With edtech no longer optional, educators and parents need to know: who’s there for them?
EDITOR’S NOTE | by Victor Rivero
With an extraordinary shift to online learning in recent months—innovators, leaders and trendsetters across education technology have stepped up and continue to do so. Empathetic educators, persistent parents, and laudable leaders—we salute all those on the front lines of help, and particularly those in our field. Even through formidable challenges brought about by world events, these tireless souls of edtech continue to push learning forward.
“This is a historic time in education where districts need solutions that ease issues around accessing and using digital learning tools.” —George Perreault, Chief Academic Officer, ClassLink
While hundreds of thousands of educators, and millions of students worldwide use some form of technology to enhance, improve, and transform their everyday work, many more still reach for access. In a time of increased remote or partially blended learning, innovative minds across K-12, Higher Education, skills & workforce learning, and more than 15,000 edtech-oriented companies—work diligently behind the scenes to develop and extend their solutions for students; they know well that the lives of learners everywhere hang in the balance.
You have workable solutions
Capital-wise, more than US $50 Billion has been invested worldwide across the global edtech landscape in just the last several years. However, as remote learning takes center stage, edtech isn’t about investing in the future; it’s dealing with the here-and-now. And with current demand for workable solutions at an all-time high, promoting those workable solutions is vital, required, and paramount. The EdTech Awards program was established in 2010 to recognize, acknowledge, and celebrate the most exceptional innovators, leaders, and trendsetters in education technology. With edtech no longer optional, educators and parents need to know: who’s there for them?
THE EDTECH AWARDS: CELEBRATING WHO’S WHO AND WHAT’S NEXT
The EdTech Awards recognizes people in and around education for outstanding contributions in transformation education through technology to enrich the lives of learners everywhere. Featuring edtech’s best and brightest, the annual program shines a spotlight on the innovators, leaders, and trendsetters across the K-12, higher ed, and skills & workforce sectors. The largest and most prestigious awards recognition program in the world dedicated solely to education technology, the program recognizes the biggest names in edtech—and those who soon will be. We celebrate who’s who in what’s next.
Many have been working hard in this area for quite some time. Standing out from the crowd and being recognized and celebrated for your hard work is invaluable, and precisely what honorees of The EdTech Awards receive and have achieved. Past winners include Adobe, Blackboard, ClassLink, Coursera, Discovery Education, DreamBox Learning, Edmodo, Edthena, Flipgrid, Freshgrade, HoverCam, Promethean, Scholastic, Schoology, SMART Technologies, Smithsonian Learning Lab, and zSpace, among many others.
The EdTech Awards are unique in that we are very inclusive: small startups can compete alongside much larger companies. And unsung heroes are recognized alongside other leaders and visionaries. In other words: we look for promising people and ideas before they become well known. And we also recognize established, proven success stories. ENTER NOW.
You are a leading voice
Over the years, we have recognized hundreds of leaders in technology as well as innovative educators. Global audience exposure, validation, new business and professional relationships, a revitalization of purpose—these are a few of the reasons to enter.
‘Over the years, we have recognized hundreds of leaders in technology as well as innovative educators.’
These reasons and more are what you’ll hear from the finalists and winners themselves, including those here:
AN ENCOURAGING SIGN. “As the largest recognition program in education technology, it’s a special honor to receive four awards across such a diverse range of categories,” said John Campbell, CEO of Cambium Learning. “Dynamic technology is foundational to our DNA at Cambium and recognition like this is an encouraging sign that we’re making a meaningful difference for teachers and students.”
MAKING AN IMPACT. “Participate is thrilled to be recognized alongside amazing organizations making an impact on educators, students and all adult learners,” said Mark Otter, Participate CEO. “We’re thankful for the partners who have helped us get to this place, and we look forward to continuing to grow our mission of creating a space where the world learns together.”
ON THE EDTECH AWARDS ROSTER. “On behalf of the entire CB&A team, thank you. We’re proud of our accomplishments, and are grateful to be listed alongside so many inspiring innovators on the 2020 EdTech Awards roster,” said Charlene Blohm (pictured), President & CEO.
A TRAILBLAZING TEAM. The School District of Palm Beach County’s Teaching with Technology Trailblazers Program has received the 2020 EdTech Trendsetter, Group Setting a Trend Award from EdTech Digest. “Thank you to the entire EdTech team for building this award-winning program together. Everyone in the group is deserving of this recognition,” said Adam Miller, the District’s Director of Educational Technology. The Teaching with Technology Trailblazer program launched back in May 2017. Teachers in both elementary and secondary schools undergo extensive training to bring their skills to the classroom and train other teachers on their campus on how to integrate technology into their classrooms.
OUR SOLUTIONS RECOGNIZED. “We’re thrilled to see our edtech solutions recognized by the largest and most competitive awards program in the industry,” said MobyMax cofounder Glynn Willett.
A WELL-DESERVED RECOGNITION. “One of my great joys is seeing companies like PowerSchool and leaders like Hardeep Gulati leverage technology to make a transformative impact on our world,” said Robert F. Smith (pictured), Founder, Chairman & CEO of Vista Equity Partners. “It’s wonderful to see Hardeep’s vision of creating a unified platform for education technology come to life, and the EdTech Digest CEO of the Year award is a well-deserved recognition of these important efforts.”
HONORED TO BE RANKED #1. “We are honored have to have Adobe Connect ranked #1 In the category of Best Collaboration Solution as well as one of the top Corporate Training Solutions,” said Alna Patel, Senior Marketing Manager for Adobe Connect.
STANDING OUT. “We are proud and grateful to be chosen by EdTech Digest, the industry opinion leader behind The EdTech Awards program celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. This distinction once again makes Robo Wunderkind stand out as a highly effective educational solution with a big learning value and numerous learning outcomes, supported by worldwide awards and trusted by thousands of customers and educational institutions worldwide,” said Anna Iarotska (pictured), CEO of Robo Wunderkind.
You are needed now more than ever
AS REMOTE LEARNING TAKES CENTER STAGE. “K-12 school districts are increasingly adopting G Suite and Microsoft 365 applications, especially as remote learning takes center stage. The demand to secure these apps will continue growing as districts realize the need to do so,” said Charlie Sander, Chief Executive Officer of ManagedMethods. “We’re proud to be recognized by EdTech Digest as a leading security product that is setting a trend in K-12 education.”
MORE IMPORTANT NOW. “At Canvas, our mission has always been to make teaching and learning easier, and as a former educator, I recognize how much more important it is now to give teachers powerful tools that help students continue to learn,” said Melissa Loble, Chief Customer Experience Officer for Canvas. “We are humbled and grateful to be part of teachers’ heroic efforts to keep students on track.”
‘…our mission has always been to make teaching and learning easier, and as a former educator, I recognize how much more important it is now to give teachers powerful tools that help students continue to learn.’
PRODUCTS RECOGNIZED. “We are honored to have Lexia products recognized for the innovative way they empower teachers to individualize and personalize learning, engage students with compelling and rigorous content, and ensure students achieve the academic success and personal literacy growth they need to excel in today’s world,” said Nick Gaehde, president of Lexia Learning.
HONOR AND ADDED BONUS. “It’s an honor to receive a leadership award in the education field because I started my career as a teacher and consider it my number one job to educate people about the importance of new-school security awareness training and simulated phishing,” said KnowBe4 CEO Stu Sjouwerman. “Recognizing one of our most popular training modules – Kevin Mitnick Security Awareness Training – as a cool security tool is an added bonus. I commend all of the organizations that have had to adapt their learning to an online format in a short period of time, yet continue to succeed.”
GRATEFUL AND OPTIMISTIC. “We’re grateful to EdTech Digest for this award, especially at a time when educators are doing such impressive work transitioning to online courses,” said Ken Meyers, CEO of GoReact. “We remain optimistic about the future. Students still need skills, and they need teachers to help acquire those skills. GoReact removes the headaches of teaching performance-based courses online so teachers can focus on teaching, not their technology.
LOOKING AHEAD AND LEADING. “As a spring semester defined by an emergency transition to remote learning comes to a close, colleges and universities are looking ahead to a fall semester that will likely take place entirely or partially online. Faculty need technologies that can support the creation of immersive, engaging learning environments unique to the online experience,” said Fred Singer, founder and CEO of Echo360. “We’re honored to once again be recognized as the leading video-based learning solution and a flexible, powerful platform that institutions can rely on in the months ahead.”
NOW MORE THAN EVER. “We are thrilled to be recognized for the unique value and benefits that Leo provides to academic medicine and health sciences education. This honor is such welcome news as we work to meet the challenges of a global pandemic that is changing the way we all do business,” said Allison Wood (pictured), co-founder and CEO of DaVinci. “Now more than ever, we’re so proud to help educate the country’s future healthcare providers.”
DEEP SENSE OF PRIDE. “We feel a deep sense of pride in being recognized for our success in continuing to support students, teachers, staff and parents as they expand learning practices during this immediate global shift to Distance Learning,” said Andrew Herman, CEO and Founder of Alma. “At Alma, we work tirelessly to build critical SIS tooling that’s creating the best generation of educators – and we’re absolutely thrilled to receive such an amazing distinction from EdTech Digest. I couldn’t be prouder of our team for bringing an innovative spirit to supporting students, teachers and parents – especially now.”
AMONG THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST. “Whether teachers are in the classroom or working with students remotely, they need thoughtfully designed resources that provide them with the tools to offer effective, differentiated instruction to reach every learner. With Learning A-Z’s blended learning solutions, teachers have instant access to a library of reading, writing, science, and vocabulary resources that can be easily customized for individual, small-group, and whole-class instruction,” said Lisa O’Masta, president of Learning A-Z. “We thank The EdTech Awards for recognizing our solutions as being among the best and brightest in edtech, and we give special thanks to all of the teachers and parents who are working diligently to support students in innovative ways during these unprecedented times.”
You have solutions others need
MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER. “With the major disruption to schooling caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that students have consistent high-quality support for learning mathematics,” said Dr. Steve Ritter, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist at Carnegie Learning. “We’re proud that our AI-based approach has been recognized for its ability to personalize instruction and transform students’ lives.”
IMPORTANCE OF VIRTUAL LEARNING. Tiffany Godbout, President of the 114th Partnership, said, “Given the importance of virtual learning and educational access at this time of national crisis, I am proud of the work Spark 101 has done to help teachers, parents, students and jobseekers explore STEM careers from the safety of their homes. For many years we have admired the work EdTech undertakes to highlight advancements in the field of education technology, and we are honored to be selected as the Cool Tool Winner in the Open Educational Resource category.”
HISTORIC TIME IN EDUCATION. “This is a historic time in education where districts need solutions that ease issues around accessing and using digital learning tools. We’re honored that ClassLink has been recognized for continuously striving to support digital learning efforts for administrators, technology teams, teachers, students, and families,” said George Perreault, Chief Academic Officer, ClassLink.
‘This is a historic time in education where districts need solutions that ease issues around accessing and using digital learning tools.’
RECOGNITION FOR OUR SUPPORT. “Our end-to-end, tech-enabled service has provided substitute teachers with job opportunities at more than 2,500 schools,” said Mike Teng (pictured), CEO of Swing Education. “We are committed to supporting our substitute teachers, as well as our school partners, in every way possible – both now during school closures and once in-person school resumes. This support is at the heart of what we do and we’re honored to be recognized for it.”
THANKFUL IN CHALLENGING TIMES. “…[W]e are incredibly thankful for all who continue to move learning forward in these challenging and uncertain times,” said Sam Cressman, Marketing Coordinator at Knowre Math. “We understand that both administrators and teachers are currently struggling to enable distance learning, and for many states, distance learning may continue through the fall. In early March, we began to offer free access to Knowre Math to any school or district in need of support through the duration of the school year.”
NEVER MORE IMPORTANT. “Digital learning safety has never been more important for students, and we’re honored to be recognized by EdTech Digest for all the ways Relay is protecting students and helping schools,” said Lightspeed Systems VP of Marketing, Amy Bennett.
AN OUTSTANDING AWARD. “TrueLearn is honored to be recognized as a winner for such an outstanding award as EdTech’s, especially when their mission is at the utmost importance with challenges students and learners are facing during these unprecedented times,” said Dr. Joshua Courtney, founder of TrueLearn.
Be recognized for your value
RIGOROUS PROCESS. “We’re humbled to have Imagine Language & Literacy named as Best Reading/Literacy Solution as part of The EdTech Awards 2020,” shared Jeremy Cowdrey, CEO of Imagine Learning. “We know the rigorous process the EdTech Digest Awards Committee puts in place to vet the value of K-12 edtech programs, and we’re honored to be recognized for the quality and efficacy of Imagine Language & Literacy.”
EXTREMELY HONORED. “More than ever, innovation in education and training is critical to the success of learners and educators nationwide. We are extremely honored for Cirrus to be recognized for its pedagogical workability, efficacy, support and value,” said Chad Chandlee, president and chief operating officer of Paradigm.
THRILLED AND VALIDATED. “EdTech Digest reviewed some of the best edtech offerings on the market,” explained Chrissy Wostmann, n2y CEO. “We are thrilled that our Unique Learning System was named the ‘Best Special Needs Solution.’ Since its founding, n2y has remained dedicated to serving the needs of special education. This honor … validates all that we do.”
CALIBER OF FINALISTS. “We’re thrilled that WURRLYedu was recognized for providing a highly engaging product that provides every child access to a high-quality music education, powered by the latest technologies, particularly when you look at the caliber of the finalists,” said Nadine Levitt, CEO and Founder of WURRLYedu.
OUR CONTINUED SUCCESS. “I am honored to receive this EdTech Leadership Award, a distinction which would not have been possible without the hard work and ongoing contributions from across the entire Edgenuity network,” said Edgenuity CEO Sari Factor (pictured). “Our vision at Edgenuity has always been about bringing high-quality educational opportunities to more students in more ways. Our continued success is a testament to our wonderful team and to the strong partnerships with schools and districts we’ve built over the years.”
TESTAMENT TO HARD WORK. “The PAPER academic team has worked incredibly hard over the last year to constantly bring the quality of our tutoring up. This means training, retraining, upskilling and mentorship — to be recognized as the Best Tutoring Service is truly a testament to their hard work,” said Philip Cutler, Chief Executive Officer of PAPER. “Hundreds of thousands of students and teachers depend on our support each year. We have no choice but to be excellent and strive every day to continuously improve. Earning this award is affirmation that the hard work is paying off and, ultimately, the students are receiving the equitable top quality education they all deserve.”
‘Earning this award is affirmation that the hard work is paying off and, ultimately, the students are receiving the equitable top quality education they all deserve.’
OUR DRIVE FOR MEANINGFUL INNOVATION. “This recognition truly celebrates our drive for meaningful innovation and mission to reimagine school interactions,” said RYCOR CEO Ryan Kerr. “It is amazing for our vision and hard work to be recognized by such a distinguished panel of judges and among so many innovative companies. We are truly honored for this recognition, and we will continue working hard to deliver meaningful technology solutions for the education sector.”
YOUR CAREFUL REVIEW. “Discovery Education is honored by The EdTech Awards’ recognition of our digital services,” said Scott Kinney, Discovery Education President of K-12 Education. “With so many school systems depending on innovative edtech services to maintain their students’ continuity of learning, we are proud to be counted among the best in the field. Thank you to The EdTech Awards judges for their careful review of all the entrants, but more importantly, thanks to all the educators in school systems across the country who are using these resources in their instruction during this incredibly trying time.”
AWARDS HIGHLIGHT LEADERSHIP. “We thank EdTech Digest and the judges for recognizing Untangle as the solution of choice for school IT departments,” said Scott Devens (pictured), CEO at Untangle. “These awards highlight Untangle’s leadership in simplifying the complexities of comprehensive network security for the K-12 and higher education markets.”
You shape the future of learning
RECOGNIZED FOR EMPOWERING TEACHERS. “We are honored to have StudySync recognized for the dynamic way it empowers teachers to personalize learning, engage students with relevant content, and ensure academic success whether students are learning in school or at a distance,” said Robert Romano (pictured), CEO, StudySync. “Our focus has always been to leverage the power of technology to meet students where they are.”
STANDING OUT AMONG SO MANY. “It is exciting that a top professional publication for teachers, EdTech Digest, awarded the hard work and innovation that we put into creating our K-5 science curriculum from the ground up to help teachers address the complexity and creativity of the NGSS in Smithsonian Science for the Classroom,” said Dr. Brian Mandell, Division Director of Curriculum at the Smithsonian Science Education Center. “As always in designing our programs, an extensive field-test in partnership with teachers was an essential part of our process to incorporate feedback from the classroom in a range of schools with diverse populations. The curriculum was developed by teachers and in consultation with teachers at every stage of development.”
Jim Parrish, President and CEO at Carolina Biological Supply Company, said: ”Carolina is very proud of Smithsonian Science for the Classroom for standing out among so many of the best instructional school products to win the Cool Tool Award 2020, as well as for helping teachers inspire the next generation of scientists every day in their classrooms. Smithsonian Science for the Classroom provides teachers with a high-quality, hands-on curriculum kit that engages students, through phenomena-based, hands-on science investigations led by students.”
SHAPING THE FUTURE OF LEARNING. “When teachers are given flexible, powerful curriculum resources to deliver effective differentiated instruction, every student benefits—no matter what the subject area. We are honored that our blended learning resources for reading, science, and writing were recognized in this year’s EdTech Awards for lighting the way in edtech and shaping the future of learning,” said Patrick Marcotte, past president of Learning A-Z. “We thank EdTech Digest for this recognition, and we share this honor with the more than 500,000 teachers around the world who use our products to personalize instruction and create a greater impact on students’ learning.”
‘We thank EdTech Digest for this recognition, and we share this honor with the more than 500,000 teachers around the world who use our products to personalize instruction and create a greater impact on students’ learning.’
Hundreds more finalists and winners have benefitted over the past decade of The EdTech Awards recognition program. Whether you are returning or new to the program—stand out of from the crowd and be recognized for your work in education.
TESTAMENT TO THE WORK. “Our vision is a world where every student graduates confident and prepared. Having our platform recognized by EdTech Digest is a testament to the work and commitment that the Course Hero team demonstrates every day to help make that vision a reality,” said Andrew Grauer, co-founder and CEO of Course Hero.
The EdTech Awards 2021 program is now open and accepting entries until September 24, 2020. Entry is quick and easy and takes about 15 minutes: start, revisit, and edit your entries to your liking along the way. Download your ENTRY GUIDE and click ‘ENTER HERE‘ to begin. Welcome innovators, leaders, and trendsetters in K-12, Higher Ed, Workforce learning!
Victor Rivero is the Editor-in-Chief of EdTech Digest and serves as program manager for The EdTech Awards. Write to: [email protected]