Rosanna and I have officially moved back to our home city of Indianapolis! We are from the Indy area originally so the move was geared toward getting closer to home and family. We both loved our time in Maryland, DC, Baltimore, Annapolis and loved all our adventures up and down the east coast. It is a beautiful area full of lifelong friends and we will be back early and often!
One of the most exciting things about being in Indianapolis is the growth opportunity for edtech and the chance to truly make a difference in the field. There are many great programs and startups working to incorporate technology into the classroom in meaningful ways and schools are full of teachers willing to learn more about technology and build from available resources. Both Rosanna and I wanted to write a blog to highlight some of the great things happening in Indy with edtech but also recognize the challenge we will face in fundamentally changing the landscape of our K12 classrooms.
For starters, the momentum around tech in general in Indianapolis has been phenomenal. Major billion dollar+ tech exits including ExactTarget (Salesforce) and Interactive Intelligence (Genesys) in the last few years have positioned investors and influencers in the city to build a truly unique ecosystem within the Midwest. Indy and its surrounding areas have been flooded with great leadership and talent over the past decade and the excitement around tech is infectious. Co-working spaces like Launch Indy, unique startups like DeveloperTown, and amazing non-profits like Techpoint have popped up everywhere alongside the major tech players including Salesforce, Cummins, Rolls Royce, Raytheon, Eli Lilly and Roche Diagnostics.
That being said, everyone in the tech industry knows one of the biggest challenges in the coming years will be recruiting and retaining enough talented individuals in STEM related fields. This is why we believe early and realistic educational exposure to technology is absolutely critical to the development of the so called tech ‘talent pipeline’. Even when the lesson itself is not about tech, if we can find ways to incorporate it, students are often curious and interested in what the tech does or how it works. This is exactly how I was inspired in elementary school to pursue a career in tech!
I can honestly say the aforementioned excitement around tech in Indy has directly translated to some amazing edtech efforts. Indy is full of people that recognize the challenge of preparing the next generation workforce and are ready to meet it head on. Here are few of the great Indy programs that are building edtech along with a short description of each. I encourage everyone to check them out and get involved with any efforts here in Indy or in your hometown if you can!
Nextech - Ensuring educator success and student inspiration in K12 Computer Science
Lessonly - An innovative approach to continuing education on the job!