Creating Innovative Products in the Education Space

By Kimberly Sawatka
As we approach the holidays, one cannot help but notice all the new electronic gadgets being advertised. As the United States continues to be stagnant in education stats in comparison with other major countries, it is not surprising that several of the new items on the market are education oriented.
Many technology companies are getting involved in the education space, in hopes of providing teachers and students with more innovate learning models. Blackboard is one of the nation’s most prominent education technology companies, as many online, private and traditional schools use their education platform to conduct and enhance classroom learning. Last week, Blackboard announced a new partnership with VoiceThread, “ a cloud-based application that brings your media into collaborative spaces where others can engage using voice, video, or text commenting.” This tactical move by both companies that will allow students and teachers better communication throughout use of the program tools, developing the ability for more personal learning techniques in the classroom.
Education World, an online publication geared at teachers and administrators, offers teachers and students a weekly list of gadgets that promise to improve learning. For many teachers, these gadgets and online applications aide in the teaching of computer-based learning.
LEGO, best known for its colorful connecting blocks, now offers teachers and students a whole new world of learning – with LEGOs. It has developed a web-based program called Digital Designer that allows elementary students to build with LEGOs. The education friendly company also encourages learning and play through its website LEGO education. The site offers learning products like the Tech Machines and the Math Train, but also lends professional development to educators, and after school program materials.
There is no question that educational choice has become more popular across the in the last five years. As it continues to gain momentum, education is being reimagined by both educators and innovators. As the United States looks to other places for best practices and new education ideas, students and parents can get excited about learning as the one-size-fits-all education model is slowly dwindling.
It will be exciting to see the education transformation that will take place in 2016, and the additional educational choice programs and opportunities that will be enacted to give all children the chance to succeed.

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