Extension Engine

EdTech in Boston

LearnLaunch, one of over 300 organizations in the Boston area committed to promoting innovation in education to improve learning, is hosting an exciting event on April 14. The small gathering will feature …the Vice President of edX, a MOOC platform that was developed by Harvard and MIT in 2012 and educates over 3 million users worldwide. The event promises to be a great opportunity to hear not only about the growing EdTech field, but also about more specific developments occurring in Boston. As Boston is arguably the world’s leader in EdTech progress, insights from those in the local community are likely to be some of the most valuable in the world.

The financial difficulties that educational institutions are increasingly facing, including those that led to the recent decision to close Sweet Briar College, an all women’s liberal arts school in rural Virginia, highlight the urgent need to reduce costs associated with education while enhancing efficiency and efficacy. The use of technology to meet these objectives is bolstered by increasing investments in the EdTech sector. Not only are philanthropists and government agencies deeming the industry worthy of investment, but angel investors and venture capitalists have also begun to recognize the value of this industry.

Boston is naturally positioned to be the frontrunner in EdTech, not only because of the interested investors in Boston and Cambridge, but also because of the history and culture of the city. Boston is home to more than 90 colleges and universities, as well as significant technical talent and an entrepreneurial environment. This unique combination makes Boston difficult to beat in an industry that depends on innovation at the intersection of technology and education.

In addition to its academic prowess, Boston has also proven to be effective in the private sector. With respect to the EdTech field, Boston has spawned edX, LearnLaunch, EduVentures, and ExtensionEngine, among others, all of which are helping to translate a theoretical understanding of both education and technology to real-world solutions. This trend does not seem to be slowing but instead, is increasingly reinforced over time. For instance, the state-sponsored Mass Challenge helps Boston organizations realize their potential in the EdTech industry by providing support to relevant startups.

We are looking forward to joining Beth Porter of edX at LearnLaunch’s event on the 14th to share some of the knowledge we have gained through our work at ExtensionEngine, particularly with respect to individualizing educational tools, from both strategic and technical standpoints, to meet the specific objectives of the public and private sectors.

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