The MIT Enterprise Forum NW recently published Opportunities and Obstacles for Entrepreneurs in Education .  The report covers the now familiar confluence of forces including foundations, venture investors, and incubators/accelerators;”What all these external efforts also have in common is that they don’t necessarily respect the traditional separations between types of education markets.”

Opportunities.  Citing the NMC Horizon Report, the Forum points to near term opportunities including “mobile devices, mobile apps, and tablet computing, the use of collaborative environments and cloud computing.

A couple years out, the Forum predicts emergence of personal learning environments, learning analytics, digital identity management and game-based learning will join them in the mainstream.

The Forum sees opportunity  to “reimagine digital content…creating something totally new, far less linear and definitely more appealing and absorbing for students.”  The report also points to opportunity to vet and assemble existing content.

Four or five years out, the Forum sees natural user interfaces, augmented reality, synaptic applications and various assessment tools.

Obstacles.  The report cites barriers to edupreneurs including complexity, the potential for hype to outpace reality, and the lack of lack of attention.

The report concludes, “Successful entrepreneurs will also involve teachers and administrators in the process—to provide practical insights and essential feedback as their products unfold.”

Frank Catalano, Principal, Intrinsic Strategy, led interviews of edtech luminaries  and moderated the panel the laid the ground work for the paper.

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