"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

EdStartup Founder Now US DOEd Deputy Director of Educational Technology

Is the title of this conference just another term for tracking students and creating apps for that purpose?  From an ed.gov press release:

“Reimagining Learning Through Personalization”
The EETC conference is an annual event that brings together researchers, policy makers, administrators, educators and solution providers to explore technology in preschool and elementary education. The conference hosts attendees from around the world to share ideas and engage in lively discussions on early education and the use of technology in the learning process.
Richard Culatta is the acting director of the Office of Education Technology for the US Department of Education and will be presenting ideas on data tracking (personalized learning) and technology:

his work focuses on leveraging open data to create personalized learning experiences for all students and promoting increased connectivity to improve access to education and make college more affordable.

He has experience in technology and as an educational data entrepreneur.  More from the ed.gov news release:

Culatta is passionate about accelerating innovation in education with a particular interest in games for learning, personalized learning, and open education. He recently launched EdStartup 101, a massive open online course (MOOC) to support new educational entrepreneurs in developing the next generations of apps and services for teachers and learners.

How cool is that?  It's a true public/private educational partnership.  It's a business model of education and a great opportunity for investors.  From edsurge.com and EdStartup 101: How to Build an Edtech Company in 18 Weeks:

As of Tuesday, some 925 people indicated they want to take part in the 18-week long Edstartup 101; more than 120 had completed the course registration, which includes submitting a short video of yourself talking about why you're interested in edtech entrepreneurship. (Here's blogger Audrey Watters' submission.Says Andrew Staroscik in his introductory video: "I'm motivated by the lights I see go on over my students' heads" when they see some of the interactive illustrations for explaining science that he's created on his site, SciencePrimer.com. He's intrigued with the ideas of taking it further. "SciencePrimer's not much more than hobby at this point," he muses, "but with some additional resources and the right collaborators, it has all the makings of an edtech startup."

That's just the spirit that the quartet of education specialists who started Edstartup 101 hope to see. Three of them hail from Brigham Young University: Todd Manwaring, Aaron Miller and David Wiley. The fourth, Richard Culatta, is currently the deputy director of the office of educational technology at the U.S. Department of Education. (Bios are here.) "There' an anti-entrepreneurial feeling in most of the schools of education," Wiley observes. "I think that mindset is why there's such a slow pace of innovation in education." He hopes Edstartup 101 will encourage faculty and researchers in education schools to apply their ideas by building products--and companies.

The class is built around a graduate seminar that focuses on 10 topics that can help aspiring entrepreneurs move from articulating ideas for education ventures through constructing business models. Some 16 speakers have pledged to participate, including Knewton founder Jose Ferreira, Gates Foundation deputy director Josh Jarrett, and Union Square Ventures investor Fred Wilson.

With the adoption/implementation of Common Core standards, your education reform company can" fill in the blanks" to supply curriculum based apps that follow the assessments and 18 weeks later, you are in business!  You don't have to concern yourself (as do teachers) that the assessments/standards may not be appropriate and that you can't change them in any manner, you just get to hop on the public/private train of Common Core assessments and you too can be an education reformer!

With an education entrepreneur as deputy director in the Department of Education pushing more technology in classrooms, what could be an easier gig? 

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