The National School Boards Association (NSBA) has announced the six companies selected for its annual Technology Innovation Showcase.
The 2014 class will be featured in an exclusive area of the exhibition and participate in a Tech Innovation Showcase panel during the NSBA Annual Conference in New Orleans, April 5-7, 2014. Later this spring, they will be featured in NSBA’s magazine for school leaders, American School Board Journal, and participate in a webinar hosted by NSBA’s Technology Leadership Network (TLN).
“The Technology Innovation Showcase was created to highlight emerging companies that are using new technologies for products or services in K-12 education in ways that were virtually impossible to deliver otherwise,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, NSBA’s Executive Director. “The 2014 companies serve as a reminder to always look for new approaches to old challenges.”
The 2014 Technology Innovation Showcase includes these companies:
- BirdBrain Technologies – Art & Bots, an on-going research project at Carnegie Mellon University, led to the development of the Hummingbird robotics kit,, compatible with popular maker tools and software like Raspberry Pi, MaKey MaKey, and Scratch, to introduce students to engineering design, electronics, and programming across the curriculum.
- Books That Grow – This adaptive reading platform addresses one of the most common problems that teachers face – how to help struggling and advanced students read and learn together. The digital books ‘grow ‘ in difficulty as students become better readers letting teachers focus on teaching while the company manages the differentiation.
- Kajeet – The development of the Kajeet Smartspot™ addresses the digital divide by providing a simple, portable Wi-Fi hotspot that can be deployed by school districts to provide off-campus broadband access to students anytime, anywhere.
- Share911 – In a world where seconds matter in a crisis, Share 911 has developed a real time web application to change how administrators, teachers, and first responders react and communicate during an emergency event by leveraging technology already in place.
- Standard for Success – This powerful, customizable online teacher evaluation tool, designed by educators, facilitates the collection of complex information and analysis of data that supports continuous improvement with easy access to multiple research-based rubrics.
- TreeRing – A new generation of yearbooks allows all students to upload personal photos and memories to a special set of pages that will be printed in their personal copy of the school yearbook, while also saving their districts from costly stacks of unsold copies.
Submissions were solicited from start-up companies providing new approaches to challenges across the K-12 curriculum, administrative operations, and communication channels. Reviewers included educators from NSBA’s “20 to Watch,” a recognition program that honors emerging education technology leaders.
“The rapid growth of the education market, driven by investors and creative entrepreneurs, makes it difficult for the 90,000 board members and their school districts to stay abreast of the latest developments,” said Ann Flynn, NSBA’s Director of Education Technology. “NSBA can serve as a bridge between the entrepreneurial community and the nation’s decision-makers by highlighting innovative solutions designed to inspire and ignite district discussions that challenge how they think about their traditional way of doing things.”
TLN, launched in 1985 by NSBA and its state school boards associations, helps advance the wise use of technology in K-12 education to support learning, operations, and communications.