Technology, Innovation and Edupreneurs

Innovation plays a powerful role in school improvement and educational transformation. For years, we have heard from leaders like Clayton Christensen speak and write on the impact of disruptive innovation. We have witnessed not-for-profit organizations, startups, individuals and even public entities embody that philosophy, looking for new and exciting ways to teach kids, improve instruction and better our community.

Tom Vander Ark, the founder and CEO of Getting Smart, offered up his thoughts of the “110 Interesting Edupreneurs at SxSW.” And it is indeed an impressive list. Vander Ark provides a thought-provoking list of those individuals looking to improve education in new and thought-providing ways.

Among the “big impact nonprofits,” he spotlights notables such as Amy Guidara of the Data Quality Campaign, Bob Wise of the Alliance for Excellent Education and Angela Christophe of the National Association for Public Charter Schools. Seth Andrew, the Superintendent in Residence at the U.S. Department of Education is also on the list. All are organizations that Collaborative is proud to partner with.

Also on Vander Ark’s list is our own Michael Robbins, recognized for the new Span Learning initiative he is launching at Collaborative. Through Span Learning, Michael and the Collaborative team will be working in communities across the nation to explore how to best leverage technology investments that realize the full potential of digital learning for all. Children. Families. Schools. Communities.

Why Span? We are currently experiencing an unprecedented investment in education technology, coupled with what is expected to be the largest infusion of public and private investments in connectivity in our nation’s history. But as we witnessed in both the 1990s and again last decade, dollars does not guarantee meaningful transitions. We must maximize this focus, ensuring that we are using new tools to connect people and resources in students’ lives to support educational success.

That’s the focus of Span. And that is a commitment so many of these 110 edupreneurs share. This latest list demonstrates just a taste of all of the incredible work that is happening across the nation, work that demonstrates a meaningful commitment to teaching, learning and achievement. Time will tell if we maximize this unique opportunity.