May 20th, 2014 Cross-platform Devices a Challenge for EdTech

The education sector presents an interesting challenge for startups, as a hundred attendees to the NYEdTech/Knewton meetup learned last May 20.

One device can work more efficiently with a child or adult but not another. For example, Autismate’s iPad app was designed specifically for individuals with autism. Jonathan Izak, CEO of SpecialNeedsWare, said Autismate improves their communication and social and behavioral skills. Izak was joined by Manuel Morales, director of product management at Voxy; Emily Foote, co-Founder and VP, ApprenNet; and Reshan Richards, Ed.D creator of Explain Everything.

Talking about product transformation and future innovation, the panel had interesting things to say. Morales looks forward to augmented reality, while Richards simply acknowledged how the camera has proven to be the most transformative tool, especially with its built-in video and audio.

“Many developers and are building interesting experiences in video and audio (formats),” Richards said.

Morales chimed in: “People are able to hold tablets everywhere. Because every device has microphone, video it’s easier.”

Today, Izak is thinking of back-end as a service, but moving forward, he thinks wearables and Google Glass will be in more frequent use.

Location-based conversation lessons would be great for Voxy, a language-learning app, which delivers content that actual native speakers consume in real-life activities, plus it offers feedback from English-speaking tutors. “Location-based technology opens a lot of opportunities, as it helps to keep track of people’s daily lives.”

With ApprenNet, social e-learning is all about face-to-face instruction. In one test case, employees at a restaurant role-played a core task. Employees reviewed each other’s videos, watched an expert’s performance and received a critique of their performances.

With a simple training video, employees see how they can improve service to customers as it helps them to interact with their peers and gain access to best practices.

Would you like to annotate, animate, narrate and import and export anything to and from almost anywhere? Richards’ Explain Everything iPad app does that with its screen casting and interactive whiteboard tool, so students can create presentations, demonstrate a concept or illustrate a tutorial.