Penn State aims to become think tank for ed tech leaders

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.—Educational technology entrepreneurs from across the country collaborated at the Penn State EdTech Network Summit, Nov. 2-4, to talk about solutions — not just the problems — facing today’s students, the future generation of thought leaders.

“We have a mission that is pretty ambitious. Our mission is to make the world smarter,” said summit attendee Dror Ben-Naim, CEO and co-founder of Smart Sparrow.

CEOs and representatives from more than 50 educational technology companies came together at the inaugural Penn State EdTech Network Summit to discuss partnerships that will lead to student success.

“The goal of the network is to create a new model of collaboration with the leading educational technology companies to foster an outstanding learning experience for our students,” said Craig Weidemann, vice president for Penn State Outreach and vice provost for Online Learning. “We believe that these new and deep collaborations can ultimately make University Park and State College an educational technology hub.”  

The network was born from the success of Penn State World Campus and the need for new learning experiences for students in higher education. It is part of President Eric Barron’s Invent Penn State initiative to leverage the University’s size and broad research strengths to be a driver for job creation, economic development and student career success.

“I think the whole thought process about a global campus really has encouraged me to think differently (about learning),” said attendee Steven McNeal from IBM.

Eli Kariv, Penn State alumnus and co-founder of The Coding Space, said the summit should be an annual event.

“The open dialogue … led to some of the best discussions. Everyone is really doing something and is passionate about making a change. When you get an invitation to collaborate to benefit students, it is hard to say no.”

Jaime Casap, chief education evangelist at Google, delivered the keynote address. Summit attendees tackled topics including: fostering academic excellence, creating the next generation digital learning environment, guiding student and alumni engagement and scaling operations for the future. Penn State student entrepreneurs showcased projects at a summit expo.

For more information visit the Penn State EdTech Network and follow #PSUEdTech15.

Google's education evangelist Jaime Casap delivered the keynote address at the Penn State EdTech Network Summit. Credit: Penn State Outreach and Online Education / Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated December 02, 2015