EdTech Entrepreneurs Lab Pitch Night

On July 15, nearly 300 Bay Area entrepreneurs, VCs and philanthropists gathered for the final pitch session of The EdTech Entrepreneurs Lab, an education startup incubation program helping cultivate the next generation of education technology entrepreneurs. Since February, a cohort of 25 incredible individuals worked through the Lab on tech-enabled solutions to the challenges facing American public education—and at this culminating event, their months of hard work were clear.

NewSchools Summit 2011

For a decade, the NewSchools Summit has been the central address for results-oriented innovation that improves education for low-income children. This year, we took it up a couple of notches. Summit 2011 participants enjoyed more choices in content, more ways to connect with people, more new ideas and people, and more fun. The theme for this invitation-only event was what’s new and what’s next—the ideas, people and systems that will change education in the year to come. NewSchools Venture Fund has worked since 1998 to transform public education so that all children – especially those in underserved communities – have the opportunity to succeed. We have supported many of the nation’s highest performing entrepreneurial organizations and work closely with them to create systemic change. This year, for the first time, NewSchools is joining with Aspen Institute to bring you an event of unprecedented interest.


Delivering on the Promise of Learning

As the emphasis of the edtech startup scene shifts from digital distribution platforms to content, a new wave of entrepreneurial teams is beginning to disrupt traditional publishers' hold on the education marketplace. One emerging area of interest for designers, educators, researchers and funders is the potential power of games to help students learn in new ways. At the same time, important questions remain about how to develop high quality learning games in the face of complex design and distribution challenges. Our proposed panel brings together three companies building cutting edge learning games for an interactive discussion moderated by co.lab, a newly launched learning games accelerator by NewSchools Venture Fund and Together, we would explore the importance of user feedback, methods of overcoming barriers to reaching students in and out of school, and the promise of games as a tool for motivating students of all ages and abilities. Questions How can we reach a future where children’s experiences of digital games are enriched with opportunities for academic and social development? How can entrepreneurs better use metrics and analytics to create engaging learning games? What are best practices for integrating feedback from students, parents and educators? How can edtech companies leverage design and distribution strategies that help their products reach more students, in and out of school? How can they balance the need for teaching and learning efficacy with the need to sustain and grow their own businesses?

How the Education Market Will Kill Your Innovation

What are parents, teachers, and school leaders seeking from education companies? What are the reasons behind these decisions? What are the lessons for how innovation happens in these markets? The speakers in this session offer their perspectives on these questions as well as other ideas on how entrepreneurs should bridge the disconnect between the demand and the supply side moving forward. Rob Mancabelli, BrightBytes (Moderator) Jay Garlapati, Bill Jackson, GreatSchools Marguerite Roza, Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University

The Parent Voice in Ed Reform

This session explores some of the difficult topics that parents and organizations working with parents are facing throughout the country. What does it mean for the progress of community action when the NAACP vocally opposes charter schools? Are we doing enough as an education reform movement to protect the charter schools that are successful in this country? What needs to happen to close more schools that are failing? How do we bridge the gap between the grassroots organizations and the rest of the education reform community? How do we sustain long-lasting change? The panelists identify the parts of the education reform advocacy movement that are disconnected and broken and offer solutions for how to fix it. Russlynn Ali, Emerson Collective (Moderator) Alberto Retana, Community Coalition Michael Lomax (United Negro College Fund) Karen Martinez (Alum Rock School District) Shawn Sprewer, St. Marcus Lutheran School

Millions and Millions of Great Teachers Needed: How Will We Meet this Need?

Quality teachers are key to student success. Yet, the need far exceeds the supply. In this session, experienced leaders share innovative approaches to preparing teachers so that they are classroom-ready on day one, improving the skillfulness of veteran teachers and changing the labor composition of schools so that a great teacher's reach extends further. Reba Dominski, Target (Introduction) Kaya Henderson, DC Public Schools (Moderator) Jennifer Green, Urban Teacher Center Ellen Moir, New Teacher Center Richard Nyankori, Insight Education Group Diane Tavenner, Summit Public Schools

It's TimeTo Give Up On ________ and Replace it With ___________.

In this rapid-fire session, participants share different short talks on what should be stopped and what should be done instead. Some of the talks will be serious, some funny, but all will be insightful. Jean Desravines (Moderator) Ann Friedman, The SEED Foundation Kaya Henderson, DC Public Schools Frederick Hess, American Enterprise Institute Neerav Kingsland, New Schools for New Orleans Jeremiah Kittredge, Families for Excellent Schools Ted Kolderie, Education Evolving Kimberly O’Malley, Pearson Larry Rosenstock, High Tech High Mark Shermis, University of Akron

What America Can Learn From the World’s Leading Schools

What can be really learned from international comparisons? What can be usefully learned from other countries? What can’t? What does it mean for education reform and entrepreneurship? This session looks at what is truth and what is fiction in these comparisons, as well as offer bright spots that participants can look to and learn from for best practices and insights. Amanda Ripley, Journalist (Moderator) Sir Michael Barber, Pearson Jon Schnur, America Achieves Joanne Weiss, US Department of Education