2015 LearnLaunch Annual Conference Gathered Top Edtech Entrepreneurs, Educators, Investors, Students & Industry Leaders to Discuss Trends & Digital Technologies Driving Today's Education Challenges

Record Number of Attendees at Harvard Business School Focus on Delivering on Edtech's Promise

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Jan 27, 2015) - A record number of more than 700 entrepreneurs, educators, students, investors, and industry participants attended the 2015 LearnLaunch Annual Conference Across Boundaries run by LearnLaunch, New England's leading edtech organization. The conference, co-sponsored by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard Business School and LearnLaunch Institute, featured over 25 sessions, keynotes, overview panels, interactive workshops, experiential panels, edtech pitch competition, and pre-conference investor summit focused on powering the education technology ecosystem to deliver on edtech's promise. The number of participants at the LearnLaunch Annual Conference has more than doubled over the past two years, indicating the level of interest in the power of digital technologies to address today's education challenges.

The 2015 LearnLaunch Annual Conference highlights include:

  • James E. Ryan, Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, opened the conference on Friday afternoon, with the following remarks: "The nature of teaching -- and what it means to be an effective teacher -- is rapidly shifting and evolving as we strive to prepare our students for the knowledge economy. Those gathered here for this conference, whether a teacher, an entrepreneur, or an investor, all share the belief that edtech is playing and will continue to play a key role in supporting this critical transformation."

  • Deborah Quazzo, founder and managing partner at GSV Advisors and member of the Chicago School Board, delivered a keynote address positing that today's adoption of education technology is not a mirage, but is grounded in access to high quality education, increasing student achievement and lowering costs for higher education. Other keynote speakers included Jose Ferreira, founder and CEO of Knewton; David Rose, neuropsychologist and founder of CAST; and Diane Tavenner, founder and CEO of Summit Public Schools in California.

  • A LearnLaunch survey of conference attendees validated Quazzo's comments. Forty percent (40%) of surveyed conference attendees believe that rapid scaling and improved student success in education technology will take place in the next five years. Attendees also predicted that college students will be exposed to personalized learning technologies sooner than K-12 students. Seventy five percent (75%) of attendees believe that most college freshmen will be using adaptive learning technologies in the next five years, and 26% believe that most K-12 students will be attending a 1:1 school in the next five years.

  • At the pre-conference Business of Education Investor Summit, which brought together over 200 investors and strategic players, the 2015 LearnLaunch Pitch Competition took place and two edtech startup finalists Allovue (based in MD) and Testive (based at LearnLaunch Campus), were selected. The panel of judges included Don Burton, Kaplan Edtech Accelerator; Shauntel Poulson, NewSchools Venture Seed Fund; Barbara Clarke, Astia Angels; Christopher Mirabile, Launchpad Venture Group; Len Schlesinger, Baker Foundation Professor, Harvard Business School and President Emeritus, Babson University; and Bill Triant, Pearson.

  • During the conference, selected by audience vote, Allovue, provider of software that simplifies financial decision making for school leaders, was named the winner of the 2015 LearnLaunch Pitch Competition. As a Baltimore City middle school teacher, Allovue founder and CEO Jess Gartner couldn't understand why her students did not have basic resources for learning, while neighboring schools in the district boasted 1:1 technology programs and other plentiful learning resources. She traced the problem to ineffective budgeting and financial analysis practices, and founded Allovue in 2013 to address the problem with a data-integrated software solution.

  • Hot session topics and presentations included:

    • Leading principals in Massachusetts schools demonstrated how they are adopting edtech today to improve student achievement
    • High school students led a discussion on what personalized learning should look like and how they use technology in the classroom
    • Superintendents from across the country discussed new approaches to personalized & blended learning in K-12
    • What the college of the future will look like and the emergence of standards-based, competency-based learning in higher ed
    • What successful game-based learning looks like
    • How edtech startups can expand their edtech ventures globally and how they can successfully raise money for growth

LearnLaunch Institute
LearnLaunch Institute is a non-profit dedicated to increasing student achievement through the adoption of digital technologies. LearnLaunch Institute connects educators, entrepreneurs, learners, investors, and industry affiliates in the education innovation ecosystem. It offers conferences, more than 30 meetups and classes each year, several teacher-focused events and other services to its 6,000 person edtech community. For more information, visit www.learnlaunch.org.

About LearnLaunch
LearnLaunch is dedicated to connecting, supporting, and growing the education technology ecosystem to drive innovation and transform learning. It offers a vibrant community, educational events, a collaborative co-working space, and a selective accelerator program to promote the growth of the education technology sector in greater Boston, a world education hub. For more information, visit www.learnlaunch.com and follow us on Twitter at @learnlaunch.

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Contact Information:

Dana Harris
Red Javelin Communications, Inc.
(978) 440-8392