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5 Top Education Insights for Back to School

Back to school season is upon us and with it, a revived sense of motivation and possibility. With ever-improving technologies to help students learn better in and out of the classroom, the education industry has a bright future in employing the latest developments to prepare the next generation for work in the digital economy.

Since students went back to school after winter break to kick off 2016, here are the five edtech insights that the 1776 community worldwide has enjoyed the most:

What Pokémon Go Means for Education

Gotta catch ‘em all! After a recent summer release, Pokémon Go quickly became the most popular mobile game in U.S. history with well over 20 million downloads.

Across the country, it is now common to see people of all ages using the free app to hunt for Squirtles, Pikachus and other Pokémon characters hidden in their neighborhoods and at locations throughout the world.

Pokémon Go also has raised awareness of augmented reality (AR) games. AR is a technology that inserts a computer-generated image or content within a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. AR is the same technology that is used for the filters on Snapchat.

So, how can education take advantage of this emerging technology?

Edtech Trends Shaping Students Outside the Classroom

The classroom is dead. Hear us out before you sigh in disbelief.

Educators everywhere are trying to engage students in innovative ways. The only problem is that classrooms are often the last places that new innovations reach because unfortunately, school administrators are slow to allow new technologies within their schools. Therefore, some of the most innovative trends in edtech are happening elsewhere. In fact, many schools are struggling to keep up with the rapidly developing edtech market as digital natives are brought into classrooms around the world.

2016 is going to be a year of learning outside the classroom as edtech advances faster than schools can incorporate technology into the classroom.

Here are the top five edtech trends we’ve seen that will dominate the year to come and the edtech companies that are leading the way.

How to Set Your Edtech Startup Apart

The edtech industry is booming by all accounts.

According to EdSurge, in the first quarter of 2015, investment in U.S. edtech companies topped $630 million — $185 million more year over year.

Every year, edtech companies sell more than $1.3 trillion in K-12, post-secondary, and adult and professional learning products and services, and that amount is only expected to rise.

What is the difference between the edtech companies that succeed and the ones that don’t? As with any startup, it’s not necessarily the best product or service that rises to the top.

Government Funding Opportunities for Edtech Developers

If you are an edtech developer, you may have heard about the SBIR program at the U.S. Department of Education. SBIR provides non-dilutive seed funding to entrepreneurs for the research and development of commercially viable, game-changing education technologies for U.S. classrooms.

But SBIR is just one government program to know about. The Education Research Grants Program and the Special Education Research Grants Program at ED’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) also support the research, development and evaluation of innovative forms of edtech designed to improve student learning, support teachers and strengthen schools.

One Startup Challenges the Traditional Learning Model

One of the biggest obstacles for developing startups is facing established structures that are universally accepted, yet ineffective. Education continues to implement the traditional one-size-fits-all learning model despite its problematic obstacles.

In order to make an impact, 1776 member startup Odigia decided the traditional model needed to evolve to help teachers do what they do best: teach. Odigia’s learning platform provides a personalized learning experience and prepares students for success in the workplace by utilizing next generation learning principles.

In a conversation with 1776, Odigia founder Joshua Moe discussed the challenges in edtech and the principles that have led to Odigia’s success.

Learn more from 1776 about edtech and startups in the education industry. 

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