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Education & Technology: A Meeting of the Minds

 

On October 17th and 18th, educators and technology gurus gathered together for a two-day conference called the St. Louis Tech for Schools Summit. The Summit gave teachers, edtech companies, and entrepreneurs the chance to share best practices, test out technology products, and exchange expertise.

The event was organized by EdSurge, an independent news research company devoted to covering education technology and its role in schools. While conferences are, in fact, part of the revenue model at EdSurge, the St. Louis Tech for Schools Summit was absolutely free for educators.

Opportunities for entrepreneurs and teachers to come together are more common these days than they have traditionally been in public schools. In January, a relatively new organization called Startup Weekend Education will come to Kansas City, Missouri, while programs like Missouri DECA have encouraged business thinking in education for decades.

What made the St. Louis Tech for Schools Summit unique is that it gave educators—who have classroom and subject area knowledge and expertise—the opportunity to talk directly to edtech companies and entrepreneurs about the products and services on the market for students. As EdSurge says, the Summit is a chance to “try out some of the most innovative technology being built for schools”. (source)

To see a list of the specific priorities articulated by the Summit’s district partners, click here.

There’s something intriguing and potentially very valuable about bringing educators together with businesses in a meeting of the minds on educational technology. In an educational landscape that is weighted either for big business or for schools (but rarely for both), EdSurge has created a unique opportunity to bring the strengths and experiences of both industries together for mutual benefit.

EdSurge also offers detailed research documents (for a fee) on educational technology topics ranging from edtech fundraising to trends in the field. Its Product Insights, which synthesize feedback on technology products from hundreds of educator reviews into one concise document, might be particularly useful for edtech decision makers in public schools.

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