BURLINGAME, Calif. — From a perch on the second floor of the hotel where we’re running the EdSurge Fusion conference, I can see dozens of groups of people. Some cluster, talking and gesturing with coffee cups or cell phones. Others lean forward, listening to each other. Listening intently.
We’ve been listening intently, too, and sharing the stories we’ve heard.
For the past 456 weeks, we’ve published an EdSurge newsletter every week without fail. These days, we pack several newsletters into the week. You can count the news and stories: more than 11,340 articles and blurbs, thousands of which have been written by educators, entrepreneurs, researchers and investors in the education community. That’s more than 5,675,000 words. And then there are more than 250 podcast episodes.
Over the past eight years, we’ve met tens of thousands of educators and entrepreneurs from around the country (and increasingly, the world) at events such as Fusion, Immersion, our meetups, jobs fairs and others. We’ve done the research to understand more deeply why and when edtech products work or don’t. We’ve chronicled the birth—and death—of hundreds of ventures. We’ve worked with companies to tell true stories about the value of the work that they’ve built. We’ve helped thousands of people find jobs at the intersection of learning and technology. And through it all, we’ve heard and told stories. Here are a few:
Ambition: The beginnings and endings of ventures, initiatives and technologies;
Conflict, including when online tutoring sites inadvertently become a window into child abuse;
Curiosity: Can Carmen Sandiego make us better global citizens?
Hope in the future of education technology and its role
Humor: Can you tell the difference between Pokémons and edtech startups?
Perspective: How the edtech industry has evolved over the past decade
Second Chances: A look at educating those who are incarcerated
Scandal: “Varsity Blue” and other misdeeds
Strength: Stories of how educators have reached and inspired students who the “system” had abandoned.
Hundreds of thousands of people now come to the EdSurge website every month to read these stories. And there are many, many more to tell.
Today we shared that EdSurge is joining ISTE, the International Society for Technology in Education. By fusing the audience that reads EdSurge with the community of more than 200,000 educators who turn to ISTE for information, resources and standards, we believe that we will reach an even wider community of people, eager to build strong foundations to support learning for students of all ages.
In some ways, this story is like many of the others we’ve written about companies that reach a pivotal moment. (In fact, my colleague Jeff Young interviewed me for the “EdSurge story” about EdSurge. I will get to read it at the same time you do!)
And yet, of course, our own story is also deeply personal. It’s the story of persistence and ingenuity, of a scrappy group of people who have together worked harder than they ever imagined and shared so much—friendship, learning, laughter, some tears, emojis, dogs, popcorn and music. The list goes on. It’s the story of how we all grew as writers, researchers, businesspeople and technologists. Of how we’ve tried to listen.
And it’s always been a story of holding fast to values: believing in the power of reporting, of seeking authentic stories, of including others.
Now, our’s also becomes a story of fresh beginnings, of embracing an even wider collection of colleagues and readers. Our new ISTE colleagues give me tremendous encouragement and energy for the path ahead. We share a deep commitment to improving learning. We look forward to swapping a few Instant Pot recipes and book recommendations, too.
To everyone who has been a part of EdSurge in the past, my heartfelt thanks. You have created magic.
And to everyone who is part of EdSurge today, an equal thanks: You inspire me every single day, and will continue to do so.
What should you expect from EdSurge going forward?
Expect to see the stories, continuing to fly the EdSurge green banner. Expect us—in fact, demand—that we continue to improve our listening skills and continue to get better at appreciating and sharing stories. And expect to see us continue to report and research, and write and convene with compassion and a commitment to building a more equitable education environment for all.
The passion and intensity that so many educators brought to Fusion and that entrepreneurs have shared at Immersion keeps us fired up. We can’t wait for you to join us for chapter two!