” was the advice I once got from an early founder of an edtech startup that failed.

It used to be an all too common sentiment that once deterred many prospective investors from backing some of the most promising edtech ventures conceived.

Previously considered risky investments, it’s true that many edtech startups — commonly founded by “teacherpreneurs” hell-bent on mending the broken social and cultural framework of education through tech innovation — either tank or fail to achieve true scale.Why is this the case, when basic reasoning leads us to believe there is no other professional better placed to address the issues facing education than an actual teacher?

The broken ecosystem of selling to schools educational software rather than the actual technology is what often consigns many edtech ventures to the dustbin.

Of the few teacher-entrepreneurs who do succeed in the startup world to become true scale-up businesses, these mold-breakers are developing solutions to tackle some of the most difficult challenges in education — challenges that are leading many of the industry’s talent to leave the profession completely and a disproportionate number of children to underachieve.

In a digitized world where tech innovation has revolutionized nearly every corner of our life, the negligible impact it has made in our classrooms is woeful.

Source: The broken edtech ecosystem investors once avoided is changing | TechCrunch

Assessment by ePortfolio

If you’re considering incorporating ePortfolios into your teaching (and if you’re not you should) there’s a good review by Helen Barret available.

Abstract

This paper provides the theoretical background for a study of student learning, engagement and collaboration through the development of electronic portfolios. After covering an overview of the limited research on portfolios in education, definitions, multiple purposes of portfolios, and conflicting theoretical paradigms are discussed. Principles of student motivation and engagement are covered, along with philosophical and assessment issues and the importance of reflection in learning. The relationship between storytelling and reflection is elaborated. Finally, the paper describes several technology tools that engage learners in reflecting, including blogging and digital storytelling.

You can read the full report here.

Essential Guide to Visual Thinking for E-Learning #yam


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Here are two common challenges when building online training courses: knowing what content needs to be in the course and then having the right visuals to support the learning of that content. One way to overcome these challenges is to increase your visual thinking skills. You’ll learn to focus on the right content and then find the right visuals to support what you’re teaching.

via Essential Guide to Visual Thinking for E-Learning.

How to Stick with It When You’re Learning Something New On Your Own #yam

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English: My Learning Ltd – Secondary Learning Platform Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most of us have a passion to learn something new—whether it’s advancing our skillset, picking up a new hobby, or just taking on an entire new learning experience—but unless you’re incredibly dedicated to it, learning something new is surprisingly hard to stick with. Here are a few ways to make your new habit stick.

We’ve talked about plenty of different resources for learning on your own. The problem isn’t that the data and classes aren’t out there and freely available, it’s coming up with the dedication and structure when you don’t have a bill from a college hanging over your head. A recent Open Culture survey shows a number of the most common reasons people don’t complete online courses, ranging from the time required to complete a class to simple old learning fatigue. Most of these problems are easy to deal with.

While you might show an interest in something that doesn’t mean you’ll always stick to it. So, I spoke with Kio Stark, author of the recently released book, Don’t Go Back to School the book should be available on Amazon this week as well about how to come up with a self-education plan you’ll actually stick to.

via How to Stick with It When You’re Learning Something New On Your Own.

Is e-Learning a Distinct Profession?

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More and more institutions (usually at the prompting of funding councils) are demanding that courses be available on-line. Of course the distance between the aim of providing a course on-line and the final course is a long one and is not a journey that, whether from lack of interest or lack of skill, not all learning professionals can take.

Is there a place, then, for professional e-learning practitioners who exist solely in the ether?

Angela Boothroyd explores that question further here:

Studying Online: E-learning as a profession: Part 1

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Credit Crunch Creates Courses

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Interesting Article in Science Daily about how the complete lack of available cash could lead to a boom in e-learning.

Bottom line is that companies see savings to be made by creating a course once and rolling it out to many users rather than paying a trainer to deliver the course personally.

I agree with the sentiment; although the statement

The newest solutions make it possible to turn a PowerPoint presentation into a course for a thousand employees within two hours.

makes me cringe. There’s more to learning that presenting information. And there’s less to PowerPoint than presenting information.

Economic Crisis Boosts E-Learning

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