teacher community trying trials

TRYING TRIALS: Greg Klein should be the dream edtech customer: he's in charge of trying out blended learning at a newly opened Downtown College Prep, a small innovative charter school in San Jose, Calif. He's already experimenting with free tools like Khan Academy and MangaHigh for teaching math to his middle school students. He's even willing to try out packages with hefty price tags. But he wants to try them in situ--with say, 15 or so students, for about three weeks' time, to see if they will fit into the learning environment he and his teachers are building. That's where he's hit a wall: developers of more sophisticated packages seem willing to give free "teacher" accounts or show off demos, but actually getting 15 licenses for three weeks seems to be a problem. Bigger districts may have more negotiating clout than a single charter. But it does bring up a knotty problem: as individual teachers or leaders of small schools get a say in buying products, they may want to have "trial" licenses. How should companies handle this? Who's willing to step up and give Mr. Klein's students three weeks' worth of time on their math tool? Let him know.

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