Help! I’m a Teacher…How Do we Get into Education Technology?

When we initial started training fifth category scholarship during KIPP Academy in Houston, Texas, we had no thought that we would finish adult parlaying that believe into my stream purpose as a consultant to preparation record companies. we was simply a clergyman on a thought to do right by my students, and that expostulate usually happened to coincide with an desire towards reckoning out how to use record to solve problems.

Looking back, however, we comprehend that we took some stairs that other teachers who are meddlesome in removing into record can positively replicate. we also took utterly a few missteps that we wish we can assistance others avoid.

So here’s a beam on how teachers can get into preparation technology, created in partnership with 4 other educator-entrepreneurs who have found their possess singular approach to mix their adore for preparation with their adore for technology.

Step 1: Understand Your Strengths

Education record companies need educators. Not usually do we move imagination in training pedagogy and educational content, we also offer as a voice of a ultimate finish users–teachers and students. As a teacher, we have an discerning clarity of what works and what doesn’t. If we can spin this premonition into an ability to clear clergyman and tyro needs, afterwards you’re value your weight in gold.

Furthermore, as a teacher,
you have honed a sole set of care skills that creates we useful within preparation record companies. As we try intensity roles, know that your experiencing handling students and heading your category has many expected resulted in transferrable skills such as a ability to emanate a clever association culture, to devise purposefully, and to govern successfully.

Step 2: Understand Your Potential Areas of Growth

While we move many strengths as an educator, we might also be blank some believe and skills that would assistance we supplement value to an preparation record company, generally if your whole veteran believe so distant has been in a classroom.

As we cruise transitioning into preparation technology, cruise flourishing your skills and believe in a following areas.


Education record companies, quite early theatre ones, need people who can build a product. If you’re really technically inclined, we might find it beguiling to learn and file skills as a developer or a designer. You don’t need to be a developer or designer, however, to be valuable, so prolonged as you’re means to clearly denote how a product could be built to solve a problem your association is perplexing to solve. Technologists use attention lingo that is as critical as, while being opposite from, a denunciation that educators use to report their craft. Being means to interpret between preparation needs and technological needs is crucial. In addition, preparation record companies are constantly creation decisions concerning what facilities to prioritize and build given singular time and singular resources. You need to know the
design and development routine in sequence to minister meaningfully to this preference creation process.


How do we build a budget? Market a product? Sell to schools? Determine either a good thought is aligned with your company’s altogether strategy? There’s a lot of room during edtech companies for people who know how to do this, and more, and in sequence to know preparation technology, we need to know a business side as well. As a teacher, be extraordinary about how income during your propagandize is being allocated, since your propagandize creates a purchases it makes, and how a purchasing routine work. Explore opposite preparation record products and take notice of how they’re being marketed and sole to schools and teachers. Attend conferences and stop by a trade booths and discuss with a vendors. You might find that we suffer a business side of preparation record by these experiences.


How do we emanate clever inner systems and processes that make work effective and efficient? Support a new propagandize or district implementing your product? Plan and govern an eventuality flawlessly? As a teacher, we can denote your operational abilities by formulation events during your school, deliberately tweaking your classroom or propagandize procedures to be some-more effective, and ancillary other teachers in implementing preparation technology. This skillset creates we really effective in operations, comment management, or patron use during an preparation record company.


As a teacher, we many expected spent a infancy of your day as a usually adult in a room. You also had finish liberty as a personality of your classroom. However, within a company, we need to mix extensively within a team. You’re also not a boss, unless you’ve started your possess company, that means we need to learn how to negotiate, set, and accommodate manager expectations. Furthermore, work during an preparation association is mostly some-more liquid than work in a classroom. You will need to adjust a approach we prioritize your work, structure your time, and make decisions amidst ambiguity in sequence to be successful in a startup company.


If you’ve usually ever taught in one school, category level, subject, or geographical location, we might be blank a broader context of education. Make an bid to benefit opposite perspectives by collaborating with teachers who learn in really opposite situations. Read adult on
education routine and politics. Talk with propagandize administrators and district-level professionals to learn how to see things from their perspective. Understand that your personal believe could potentially make we blind to a boundary of your expertise.

Step 3: Just Start

The opportunities to turn concerned in preparation record as a clergyman are probably unlimited, generally since preparation record companies need clergyman contributions during each theatre of their growth process.

Teachers Who Are Just Starting To Use Education Technology:

Identify a pain indicate in your classroom and try to solve it. Implement a solution, simulate on how good it did or did not work, and give endless product feedback to a growth team. After you’ve absolutely integrated one record solution, supplement a new product that solves a opposite product. The some-more we try to solve problems regulating technology, a some-more gentle we will get with record and a some-more you’re means to clear what works and what doesn’t. Finally, giving endless product feedback is a good starting indicate since it helps we learn about a growth process, use expressing your product ideas, and mostly leads to opportunities such as beta contrast new facilities and fasten advisory boards.

Teachers Who Have an Idea:

Take advantage of
opportunities like Startup Weekend Education to countenance your thought and to build a prototype. Hack together tools that estimate your ideal solution on nights and weekends and share with associate educators for feedback and encouragement. The initial time we ever asked for feedback on something we built was when that something was usually a integrate of drawings on a square of paper.

Teachers Who Want to Stay in a Classroom:

Check out programs like the
Google Teacher Academy, a Merit Program, and other brotherhood programs that build your network and give we opportunities to minister to a preparation record ecosystem while staying in a classroom.

Teachers Who Want to Start a Company:

Consider fasten an incubator such as
4.0 Schools’ Launch Program to launch a company. Apply to preparation record competitions like a Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition and SXSWEdu’s LAUNCHedu to force your thought into a limelight for feedback and support.

Teachers Who Want to Work during an Edtech Company:

Network in a space by attending preparation technology
meetups, fasten Twitter chats, and removing to know entrepreneurs. Build skills by contributing to preparation record products and initiatives. Join a startups house of advisors. Consult. Check out The Edtech Jobs Board for opportunities.

Ultimately, operative in a preparation record space, either as a personality in we propagandize or as a member of a company, means contributing significantly to a use of training and learning. If you’re meddlesome in training some-more or have your possess use to share, greatfully leave comments below.

Final Thoughts From Post Contributors

Many interjection to a educator-entrepreneurs who contributed to this post! This post could not have been created but their guidance. For their final thoughts on a intersection of training and technology, greatfully review below.

“Being a clergyman helped me brand needs in a companies I’ve consulted or advised. Whether it’s a product we indeed use or not, we can suppose what students would do in a sole conditions and how they would correlate with a platform–will it be useful or not. Sometimes, we suppose uses for a product that a entrepreneurs wouldn’t imagine, and that can assistance them devise for destiny iterations. It’s critical for them to get feedback from someone who knows a pitfalls and victories record can move to classrooms of all types. we wouldn’t be useful to companies if we weren’t teaching.”

Dawn Casey-Rowe, amicable studies clergyman during William M. Davies Career Technical High School and consultant during Learnist

“Being a good clergyman requires wearing a lot of hats simultaneously, investing students in a prophesy incomparable than their day-to-day, formulation retrograde from an desirous goal, enchanting audiences day in and day out, and creation formidable decisions that impact many stakeholders. Replace “great teacher” with “entrepreneur” and “students” with “teammates” and all of this still rings true. At Coursera, we have a lot of former teachers– and a skills we schooled in a classrooms make their approach into a meditative each day.”

Nikhil Kumar, partnerships manager during Coursera

“My years during Citizen Schools demonstrated a energy out-of-school time programs have to examination with innovative training collection and practices to urge training outcomes for students. As one of a initial inhabitant organizations to commander blended training practices we served as a couple between many edtech startups and K12 schools, a group of educators connected propagandize day teachers, students, relatives and village partners in a singular approach to dramatically urge STEM/PBL use for students. Managing all these stakeholders is a profitable ability that a educators afterwards used to yield feedback as beta testers to several edtech startups in a Bay Area and beyond.”

Jessie Arora, owner of Embark Labs. More about her viewpoint on edtech on her blog,, and on Twitter @Jessie_Arora

“I didn’t come adult with a thought for Edthena while we was scholarship teacher. It was several years later. But when we did have a aha impulse for how video regard could assistance solve a system-level pain around providing support to teachers, we also satisfied that this was a same pain we felt as a first-year clergyman who was celebrated accurately 0 times by someone with scholarship expertise. In some ways, we was means to mix my system-level and first-hand bargain of a problem with a accumulation of other use along a approach to make a transition from ‘educator’ to ‘education record do-er.'”

Adam Geller, owner of Edthena

This post was primarily published on DesignED, Deborah Chang’s personal blog.

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