Thursday, 26 March 2015

How I met Your Awesomeness: #EdTechChat & ClassDojo

I have highlighted it many times in my blog, but as I seem to be picking up a new readers, please allow me to restate:

#EdTechChat Rocks!
I realise that this comment might upset or offend some of my other EdChatMod friends, so I better have a pretty solid argument to back this up... And OH BOY DO I! Almost every idea that I am currently working on has some basis in this amazing chat with these amazing people!

For the purposes of brevity  (Hoy! I heard that! "Bloggers" who write long posts have feelings too you know! Anyway... stop interrupting, I'm trying to spin a yarn here!), I'll focus on how recent "Good Ideas" came from EdTechChat.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...

Educators Selling EdTech at EdTechChat
See that list of startups that I like and am happy to do work for, just because I like them...Want to know a secret? Want to know where some of that intuition comes from? Listening to educators!

I joined the opening night of EdTechChat back on 22nd April 2013 and after the 5th week, I got a glimpse of the future... Educators are going to be selling good EdTech themselves.

The Inbound Marketers are 100% correct, cold calling will be dead soon. 

Check Out the Bottom Tweet! "I'm a Salesman... Get me out of here!"
It was during this session the idea of #StartupEduChat came to me

After 5 weeks I downloaded all the Tweets to see how many companies were mentioned. 

40 Companies were mentioned and praised some 4-500 times during this time 

Big Data Tweet Reports
I wanted to see how commonplace this was so went to work again in the hope of "Showing my Friendship First" to both EdChat moderators and suppliers.

I downloaded the Tweets for this same 6 week period with the intention of showing both moderators and companies any trends that I found, but ended up abandoning the task... it was too big. I think there were 200,000 Tweets and 26,000 participants.

In July I did the same with ISTE Tweets and this is where I saw the changes in conferences as well. Myself and fellow data nut Scott Traylor (@360KID), who tried to figure out ways to easier download and interrogate data to identify trends etc. One thing that Scott did identify was that some 30%+ of Tweets were sales based, and that not all delegate comments were positive about vendors methods.

While I left this idea for another day (As I am not a developer), Scott has continued to explore ('Cause he's a smarty pants, who obviously stuck in at schools and can code ;)) and produces sweet tweet report and publishes them on #TweetReport, and I went on to support Nurph because of the potential to collate and curate EdChat Tweets into a central repository.   

From ISTE or Bust... to #Get2ISTE
Then last year in the final chat before ISTE the EdTechChat crew were discussing plans for Tweetups etc and Alex Podchaski (@ajpodchaski; EdChat: Erm, well, Duh! Lol #EdTechChat) said he wasn't going, and I asked why not. The reason was due to costs.

That was it! I put my sales hat on and Tweeted out something like "Any suppliers want to get Alex to ISTE," but to no avail. 

Here's to the crazy one's, the lone nuts who get the party started, but...
Kids hitchhiking isn't safe, tell your teacher to use Pledge Cents instead. 

This actually upset me a great deal, and made me quite angry (As you can tell from the start of #EdChatMod: ISTE or Bust), because if everyone learned as much as I did, then the value is incalculable. Sharing resources, sharing best practice, sharing crazy ideas. preventing burn out.

But I didn't calculate the incalculable I worked out the hourly rate. What ever way you look at I think the tone of my initial post demonstrates my outrage at this. I can't wait until we have a;

No Teacher Left Behind 

So a lot of what people have been discussing recently has been a result of #EdTechChat
  • EdTech services being adopted without any sales calls
  • Helping to demonstrate what a great data rich source that EdChats are
  • Seeing that educator/EdTech supplier relations could be better
  • That hard working EdChat Moderators who spend so much time on their chats can miss out on ISTE Tweet ups due to costs.

So that's why #EdTechChat is at the heart of my Twitter experiences. I have not joined the chat for a few months, and here's is why: The chat has given me a back log of ideas that I am researching and working on.

The first year and a half has given me THE BEST possible road map of "Where the puck will land" as Wayne Gretzky would say...And I can guarantee you that it's The Road Less Travelled... And EdTechChat has made all the difference. I am not attending many chats because, as Susan Cain would put it, I have 

"Gone to the wilderness. like Buddha (Erm, well... maybe not that part?), have your own revelations. I'm not saying that we all have to now go off and build our own cabins in the woods and never talk to each other again, but I am saying that we could all stand to unplug and get inside our own heads a little more often" Power of the Introverts, Ted Talk 

During the 1st year anniversary of #EdTechChat I noticed a DM from Sharon LePage Plante (@iplante, who has the best blog post ever: What if SatChat Started a School), to see if I could join their Google Hangout Session. I was so honoured to be asked to jump on, and was the only person with a commercial background on the panel. I will never take the educator communities hospitality like this for granted! I am so grateful for the time they spend indulging me with my crazy ideas, and random tweets and blog posts.

Education suppliers, if you listen to the education community and have a genuine desire to collaborate with them, they will welcome you with open arms. That has certainly been my experiences, and I'm not the only one.
Suppliers check out what is being said about @PledgeCents and #Get2ISTE
During those first 5 weeks of EdTechChat and curating 6 weeks worth of chat data, while the intended research was never finished, there was one company that stood out and there are no prizes for guessing who it is, I'm afraid.
Founded in 2011 universally loved by educators, a phenomenal rate of growth, the founders are amongst Forbes' "Top 30 under 30 in Education," all this and only ever spent $5,000 on Marketing, check out this article One Billion Points for Class Dojo, which is 100% proof of Product-Market Fit transforming a startups trajectory. 

"Many startups never achieve the elusive "Product-Market Fit." Once found, Product-Market Fit transforms a startups trajectory. Before a company finds Product-Market Fit, nearly everything the company does (or should do) is about the search for product market fit. After the company finds it, everything is about scaling: ramping up operations to accommodate a rising number of users."

And guess what, they are Twitter chat addicts! Not only are they constantly asked to guest moderate chats, but they are always more than happy to oblige. In addition to this they have not one, not two... but three EdChats they host themselves DojoChat, DojoChatEU, DojoChatANZ

I have written 4 or 5 posts in support of ClassDojo and the guys know that there is a standing offer of me helping out any time they like... But I think they'll be OK without me because they have the very best sales team on the job: Educators and an army of evangilists and fans. ClassDojo, the Apple of EdTech? Discuss.

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