Branch Ideas

Business, Product, and Marketing Support for Education Innovators

Category: innovation

Why Conducting Segway Tours Was an Excellent Career Move

By Denise Wydra

One item in my employment history stands out from the rest. After working for over 20 years at education companies, I took a brief spin as a tour guide. And not just any kind of tour—a tour by Segway.

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What the Six-Day War Has to Teach Us About Education

By Denise Wydra

Water in the desert is a precious resource. As with any such resource, it makes sense to guard it carefully and spend it frugally, using as little as possible.

But that’s the kind of thinking that gets people killed.

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From AAP Webinar: OER pain points and opportunities for publishers

The America Association of Publishers (AAP) recently held a webinar on edtech, open educational resources (OER), and the changing landscape for publishers.  Denise Wydra was invited to participate because of her background as both a publisher and an edtech entrepreneur. Here’s a clip, in which she comments on the pain points and opportunities for publishers with regard to OER.

The Problem with EdTech Entrepreneurs


by Denise Wydra

What’s the Achilles’ heel of many edtech entrepreneurs? They’re brilliant and successful.

It’s not their fault, of course. Through a combination of natural ability, hard work, and outstanding support, they’ve come to excel in their chosen areas. But this means they may be unaware of what it’s like to be an average college student in the U.S.—and even less knowledgeable about the students who stand to gain the most from educational technology.

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We Need New Paradigms–Now

Philo_medievBy Denise Wydra

Our public conversations about education are mired in the past. I’m not talking about the 19th century–I’m talking about the 5th century B.C.E.

Ancient Athens is perhaps an arbitrary starting point, but it fostered an early incarnation of the Western educational system, complete with professional teachers, formal schools, and familiar disciplines. A full education was reserved for free males, the obvious reason being that they were the only ones whose voices mattered. But don’t overlook the other assumptions: in this world, education was a limited resource (only so many tutors to go around) and a costly investment (every hour reading was an hour not working). And only some people could–or should–benefit from it.

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