The introductory material on EdStartup 101 really provided me with my first foray into the fast-paced and exciting world of educational technology startups. The amazing ingenuity and willingness to take risks shown by many of the founders of these companies is at once impressive and intimidating. I think to myself, how could I ever do that?! But, as I think more about my own edstartup idea (to be revealed in a later post) and how excited I am about getting it off the ground and into a space where it can be useful to educators and students, I think: You know what? I can be amazing too. I can handle the risks and the challenges. I’m passionate. I’m not afraid to fail because I know l can learn from failure. (Ok. I’m a little afraid to fail, but I hope to surround myself with others who aren’t).
I think about open education, assessment, and personalized learning, so some of the startups that are interesting to me include Coursera, Study Island, i-Ready, Knewton, and Naiku. These companies are fascinating in how they leverage the advantages of technology and theory to improve learning. Because I have a background in educational measurement, I’m especially interested in companies that apply sound psychometric theory to their learning analytics approach. It seems that Knewton (given their start as a test-prep company) does this quite well. I’d like to draw on their experience as I begin my own adventure in the world of ed tech startups.