Sunday, May 12, 2013

Most Innovative Ed Tech Product, 2013

A short post just share the results (and toot my own horn !) from the Software & Information Industry Association's Education Technology Conference where our simulation,  simCEO,  was voted the Most Innovative Ed Tech Product in 2013.   More details here.

Congratulations to all ten of the finalists.  Cool ideas. Cool products.

There should be videos posted by the SIIA on their site shortly so that everyone can see the presentations made by the companies to the 350 attendees who did the voting. They will be informative to see.

It was a crazy weekend, and I met so many great people willing to help me, offering advice and experience.  And, I want to make sure to thank SIIA for putting on a conference like that - where ed tech entrepreneurs can get together, meet others in the ed tech space, and help bring some of these promising technologies into classrooms.

A special virtual shout-out to Christie McKee, Mitch Weisburgh, and Carrie O'Donnell who helped me along the way.

It was great to have the opportunity to share what makes simCEO so unique, and an example of how education can change. Namely:

1) We need to move beyond software that helps students get at 'right' answers. That's the wrong goal.
simCEO: Student Company Share Prices
For 21st Century students, we need to let them create and evaluate, simultaneously, in problem-based, real-world environments where people determine success, not a computer algorithm. The goal of right answers is standing in the way of teaching the 4Cs of 21st Century learning.

2) The best learning environments and tools are set up by teachers. We need flexible environments that teachers can customize - not cookie-cutter programs that are sequential and scripted.

A student's portfolio page
3) That we need to utilize students' natural desire to be entrepreneurs to engage them in more traditional content. Give them an authentic context to learn, practice, and apply traditional content.

4) That entrepreneurship itself - and entrepreneurial thinking - is a 21st Century topic that we need to find a way to teach. Unfortunately, in its traditional form, entrepreneurship is being pushed out the school day more frequently now more than ever.

For those of you reading this who are intrigued by way that simCEO has the potential to change learning, we are looking for others to join our team in the development of simCEO and other products. As a small company, we're grateful for any and all support, ideas, introductions, and pats on the back.

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