Please Touch the Technology

May 1, 2013

Some innovations just don’t make sense until you actually get your hands on them: Fun dip. Silly putty. Education technology. For this reason, Summit 2013 features 21 different education technology companies and their tools in one room on tablets, phones, laptops, and desktops. Participants can walk around the interactive exhibit, which we designed to mimic an expository museum aesthetic rather than a trade show, and play with digital content, tools, and platforms. The entrepreneurs have all come, too, to answer questions for an hour during the day.

This year there is a focus on early childhood, games for learning, formative assessment, data integration and dashboards, college readiness supports and special populations. We gave extra consideration to balancing portfolio companies with non-portfolio companies, emphasizing the common core, and highlighting platforms available on multiple devices. We are also previewing our 2013 update to the Ed Tech Market Map, coming soon!  

So what are people saying about the companies and the exhibit? In their own words:

“I think [the companies] are exciting. As we think about the vast scope of needs our kids have when they come in to school, and trying to individualize what we’re doing to meet them … it’s one of the hardest things to do for teachers and a lot of the tech here can help teachers do that in a meaningful and thoughtful way.” – A charter school leader 

“I’m seeing a shift away from the ‘oh i have an idea for education’ apps where people without experience and knowledge are just throwing things together towards validated ideas, both on the business side and education… For example Pathbrite, and Gobstopper: I’m seeing people that are actually adding value to edtech, and are not just ‘me too’ which has defined edtech for the last four years” – Founder of tech company 

“I think different approaches to the same core problem are really exciting to see. Whereas Sifteo is building physical interactions exercising thinking skills, Motion Math is doing it with touch. A variety of applications are chipping away at different problems while applying tech in different ways.” – An edtech founder

“I was just watching the Teach Live simulation, and it’s an interesting way of giving teachers skills to actually manage the classroom before getting into a live classroom.” – Teacher Professional Development specialist

“I’ve seen some of them before and they are really cool.” – A 22 year old  

“A lot of people talk about how there are so many problems and so many things to do but it’s cool to see “wow, people are actually solving these” – here’s an app, here’s a website that’s actually tackling an issue. They’re not just talking about it, they’re doing it. It’s cool to celebrate that.” – An edtech founder 

Companies featured: Beyond 12, Mindset Works (Brainology), Center for Game Science (Dragonbox and Refraction), CodeHS, CoreSpring, Curiosityville, Exit Ticket, Goalbook, Gobstopper, iCivics, Kidaptive, LearnZillion, Locomotive Labs, Motion Math, Mytonomy, Pathbrite, Socrative, School Runner, SchoolZilla, Sifteo, Tynker

Go ahead and give their websites a look, but remember: touching is believing. Come play!