EdWeek Market Brief’s Most Popular Webinars of 2019

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One of the benefits EdWeek Market Brief offers its members is access to an impressive slate of webinars on topics of critical interest to companies and other organizations in the market.Businesses and other organizations looking for intel on the school marketplace should check out EdWeek Market Brief,…

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One of the benefits EdWeek Market Brief offers its members is access to an impressive slate of webinars on topics of critical interest to companies and other organizations in the market.

You can check out the full menu of them, dating back several years, here. They’re also available to non-members, too, on-demand.

As 2019 comes to a close, we’re breaking out the five webinars that were most popular with our audience.

Here are the webinars that were most in demand from the past year:

1–“How Are ESSA’s Evidence Standards Affecting K-12 Companies?

It’s been five years since the federal Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into law. It’s had a major impact on K-12 policy, and has been widely seen as devolving a lot of policy authority from the federal government back to states and districts. One of the ESSA provisions that has the biggest impact on companies is the requirement that states and districts consider “evidence” when devising strategies for turning around low-performing schools.

In this webinar, Sara Kerr, the vice president of education policy implementation at Results for America, and Latoya Dixon, the director of school transformation for the South Carolina Department of Education, broke down the evidence standards that states are setting under ESSA, and offered advice for how vendors can stay on top of them.

2–“What Every K-12 Company Needs to Know About Usage Reports, and How to Improve Upon Them

Districts across the country have grown increasingly hungry for data on how the ed-tech products they’re buying are actually performing. By some measures, the overall performance has been disappointing: About $1 billion spent on ed-tech licenses each year goes unused, by one estimate.

Companies trying to sell ed-tech products need to be able to justify their products’ worth. In this webinar, we spoke with Karl Rectanus, the CEO of LearnPlatform, an organization that helps districts track usage, about how vendors can work to meet districts’ demands. He was joined by Andrew Coulson, the chief data science offer at the MIND Research Institute, who talked about his organization’s experiences trying to make sure they were on the same page on usage with K-12 systems.

3–“Selling to Principals Without Alienating District Leaders

This webinar was about diplomacy. Principals are the unquestioned captains of their schools, responsible to varying degrees for setting the academic direction, hiring staff, and cultivating a school climate. As such, many companies are eager to get them to try their products, as a way of developing inroads that could help win a district-wide contract.

But there’s a lot that can go wrong, especially if vendors and principals don’t loop in district administrators who are trying to encourage consistent strategies — and in some cases, product use — across the whole district. In this webinar, we talked with Kecia Ray, the founder of K-20 Connect and the former director of learning technology in the Metro Nashville schools, about how vendors can pitch their products to principals smartly, and responsibly, without burning bridges. She was joined by Matt Gambino, the founder of PROPEL Skills Development, who advises education companies on sales strategy.

4–“Master the Growing International Private School Market

The education market has become a global one for many companies, which have made inroads selling products in countries and regions such as China, India, the Middle East, and Latin America.

In this webinar, we looked at one important segment of that market — international private schools — and what kinds of education products and services are in the greatest demand. Our audience’s guides to the market were Diane Glass, who studies international private schools for ISC Research, and George DeBakey, the principal of DeBakey International, who consults vendors trying to get a foothold in education markets around the world.

5—“K-12 Investment Hot Spots: Where Venture Capitalists Are Putting Their Money

In this webinar, we spoke with venture capitalists working in the K-12 education market about where they’re placing their bets.

In some cases, they pointed to specific startups they’re backing. But they also pointed to broader trends they see playing out, which have implications for many providers, and investors. EdWeek Market Brief‘s Michelle Davis moderated the webinar. She was joined by Jennifer Carolan and Jen Wu of Reach Capital and Amit Patel of Owl Ventures, who took the audience through the hottest areas they saw emerging.

Just a reminder — even if you’re not an EdWeek Market Brief member, all of the webinars are available on-demand. If you’ve got an idea for a webinar topic you want to see covered in the coming year, let me know by e-mailing me at scavanagh@educationweek.org.

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