Tag: Baltimore EdTech

CourseArc: A Case Study in Course Design, Ecosystem Leverage, and Persistence

Baltimore Supports EdTech Company Prepped for Scale Approximately ten years ago, Katie Egan met and hired Bethany Meyer, a fellow UMBC alumna, to help with her consulting business. The two set out to build quality, customized online courses for a variety of clients. Katie was the experienced instructional designer; Bethany was the engineer and web developer. Along the way, they realized that they just might be able to build and scale a platform that would allow instructors to more easily design and launch their own online courses. The task for Katie and Bethany was to avail an affordable, easy-to-use,...

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Baltimore EdTech Continues Growth

TU Incubator Hits Milestone There’s a storm coming to Baltimore, the kind you relish, that avails more innovation and change than ever before experienced. This storm affects Greater Baltimore’s citizens in a myriad of ways: health, energy, cyber security, manufacturing, retail, and, none too soon — education. As Towson University’s President, Kim Schatzel, is apt to declare, ‘TU Matters to Maryland!’ Certainly, this is an understatement when it comes to education innovation and TU’s longstanding service to teacher preparation and leadership. However, this becomes even more relevant when one considers edtech innovation and the university’s incubator, where Maryland’s largest cluster of...

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Value at the Core of TU Incubator’s EdTech Innovation Showcase

Where Entrepreneurs, Customers, and Investors Engage The evening of Thursday, December 8, 2016 is a milestone for the Towson University Incubator, aka TU Incubator. At the EdTech Innovation Showcase, 50+ carefully chosen attendees will have the opportunity to engage with 12 companies who are solving problems in K-12 and postsecondary education via solutions in formative assessment, access & admissions, classroom funding, language & literacy, professional development, project-based learning, and parent engagement. The event’s purpose is to bestow a focused medium where entrepreneurs can interface with customers and investors. The broader mission is to enhance education, to laud innovation, efficiencies,...

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TU Incubator Member Spotlight: Pelican Fly Concepts

As the Assistant Director at the TU Incubator, I have the privilege of working with a wonderful group of entrepreneurs with big ideas and the desire to make a real impact. This is especially true for our education technology members. Muhammad Najee-ullah, founder of Pelican Fly Concepts, is a great example. Recently Muhammad gave me his thoughts on being an entrepreneur. Five Questions with Pelican Fly Concepts founder Muhammad Najee-ullah. 1. Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur? My experiences as a youth in Baltimore shaped my entrepreneurial perspective. I embarked on a journey that taught me the...

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The Popularity of EdTech Products is Not Enough

For the past 150 years, Towson University has been Maryland’s top producer of teachers and is constantly working to enhance the educational experience, including ways to integrate technological advancements. Located on Towson’s campus, TU Incubator is uniquely positioned to help edtech (education technology used to achieve educational improvements and innovation) companies succeed by leveraging TU’s resources and expertise in education. Recently, I read Benjamin Herold’s article “Popularity of Ed Tech Not Necessarily Linked to Products’ Impact” in Education Week. One of the key takeaways is it is not enough just to get the product in the hands of teachers,...

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TU Incubator Member Companies Triumph at Milken-Penn GSE Competition

Last week availed a milestone for Towson University, TU Incubator, Baltimore EdTech, and, most importantly, a few unique, emerging edtech companies. Three (3) TU Incubator member companies were finalists in the 7th annual iteration of the Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition at the University of Pennsylvania’s Houston Hall on May 10 and 11, 2016. This nationally prominent competition awards $140,000 in prize money to some of the best education ideas and emerging enterprises in the U.S. and beyond. There were twenty-one (21) finalists from hundreds of applications in Idea Path and Venture Path categories. The room was packed...

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Class Compete Gamifies Test Prep

At the Towson University Incubator (d/b/a TU Incubator), we look for entrepreneurs and solutions who are a match for our program and who we believe can either change the game or who might initially be building a sustainable, independent lifestyle business. Either way, the impact is real and there’s a good partnership that begins and evolves. TU Incubator is about impact, but we are an incubator — not Y-Combinator. Our role is to support the scale-worthy and the small business, the mid-life first-time entrepreneur and the undergraduate who rallies a team attacking a big problem or more independence-inducing lifestyle on the...

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The Impending Bubble in EdTech? Not in Baltimore

2012–2015 attracted a great deal of entrepreneurs, investors, and awareness to education innovation, solutions often facilitated or driven by technology. I have been rolling up my sleeves there since the dot-com bubble but have never seen the kind of activity and interest in edtech that has occurred over the last five years. The need for improved conditions and outcomes in education is clear, a need perhaps only eclipsed in size by healthcare, or energy, or any industry that serves critical human need and is well behind in the innovation or disruption curve. Technology enabled service can be a catalyst...

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EdTech Defined in Ten Key Terms

The following ten terms are key vocabulary for all innovative and entrepreneurial educators and education entrepreneurs, or anyone who wants to stay current in education innovation. The Who of EdTech First, let me highlight the two professional personas that drive the rationale for this post. Edupreneur: You have spent considerable time in the classroom or as an administrator. You encountered a massive problem that could not be solved from your then current perch. You disrupted yourself and became an entrepreneur working outside the formal educational environment but stay closely connected. You are an edupreneur. Teacherpreneur: You have spent considerable time in the classroom and are eternally, intellectually curious. You have or exemplify a ‘growth mindset’. You have two friends who used to be active in your PLN but are now ensconced in building edtech companies where you frequently advise product build. You attend monthly edtech meetups and just re-signed your annual teacher contract for the fifth time. You love working with kids and can toggle seamlessly between academic and industry realms. You are a teacherpreneur. “Teacherpreneurs are classroom experts who teach students regularly, but also have time, space, and reward to incubate and execute their own ideas — just like entrepreneurs!” — Barnett Barry, CEO, The Center for Teaching Quality The How of EdTech Moving from the Who to the How, below are critical pedagogical ways in which education can benefit from...

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‘EdTech Maryland’ as Ecosystem Exemplar

Acknowledgement: EdTech Maryland and the proposed future of education innovation and excellence in Maryland would not be possible without the following leaders: Andrew Coy, Jen Meyer, Jan Baum, Michael Baady, Frank Bonsal III, John Cammack, Bill Ferguson, Tom Sadowski, Katrina Stevens, and Vince Talbert. In the U.S., North America, and around the Globe, education innovation clusters are popping up across the landscape to solve the 21st century’s toughest learning challenges. Some of these economic development clusters, moreover entrepreneurship hubs, will lead in ways that others cannot. Maryland is one of them. An Overview A couple of years ago, a few gray-haired, mission-driven Baltimoreans began to meet on a patterned basis to discern what we could do to induce and replicate education innovation and productivity in Baltimore, Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region. The interest grew virally to a point where a more formal task force made sense, and the Greater Baltimore EdTech Advisory Task Force was born. The task force met for a year and included over forty people and four committees, was led by an executive committee of 10 community leaders, including yours truly, and chaired by Andrew Coy, Executive Director of the Digital Harbor Foundation. We tested the market by hosting with EdSurge the inaugural Baltimore Tech for Schools Summit in February 2014. We discerned there were identifiable, sustained pockets of PK-20 innovation in the city and around...

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