Wednesday, September 03, 2014

5 Essential Practices for Ed-Tech Startups

During the early days, K-12 technology was about "buying the next thing,” and the cool factor weighed heavily with decision-makers who often had more buying authority than knowledge. Today it is more often an urgent research process by a team of leaders with complicated requirements and piles of new demands for very sophisticated features, especially interoperability and data security.  If you are looking for an institutional purchase, these 5 practices will go a long way to show them you understand their challenges:

1.     Get the feature set out there. State in specific terms what it does. Post full recordings of demos, webinars, etc., not just teasers.  Post a thorough, useful FAQ; don’t omit difficult questions. Decision-makers need to get good detailed information on your product, as quickly as possible.
2.     Be FERPA native.  Address student data security in plain language, up front. Don’t leave it to the fine print. Show that you understand the problem of student data security.
3.     Don’t hog data.  If your product collects user data, provide an easy means to export it in usable form.
4.     Embrace interoperability.  Say if your product interacts with any SIS or LMS, or eco-system or platform… or not. If yes, say how, specifically.  Show that you understand the problem of interoperability.

5.     Clarify migration assistance.  Show how easy it will be to start and stop using the product, especially to export and/or purge user data.