Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Five EdTech Companies to Watch in 2016

JANUARY 12, 2015
Five EdTech Companies
to Watch in 2016
Last week, Eduventures predicted the changes and challenges ahead for higher education in 2016 and encouraged institutions to unite their stakeholders around a set of common-sense solutions. In support of your New Year’s resolutions, we also want to take time to highlight vendors that offer innovative products and services to help you reach your goals this year.

Below, we highlight a few of the companies that shared their product roadmaps and strategies with us at the end of 2015. Most of the vendors we chose to profile are in the early phases of their forays into higher education. Some have already demonstrated success in other industries but have not yet been widely embraced in higher education. Others represent the cutting edge of metacognition science in education and are just starting to make an impact through pilot programs. One vendor, Tutor.com, has been very active in higher education and is now differentiating its offering with data analytics. We think all of these providers are attempting to solve real problems in innovative ways and look forward to following their progress in 2016.

Moving Beyond Adaptive Learning

Much of the attention to advances in adaptive learning has been on delivering resources to students based on their demonstrated mastery and comprehension of prior content. Beyond simple metrics, such as time spent reading specific content, measuring student engagement has been challenging for instructional designers. When students do not succeed, it has little to do with ability or content comprehension and more to do with their ability to overcome a negative academic mindset or the availability of one-on-one academic support. The following innovative companies identify the students who are in need of additional support, prescribe the types of support would be most helpful based on each student’s learning style, and deliver content or services to them in the format they prefer.

4. GetSet Learning

According to Karan Goel, CEO of GetSet Learning, 88% of students who drop out do so for non-academic reasons. Just having a positive academic mindset is closely tied to student success, allowing motivated students to overcome obstacles both inside and outside the classroom. GetSet Learning aims to improve students’ mindsets through an approach that includes writing therapy and modeling positive peer behaviors. Its platform enables students to learn directly from peers who have shared stories about overcoming their own challenges. Institutions can integrate this approach into orientation activities, first year experience programs, and academic advising.

Its unique program depends on current students taking a more active role in advising and intervention efforts for other students. To get the most from this technology, it would be best for institutions to coordinate with student advocacy groups or student government to develop a pilot program. This would help get the word out about the technology’s potential and identify the largest group of students to seed the system with their own techniques for overcoming academic challenges.

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