EdTech companies are, first and foremost, technology companies – they are nimble, agile, and innovative. They are solution-oriented and able to deliver effective products and services quickly.
The market they serve – Education - is a vast industry, serving 55 million K-12 students in the US, and an additional 20 million in higher ed. With 100,000 schools spanning more than 13,000 districts, K-12 education expenditures exceed $634 billion a year. While there is a near-universal recognition of the need for change, Education as a whole is slow to embrace it, with schools often lumbering from one innovation or solution to the next, depriving students and teachers of the advances that can increase student success.
The White House has a goal of connecting 99% of US schools to high-speed Internet by 2017. Our coffee shops have greater connectivity than many of our schools.
This clash of cultures can make it difficult for an EdTech company to navigate a marketplace that can differ by state, district, grade, or even by school. In some instances, a district may not be able to deploy or support new technology – in others, administrators may not know the basics of making a technology purchase.
As EdTech companies look for help, there are a number of options for strategic communications support. In-house or out-of-house? Global giant, independent shop, or solo practitioner? Many PR firms have a host of industry practices; some specialize in technology, while others have expertise in education.
What they don’t have, however, is a commitment to understanding and serving the EdTech space – and only that space.
EdTech180 is not a technology PR shop trying to understand education; we’re not an education practice struggling to master technology. EdTech is our core competency – our reason for being.