Edu Startups Entrepreneurship

Connecting Edupreneurs

On Thursday I met with an amazing group of aspiring education entrepreneurs who are the most recent members to join the FounderDating network. Over the summer FounderDating, in partnership with Teach For America and with support from New Schools Venture Fund, launched their first vertical-specific initiative for people interested in solving problems related to teaching, learning and education in general. I was happy to be a part of the team that brought these individuals together and Thursday night’s kick-off event was full of some great conversations and early relationship building.  It was really exciting to see how many teachers applied (which was partly due to partnering with TFA) but also illustrates how educators are playing more active roles in shaping tools and solutions they’d like to see in their schools.

I believe that efforts like these that bring together high-quality individuals from diverse backgrounds is what is going to lead to truly innovative solutions that we are all hopeful for in the education technology space and I’m glad I was able to support building this network.

Edu Startups Tech in the classroom

Tech in the Classroom, Really!

“If I can do it, you can do it”

Huge shout-out to Angela Estrella for organizing a fabulous Tech Menu Day for her HS teachers this past Wednesday. It was great to volunteer with several other usual suspects from Imagine K12 and see how teachers are training each other on integrating tech into their classrooms. Resembling a mini-edCamp, the format was fairly simple– teachers, many with iPads in hand, were asked to choose 2 sessions from a menu of options introducing best practices for tools like Google Apps, Evernote, Symbaloo, Dropbox and Remind101 which took place between 730-9am on a late-start day. I was in the App Smackdown session where one of the science teacher shared a couple of her favorite apps- PickMe and Educreations and then opened up the floor for attendees to share their picks. The language teachers were big fans of Quizlet already and SplashTop was a general favorite of the crowd.

The feedback from the teachers was incredibly positive with many of them asking for more sessions like this to stay current on popular apps and share tips on using iPads and other devices during instruction. Observing teachers sharing their expertise is particularly exciting for me as it’s the main focus of my work with my own startup, TeacherSquare.

This offline Tumblr was one of my favorites, seeing how students translate their online experiences into their offline classroom environment. The envelopes represent the private Tumblr messages while the post-its are the wall, which is available for public consumption.

Meeting Angela at my first Teacher Tech Talk back in March has been truly inspiring and I’m excited to continue to support her efforts to make technology work for her teachers and we are also in discussion of having a RemixEd event at her campus.