Laptops and tablets have made their way into classrooms ranging from kindergarten to graduate programs, and with the right moves, technology partners can easily profit off the growing opportunities in the education sector.
Perry Samson, University of Michigan professor and co-founder of the weather app Wunderground, sees opportunity in both mobility and big data.
"There’s an opportunity in these tools that we’re talking about, the mobile tools, because I created this one called LectureTools. Everything I do, I do because I'm a lazy man," Samson said. "I created the Weather Underground [Wunderground] because I wanted to have weather information for my nine o'clock class."
Echo360 acquired Samson's LectureTools, a web-based platform that transforms tablets and smartphones into learning aids for use in large lecture halls, in 2012. The Weather Channel bought the Weather Underground during the same year.
Samson's goal is simple. "How do you take that large learning environment and make it better?"
According to Samson, the opportunities revolve around developing engagement tools for the classroom, and collecting data on students' performance to improve lesson plans.
Finally, Samson said, faculty and students need to have access to that very data.
"Right now, all too often the vendors keep that data in their own proprietary systems. That's just wrong. This data ought to be available back to the institution," Samson said.
PUBLISHED AUG. 5, 2014