Recently an article was published indicating what an Edtech product needed to be a number one pick by educators. According the Pitchbook’s Account Edtech Poducts are on an upswing and expected to have sold 1.4 billion by the end of 2017. With the U.S. federal education budget facing cuts in 2018, it stands to reason there would be a need for a supplement and Edtech should fit that bill. Still, Edtech hit an all time high in 2015 of $1.5 billion, a 4-year low in 2016 and its sales are finally starting to climb again.
Certain Edtech startups are getting a boost, especially if they have a strong technology connection. Companies that are benefiting right now include LittleBits, a coding tool, which became a number one pick at the 2017 National Principal’s Conference. After a $21 million capital infusion, NearPod released 300 new digital lessons. Gamification is another platform that is showing a boost in growth as is evidenced by the popularity of Classcraft, which received an early-stage investment of $2.8 million.
This is changing the dynamic between teachers, parents and students. There’s now a new empowerment being afforded to parents and teachers. The process of educating has a new communication platform. The main thing for marketing professionals to focus on is getting teachers to see their products’ value. At present, only 59% of teachers believe the tech that’s available meets the needs of the student according to a recent survey performed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Successful Edtech Needs to Do the Following:
- Meet a Need
- Tested and Proven
- Prove Itself by Being Used
- Many Edtech programs fail to consult with teachers to discover what they are doing to make the subject interesting for their students. Entrepreneur, Sam Chaudhary worked with teachers to develop his product, ClassDojo. As he was developing the product he consulted with parents, teachers and students. As a result of his grass roots approach, he was able to meet a real need. With ClassDojo, teachers were able to show the students progress. Now, 90% of U.S. K-8 schools use ClassDojo.
- With so many Edtech products flooding the market, teachers are unsure where to invest their monies. Because of the abundance of choices, Edtech accelerators were created. Now, there are testing grounds for the new products. These testing grounds prove the validity of the Edtech and help direct he perfect classroom for the product.
- Edtech startups need to realize, “If you build it, they will come” is just a quaint saying. It’s not the reality of teaching live students. With internet access virtually nationwide, teaching students with Edtech is easier, but not full proof. Schoology uses the iPad and they added continued support to make sure the teachers received every aid needed to get full service from the product. Schoology worked closely with the teachers and helped them use the iPad for customized student instruction. Now, the teachers love Schoology.