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Raising Aspirations for Digital Education – A conference event

June 7 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

How can the edtech industry work effectively with teachers, teacher educators, teacher leaders and network managers?

Led by MirandaNet Fellows Elizabeth Moore, John Galloway, Christina Preston, Nihal Sahal, Sarah Younie

Workshop Description

In this workshop educators and the edtech industry will work together to share knowledge and experience in order to increase the use of products and services in schools that will enhance learning and teaching. We will look for new ways of interacting with schools leaders and teachers as well as working on influencing government policy. All attendees are offered a CPD certificate.

The political context

Those of us who span three decades in the edtech business know that a majority of this generation of students in school are not getting the same kind of full edtech experience that was the norm from the 1990 to the first half of the 2010s. The main reasons are the lack of ring-fenced funds for expensive resourcing, the challenges of contacting schools and the absence of current CPD for teachers and teacher educators. An underlying reason has been the indifference to the influence of edtech on society of the government between 2010 and 2017. The ministers have confined their attention to the need for students to be competent in computer science for the workplace but failed to involve teachers in this change. The country is now 8,000 computing teachers short.

We think that working together we can tackle this challenge because Damian Hinds, the new Secretary of State for Schools, is rebooting this agenda. In particular he has taken note of the RSA report (2017) that suggests that government policy in this area would be improved through consulting with the professional organisations. In fact, relationships between the DFE and ITTE & MirandaNet have improved significantly since Hinds took up his post and we have an opportunity in this conference to report back on what we are learning from each other in this workshop on 7th June and the conversation with the DfE in the afternoon of 8th June.

The workshop programme

Anyone in education technology whether teaching or developing and selling knows it is a tough market. As educators of students and teachers, we cannot do our job unless we are fully equipped. We appreciate that currently the UK market has become increasingly fragmented making the cost of acquisition high for many companies: the right account holders in the universities, colleges and schools are difficult to identify and to persuade to buy. Sales cycles are long, buying processes and procurement are often complex and inconsistent across organisations.

We suggest that working with educators to understand the practical application of a product, its impact and how to best position it is one of the key success factors for edtech companies. We can also promote products and services we believe are valuable using different channels from those available to companies.

Working with our commercial adviser, Nihal Salah, in this workshop, we will explore how edtech companies can work with educators to build, market and sell their products with more effect and less expense.

During this 90 minute session, we will cover:

Developing Products Educators Need and Want

  • explore practical approaches edtech companies can take to collaborating with educators and taking a user centred approach to product development;
  • explain educators’ perception of different kinds of product research;
  • offer advice about how to submit for awards for your product.

Marketing and Selling Edtech

  • understand the decision making journey, specifically in term of the users, influencers and buyers and how to develop marketing approaches that are relevant to each;
  • create personas to understand your target audience and market to them more effectively;
  • discuss channels to market including articles for the national and education press;
  • work on routes to tap into teacher expertise to develop compelling marketing content that educators will want to consume;
  • consider how to develop an influencer outreach strategy to raise awareness and gain ‘sticky’ users;
  • create a list of conferences and exhibitions where the costs are balanced by the benefits;
  • develop a list of the dos and don’ts of edtech marketing and sales.

Influencing policy

  • devise ways of influencing government policy;
  • provide suggestions to help in funding applications.

This workshop is intended to be the first of a series in support of edtech companies who are selling into schools, colleges and universities. We hope you will join us in this journey which will have benefits for us all.

For conference sponsors: Please contact Christina Preston for more details. Email: christina@mirandanet.ac.uk


June 7
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm




ITTE and Mirandanet International Conference: Raising aspirations for digital education – Winchester University