Regardless of technological ingenuity, the effectiveness of any educational technology is dependent on its ability to address the needs of practitioners. Unfortunately, most EdTech entrepreneurs have advanced technical training, but lack a comprehensive understanding of pedagogy, educational research and the realities of being a classroom teacher. This lack of educational insight can greatly hamper the product development and eventual success. Pairing EdTech entrepreneurs with interns that are pursing a Masters degree in education will provide these organizations with the educational insight needed to ensure that their products address the needs of educational practitioners, while also ensuring these products are informed by best practices and current educational research.
The internship will also provide graduate students with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and understanding they have acquired in the graduate program to a growing industry that may provide them with future employment opportunities. The rapid advancement of technology-enabled learning has foster exponential growth in the educational technology sector. It is estimated that the EdTech market will double its level of investment from $31 billion in 2013 to $59 billion by 2018 (EdTech Digest). This influx of funding should create significant growth in opportunities for educators that are knowledgeable about the EdTech sector and are able to capitalize on their educational background and training to support educational innovation.
In addition to working with their assigned Edtech startup, the interns will be required to participate in weekly meetings with their faculty advisor. These academically focused meetings and required reading assignments will enhance the intern’s knowledge and understanding of the EdTech industry and related research. During these weekly sessions, interns will discuss the required research and industry readings as well as discuss and share insights gained from their individual readings, field placement, or knowledge dissemination activities.
To further support their understanding of the EdTech industry, the interns will have the opportunity to attend in-person or online a variety of EdTech conferences (FETC, SXSW EDU, CONNECT: Canada's Learning & Technology Conference) or other networking opportunities. During these events, the interns will be expected to network and interact with attendees to enhance their understanding of current industry challenges and opportunities, while also building a professional network.
To support knowledge dissemination, the interns will be required to create a Twitter account and professional blog. Their blog and Twitter posts will highlight their experience while also sharing links to the key articles, blog posts, podcasts, and conference presentations that enhanced their knowledge and understanding of the educational technology industry.
2014 EdTech Interns
A look back at yesterday's @BrockUniversity Tech Showcase and our Startup Alley session @lauragleeson12 http://t.co/HpWlSMQRWY #edtech
— Jason Ribeiro (@Jason_Ribeiro) January 25, 2014
Learning how to design and program educational video games at @BrockUniversity.. Pretty cool! #jpgoverload #multiliteracies
— Laura Gleeson (@lauragleeson12) November 28, 2013