Warren is the CTO of Smart Technologies, a $500 million provider of virtual classroom solutions. He offers a window into trends in the space and ideas for new entrepreneurs to focus on.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing yourself as well as SMART Technologies. What do you do?
Warren Barkley: I’m the CTO for SMART Technologies. I joined about two years ago from Microsoft. I was at Microsoft for about 16 years. I did a whole bunch of interesting things there. I worked on WiFi, networking, and a lot of other cool projects over the years. Before that, I was a teacher and a principal. If I reach far enough back, I was a musician at one point. I didn’t get a Computer Science degree but I somehow figured my way out into technology.
There is a huge gap between industry and academia today. Learn more about the lay of the land and identify opportunities for entrepreneurship.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with giving our audience a bit of context about Hands-On Learning (HOL). What do you do? What major online education industry trends are you aligning with?
K-12 has been a challenge for EdTech companies to build businesses in. Typically, buying cycles tend to be very long. See where Edgenuity is getting traction, and what trends are emerging in the space.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to you as well as to your company.
Sari Factor: After a short career in teaching back in 1980, I joined a company to explore technology in education. It was the first electronic publishing division of a major US publisher. I thought technology was going to change the world. I was this young green thing right out of teaching. Here I am many years later and I’m still trying to get technology to change K-12 education.
This interview is a great discussion about the various experiments going on in the world of higher education and how online learning is playing out there.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s introduce our audience to yourself as well as to what you’re doing at Sloan vis-à-vis executive education.
Peter Hirst: I’m the Director of the Executive Education program here at the MIT Sloan School. Essentially, what we do is run short, non-degree courses for individual executives and Senior Managers. We also do this for companies in a more customized >>>
It almost always is the case that Edtech companies don’t have solid monetization models. Cricket media is experimenting with models that are worth understanding. This interview also further elaborates on the issues raised in one of my articles, Are We In A Golden Age of Edtech?
Sramana Mitra: Let’s introduce our audience to Cricket Media. Tell us what you do and what trends you are aligning with.
Katya Andresen: We’re a children’s education media company. We provide award-winning content for learning on a safe and secure learning network. >>>
This discussion focuses on online education models that maximize engagement and minimize drop rates.
Sramana Mitra: Kurt, let’s start with introducing our audience to yourself as well as to what you’re doing at City University of Seattle.
Kurt Kirstein: I am currently the Dean in the School of Management at the City University of Seattle. The School of Management is in control of all of our business programs, all of the business related programs, and we also incorporate the technology programs with the Technology Institute at the University. I have been at City University of Seattle for about eight years of which I have been the Dean for seven years.
Video of the classroom is a trend. How is it playing out?
Sramana Mitra: Sean, let’s start with a bit of context. Tell us a bit about yourself as well as Sonic Foundry.
Sean Brown: I’m the Senior Vice President of Sonic Foundry. I’ve worked for Apple, IBM, and Oracle over the last 20 years. I came to Sonic Foundry about 13 years ago to help roll out our flagship product called Mediasite, which is a system which when introduced, started a new trend in converting your average classroom into an online video studio. >>>
Adult education is becoming more of an issue. Competency-based learning that ties into employment directly is necessary to mitigate the unemployment problems in America and elsewhere. WGU has an interesting model.
Sramana Mitra: Ray, let’s start by giving our audience a little bit of background about you as well as your institution.
Ray Martinez: My name is Ray Martinez. I’m the Chancellor of Western Governors University (WGU) Texas. We go by WGU Texas. I have worked primarily in higher education policy over the last seven years. I’ve worked in various aspects of public policy either at the federal or state level for most of my career over the last 25 years or so. >>>