A New Look at the EdSurge Edtech Market Map

A New Look at the EdSurge Edtech Market Map

How to navigate your way through a world of education technology products

By Benjamin Lei     Sep 10, 2013

A New Look at the EdSurge Edtech Market Map

This past May, EdSurge took over responsibility for updating and improving the "Edtech Market Map" started by NewSchools Venture Fund. We pulled out our cartographer hats and sextants and got to work.

We're proud to share with you our new and improved EdSurge EdTech Index.

Our index now includes 650+ products categorized into five major sections based on the primary user and/or function of the product:

Products are further bucketed into 50+ subcategories such as Classroom Management or Social Studies products.

The process of integrating the products from the NSVF was enlightening: We discovered 130 of the 280 products on the NSVP map were already in our index. We have since added an additional 70 products and retired 15 products that are no longer in development.

But wait a minute, you say: What about the remaining 65 products? Glad you asked. We've pulled out our compass and magnifying glass and are exploring in more detail what these products currently do. We'll keep you posted.

After reviewing literally hundreds of edtech product websites, here are a few tips on how to improve the effectiveness of communicating exactly what your product does:

  1. Show your product. Every edtech company fills its website with standard buzz words, stock images, and cartoons--sometimes so much so that it is difficult to understand what the product is. Distinguish yourself by actually showing your product! If a customer can traverse your entire website without finding high-quality screenshots and videos of your actual product, there's bound to be confusion and hesitation to use your product.
  2. Show your prices. It is way too difficult to find pricing info on most websites. The most frequent question we hear from edtech buyers is "What does it cost?" Yes, we understand there are discounts and volume deals and that professional development may cost extra. But if your product exists, let people know a price range: Are you a Ferrari or a Hyundai? (Editor's note: EdSurge is committed to making pricing more transparent in this industry--and we will continue to poke and pry until we undercover numbers!)
  3. Go beyond just saying “Common Core Aligned.” Nice try presenting your product as "fully Common Core aligned." If it was created before the standards were out, it's probably not. It’s wonderful to see companies dedicate a page to outlining what parts of their product align to which specific parts of the Common Core. Increasingly, EdSurge will ask vendors: Has your content been built for the Common Core? And to us, that means you've likely developed that content since the standards have been published--and with an eye toward accomplishing the goals of the standards.
  4. Site Design 101. And in the category of good advice for all vendors (not just edtech companies), try to maintain a consistent hierarchy of pages. Far too many websites look like blobs of interlinking pages. If possible, avoid nestling key information more than one click from your homepage.

Our work is not done! If you are among the companies who have since submitted information to be included in the Edtech Index, hang tight--we're working on it! Stay tuned for future updates from the edges of the edtech world.

If you have NOT already submitted your product, you can get on the list here. If you have submitted information, no worries: We'll get you in.

Editor's note: Many thanks to Ben, who has been a terrific asset to the EdSurge team this summer!

Learn more about EdSurge operations, ethics and policies here. Learn more about EdSurge supporters here.

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