Sign up for the Roundtable discussion you would like to participate in!
Tuesday, September 30
9:30 – 10:30 am
The roundtables are an opportunity for you to meet and dialogue with other attendees on topics of mutual interest in a small group setting. Attendance at each Roundtable is limited, so be sure to pre-register now for the topic you most want to attend.
Table 1: Breaking Through: Insight Into District Buyer Decisions
Sean Herdman, Associate Publisher, Education Week Industry & Innovation
Drawing upon a recent survey of nearly 1,900 school district leaders, education company marketing executives, sales leaders, and sales teams will gain deeper understanding of district leaders’ buyer processes. Education Week Marketing’s survey, “Breaking Through: Insight Into District Buyer Decisions,” asked district administrators across the nation to provide valuable insights into their vendor selection processes. Insights you will gain from our roundtable discussion include:
- Who to target (i.e., who are the “true” purchasing influencers?)
- Key marketing messages to grab district leaders’ attention
- Top challenges district leaders are facing today
- What they want from their vendors and solutions
- Major milestones in their purchasing cycles
- Platforms used to gather information about vendors
- Valuemetric perspectives on pricing, quality, and brands
Table 2: The Pros and More Pros of Open-Source Assessment Technology for Education
Doug Wilson, Managing Partner, Breakthrough Technologies LLC
What open-source software options are available for items, test authoring and reporting? What’s the latest on the Race to the Top Consortiums’ open-source platforms? How can you most effectively leverage open-source systems for your school, district, or state? Doug Wilson of Breakthrough Technologies LLC leads this insightful discussion of open-source opportunities for the education market.
Table 3: What You Need to Know About IMS Global Interoperability Technology Standards
Andrew Schlessinger, Co-Founder and CEO, SAFARI Montage
Join me for a roundtable discussion on the basics of IMS Global Common Cartridge, Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI), and Question & Test Interoperability (QTI) standards and their potential impact on all ed-tech companies. Participants will learn how these standards have established a means for ed-tech applications and tools to easily share data—including lessons, learning objects, assessment data, and student information—and enable users to effortlessly navigate across their web-based resources and learning tools. Discover how LTI standards helped to facilitate SAFARI Montage’s recent integration with Knovation’s netTrekker, providing co-customers with Federated Search access to netTrekker’s 360,000+ educator-curated, standards-aligned digital learning resources through the SAFARI Montage Learning Object Repository (LOR).
Table 4: Pairing Print and Digital Products to Drive Sales
Joe Tucker, Director of Meeting & Events, Education Market Association
More dollars and resources are flowing into education than ever before, and the changes in curriculum and content delivery are creating new and different opportunities. Most experts agree that the best educational environments combine digital learning with physical components—a hybrid combination. Come to this table to discuss how digital products are being paired with physical products to bring opportunities for additional sales through the dealer channel.
Table 5: Modern Marriages – The Growth of Strategic Partnerships Between Education and Technology Companies
Gavin Cooney, CEO, Learnosity
The game is up for Educational Publishers! Traditionally they have competed on the quality and validity of the content that they create, but now consumers are demanding “digital first” products with multi-media rich content and fit for purpose platforms.
At this roundtable we will look at the build or buy decision facing publishers: should they take on the risk and cost of developing their own technologies or should they bring in outside expertise from technology-first companies even if it potentially means foregoing part of their revenue?
We will discuss whether partnerships of singularly focused companies, i.e., where each partner focuses solely on their core competency, will ultimately result in better educational products. Can technology companies truly understand the unique needs of educational publishing?
We will also discuss some of the critical factors that need to be taken into account when making the build versus buy decision and choosing the right partner to get into bed with.
Table 6: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Digital Learning Tools and Educational Games: What Can We Learn From the Experience of Industry Veterans?
Scott Elliot, President, SEG Measurement
The number of digital tools and educational games being offered is increasing dramatically. But school buyers are understandably skeptical. They want evidence that the tools they are using increase student learning, engagement, and critical thinking. According to a KnowledgeQuest study, more than four out of five school buyers want to see proof of product effectiveness, before purchasing. Testimonials and case studies are no longer enough to satisfy buyers.
Many digital tool and game providers are seeking scientific support for the efficacy of their products. Those contemplating conducting efficacy research have many questions. Fortunately, there is much to be learned from the experience of others in the industry.
This session brings together those who have conducted research with those who are at the early stages. Recent studies from Cengage, Imagine Learning, Kindermusik, and HealthTeacher.com will be discussed and analyzed to get helpful tips and understand potential pitfalls and challenges.
Table 7: Field Study: What Ed-tech Readers Want
Melissa Greenwood, Senior Education Editor, SmartBrief Education
The SmartBrief Education team will highlight education technology trends from the perspective of the readers of our daily e-news publication, SmartBrief on EdTech. Each month, our editors survey readers on issues ranging from top tech tools for student engagement to student readiness for new online exams. We will use these survey results to identify market trends for industry stakeholders and outline opportunities in today’s edtech market. We also will discuss news and information consumption trends among edtech readers. What kinds of information they tend to read (news, research, white papers, etc.), how often they’re reading it and what they need this content to deliver (how-tos, analysis, etc.).
Table 8: Purchasing Study: Finding, Evaluating, and Buying: Insights From a National Ed-tech
Steve Pines, Executive Director, Education Industry Association
Education leaders from over 50 school districts and executives from nearly 50 companies participated in a national study by EIA and Digital Promise, and shared their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities with finding, evaluating, and buying digital content and tools. Join this roundtable to hear about the results and recommendations to improve the marketplace.
Table 9: The Dual Challenge: How Does the Industry Develop Effective Business Models for Selling Digital Materials? And How Do Schools Develop Cost Effective Processes to Procure Them?
Eliot Levinson, CEO, BLEgroup
This BLEgroup will moderate a session where two education decision-makers and two industry leaders will address how they are innovating to address the challenges of selling and buying digital materials into the non-print world of schools. The BLEgroup will present a short paper on the challenges of selling and buying digital curriculum for the session participants to address.
Table 10: Business Edition: National Survey on Mobile Technology for K-12 Education
Kati Elliott, President, KEH Communications
This study is a must-have for anyone wanting to better understand the market for mobile devices in education. It offers deep insights into the instructional approaches teachers are taking with mobile devices, as well as offering year-over-year trends data to help education companies understand the transformation of the market and to identify where the next opportunities are. Participants in this roundtable will discuss key data from the survey, as well as discuss questions they have for possible inclusion in next year’s report.
Table 11: Does Your Communication Strategy Make You Uncomfortable? Very Uncomfortable?
Sue Hanson, Principal, PR with Panache!
This is a question that every executive should answer truthfully before engaging in any outreach and storytelling efforts in the education marketplace. If the answer to the question is “Yes,” join us in this Roundtable discussion where we will identify the 5 Factors of Storytelling Readiness, help you understand why they are essential, and perform a candid assessment of your company/product’s Storytelling Readiness.
Regardless of who is handling your corporate storytelling and outreach, these are the 5 critical elements that must be in place before you will reap the full benefits of an active outreach/storytelling campaign.
Whether you are launching a new product or a new company, this roundtable discussion is one you shouldn’t miss.
Table 12: What Are Current Ed-tech Valuations? When Will the Ed-tech Bubble Burst? Five Lessons Learned from M&A and Investments!
Farimah Schuerman and Mitch Weisburgh, Managing Partners, Academic Business Advisors, LLC
Robin Warner, Managing Director, DeSilva+Philips Investment Bankers
Ed-tech companies are being invested in and bought in record numbers, which has created an Ed-tech Bubble. Learn what’s been happening in this area during the last year, our thoughts on what is ahead, and how you can benefit.
Hear about Five Invaluable Lessons we’ve discovered from Ed-tech M&A and Investments. It’s not always pretty, but we’ve been in the industry for a long time. Then pick our brains about how companies are valued, how to prepare to buy and sell companies, and how to capitalize from current investment trends.
Table 13: Keys to Successful Relationships Between Vendors and Clients When Developing Content
Andrew Pass, CEO, A Pass Educational Group, LLC
High-quality educational content is not guaranteed when a contract is signed between the publishing company and the vendor, unless certain important principles are adhered to. Over the last five years, A Pass Educational Group has developed a series of systems and processes to guarantee the highest-quality development. However, we do not know everything. In this session the facilitator will discuss A Pass’s processes and systems. Participants will be encouraged to critique them and offer their own ideas for high-quality relationships.
Table 14: Beyond Knee-Jerk RFPs: Healthy Distribution Partnerships That Deliver Revenue
Robert Iskander, Founder & Chairman, The Global Grid for Learning Powered by EduTone
What proactive methods and criteria can be used to establish compelling and competitive partnerships instead of hasty RFP responses that strive to fill in holes? What reseller channel strategies, account management, and co-marketing have been most successful and why? What types of partners are you looking for and why? How can education technology and services companies work together to minimize acquisition costs, provide more holistic and complete solutions for students and schools, and tap into the billions of dollars that will be spent by large educational institutions on hardware and software procurements in 2015?
Table 15: “Freemium / Premium vs. Subscription” – Competing in the World of Free Apps With a Business Model That Works!
Mark McCusker, CEO, Texthelp Inc.
Participants will discuss their experience, challenges, and questions about how to compete and succeed in the new ed-tech playing field. What is the optimal balance between “free and fee” and how do you recognize the key feature “tipping point” that will cause free users to buy a subscription?
Table 16: The Virtual Teacher’s Lounge: Building Brand Loyalty on Social Media
Tara Welty, Editor-in-Chief, Scholastic National Partnerships
A lot of companies are integrating social media into their brand building efforts, but very few are doing it well. Scholastic has got it right. With 10 million+ fans across more than 50 social media accounts, we have tailored the social media experience to each audience we serve. In this session, we’ll take a deep dive into the Scholastic Teachers Channel (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +) and show you how Scholastic uses its research to connect with teachers in a way that connects with them. We’ll share some of our most successful social media strategies and campaigns for educators and offer best practices for building engagement on your social channels (along with a few examples of what not to do). And because the game is always changing, we want to hear from you. Come prepared to share what’s working (and what isn’t) for your team!
Table 17: How Districts Are Redefining Digital Tools & Content 2.0
P.H. Mullen, Marketing, Junyo
Edtech in the classroom provides district leaders new frameworks and possibilities for improving individual learning. What constitutes improvement? How are districts, schools and teachers selecting solutions and measuring progress? As we grow more data driven, we need to establish new measurements and new expectations for evaluating and communicating student progress. This evolution directly impacts how we leverage classroom tools and grade the experience. Join Junyo Streams to discuss:
- How do we develop new and more thorough ways to measure progress using digital solutions?
- How do we best strategize, interpret, and measure digital results?
- What are the best ways educators are interpreting their results, and how are they using those results to plan their next steps in purchasing and instruction?
Table 18: What You Need to Know About Student Privacy Regulations and Best Practices
Mark Schneiderman, Senior Director of Education Policy, SIIA – Software & Information Industry Association
The last two years have seen increased attention and regulation around the issue of student privacy and data security. This roundtable will include updates on student privacy legislation, school expectations, and industry standards to help you navigate these complex issues. Learn about SIIA’s extensive work with policymakers, education leaders, and school service providers on this issue and bring questions from your company so you stay ahead of this current challenge for education providers.
Table 19: HP Americas Education Strategy
Elliott Levine, Education Strategist and Mark Kanefsky, OEM Strategy, HP
Schools are rapidly gravitating toward 1:1 and digital learning programs with growth over the next 3 years expected to be faster and larger than any other period this century. Join this discussion if your Ed-tech or learning organization has interest in expanding your business and reach with large Ed-tech company. HP’s Education Strategists and OEM Strategy leaders are hosting an open discussion on trends and insight for curriculum, application and learning tools providers looking to build alliances with the leader in Education Technology solutions.
Table 21: Growing Your Business in Canada. Insights on Trends and Opportunities on How to Develop a Winning Formula for Success in an International Market
Robert Martellacci, Founder & President, MindShare Learning
While Canada is a great neighbor to the north, there are many cultural and organizational nuances to doing business in Canada. MindShare’s founder and president, Robert Martellacci with over 30 years of expertise in the learning & technology space shares his insights on the 3rd annual Canadian EdTech Survey and how the landscape is changing; why Canada is a great leaping off point for international expansion and how to maximize your investment in a growth market.
Table 24: Taking the Pulse. Uncovering Trends. A Year Four Perspective!
Charlene Blohm, President, C. Blohm & Associates
Linda Winter, President, Winter Group
For the fourth year, C. Blohm & Associates and the Winter Group teamed up to conduct two in-depth focus groups with educators attending the 2014 ISTE Conference. Join us for this research report-out and hear what technology leaders, curriculum directors, and frontline classroom educators have to say about finding new products, the shifting landscape of buying influences, and evolving expectations from technology and curriculum vendors. You’ll hear educators’ responses to questions about PLNs, webinars, social media, and traditional marketing channels, and we’ll share findings about the re-emergence of face-to-face marketing. Handouts and snacks served with a smile!