HEAD OF THE CLASS: Okay, we're biased! Bobbi (or Barbara, if you don't know her) is one of the long-time pioneers in education technology. She's jump started open-source materials in education (as exec. director of Curriki); she's helped run companies (chief academic officer of bigchalk), and she's advised a host of edtech companies on strategy, need and opportunities. (Full disclosure: including EdSurge). Best of all she's steeped in pedagogy and has looked intensively at the role of technology on learning.
All that's why we're thrilled to see her join UPenn's graduate school of education as executive director of academic innovation and a senior fellow in education. Since 2009, Penn and the Milken Family Foundation have run a business plan competition exclusively for education technology startups. Last year's winners included: Kenyan-based M-Prep (quizzes and other ed materials delivered to mobile devices) and Mindblown Labs (financial literacy for high schoolers taught via games). We expect to see Bobbi supercharge this event next summer!