What's the best way to approach schools about a new education technology?

I have a new website which is totally free and I'm trying to contact schools to inform them the service exists. However most places won't return emails or give me a few minutes on the phone. I've largely been trying to contact Principals and IT admin at school boards.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm not trying to sell anything. Actually trying to help High Schools and Jr Highs out. It's very frustrating.

Tags: education, technology

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What is the website? Can you share it with teachers here to get feedback? This also might help get the word out. It is hard to comment when we don't know the exact nature of the website that you are promoting.

Sure. It's called http://Enterthegroup.com and it's designed to help students manage their group projects and it enables teachers to create virtual classrooms. It's like a type of Facebook for education where students can monitor all their group work, calendar, classes and interact with classmates (if they wish).

I didn't originally include the link to my site in the post because I didn't want people to think that this was a veiled way to market the site. I was just looking for advice on how to get through the bureaucratic webs of schools and school boards.

Thanks.

Hi Sal,

Have you done much research into other websites that do similar things. Edmodo,  Wkidspaces and in Australia Moodle are already well established applications doing very similar things to what you are proposing.

I don't want to discourage you and it's great that you are an entrepreneur, but maybe you should promote and market your website in other ways instead of trying to get whole schools on board. This seems like a big risk for them with other applications available, which have been tried and tested and come with recommendations.

It might be better for you to try and get individual teachers on board. I'm a teacher who is interested in technology and I also write reviews like many other teachers via a blog. If you can get teachers on board and get bloggers to review your website then word or mouh is one of the cheapest and best forms of marketing.

Hope this helps,

Jeremy

edjudo.com

Yes I have done quite a bit of research into it. My site is really the only one which is designed to provide project management tools and a process to students working in groups. It's really a powerful tool for PBL.

 

It has some overlap with Edmodo, but there are many differences as well. My site enables students to create private group pages and gives them tools like a project checklist, outline, lessons learned etc. It also lets them do things like blogging, manage their own calendar, to-do lists, twitter, instant message etc. It let's teachers create virtual classrooms and private social networks. Really it is a system designed for teacher to student, student to teacher and student to student interaction.

Edmodo is nice but I believe it's more for younger kids who aren't ready for group work or social networking (Elementary kids). While Moodle is also cool it requires IT support and isn't very easy to get started. My site is very easy and is really like a type of Facebook for education. Have a deeper look and you will see. 

 

Many of the schools I have looked at don't use anything really. They may use Sharepoint for some front end and one-way information sharing, but it's not easy to use and isn't a technology for today. I was just digging deeper into Edmodo's userbase and many of the High schools I looked up have registered but aren't actively using it. In any event my target is Jr High to Universities (but most likely users are High Schools).

 

I realize that schools may find it risky to switch to a new technology, but I don't imagine they would do this at the flip of a switch. So far it has been teachers testing it out with their classes and principals discussing it with teachers. Once I'm able to get my foot in the door it's quite obvious to them how powerful this solution is to them since it does so many things, costs nothing and requires no IT support.

 

You are right though, it is one class at a time. Unfortunately I don't have the ability contact every teacher in North America so I'm trying to find easier solutions.

 

Anyhow, thanks for your input.

Sal

p.s. I like the look of your blog. It has a nice design.

If an idea is good, it will catch on. Sharing it this way so people can see it is a good idea. Twitter is a good place to post it. Try #edchat. #edtech. Teachers share very rapidly tools that they find useful.

Thanks I have a Twitter account and a blog and I post to those hash tags regularly. I have been featured in a couple of blogs and news feeds. That has certainly started the ball rolling and really the site is very new so I need to keep working at it.

I think that the best way to prove the value of the service is to show people however most people I contact think I'm selling them something so I guess you're right. I need to find people that will become advocates of the site because they love it. I just need to find enough people that are willing to listen.

Thanks,

Sal

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