283e7f7In anticipation of the 20th Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference, Corporate Growth Capital Style has been featuring conversations with experts and panelists from the upcoming event. Our last conversation was with Katharine Weymouth, Publisher at The Washington Post.
Today’s conversation is with Fred Singer, CEO of Echo360. Mr. Singer will be part of the “Trends and Controversy in Education Technology” panel, which will also feature EverFi Vice Chairman Gene Reichers, and Dr. Ángel Cabrera, President of George Mason University. The panel will be moderated by Donn Davis, Co-Founder and President of Revolution of LLC.

Here is what Mr. Singer had to say:

CGCS: What is Echo360’s mission? What are your responsibilities with the company?

Mr. Singer: Echo360’s mission is to transform teaching and learning through active learning.  In short, we help academic institutions empower engaging learning environments by sharing classroom material that improves student performance.  Be it by recording and publishing lectures so students can revisit difficult material, or by facilitating in-class discussions over smart phones and providing for online study groups, our entire technology suite is made to help instructors teach and students learn.

As CEO, I’m responsible for leading the executive vision of the company and ensuring we fulfill our potential in meeting our mission.  I work with the product team to guide our technology and work with our clients to better understand their needs and help navigate the market to ensure our leading position remains intact.

CGCS: What are some of the changes that are occurring in education today? How is this creating opportunities for private companies?

Mr. Singer: Students are evolving and education is changing to meet the demand.  Students require instant access to all their academic materials and want to connect online with peers more than ever.

Those challenges create the disruptions that are opportunities for innovative companies.  The academic landscape is moving too fast for traditional institutions to manage alone and private companies like Echo360 are at the forefront of those solutions.

CGCS: What are, in your opinion, some of the biggest challenges facing education today, and how is technology helping to overcome them?

Mr. Singer: Traditional education is quickly losing the attention war.  Students are more distracted than ever and smart devices fuel endless access to new and flashy sources of entertainment.  Technology like Echo360 helps professors commandeer those distracting devices by encouraging students to engage in quizzes, Q&A sessions and polls for a focus-forward classroom environment.  If academic technology could win the battle for a student’s attention in the cluttered, modern world of social media, technology would have hurdled one of education’s biggest challenges.

CGCS: At the upcoming Strategic Growth Conference, you’ll be part of a panel of experts discussing trends and controversy in education technology. Why is this topic so essential today? What about this topic makes it controversial? And what can attendees expect to learn from this panel discussion?

Mr. Singer: Trends and the accompanying controversies are significant market factors that drive innovation.  For those in education technology, we’ve seen trends impact and in some ways, even shape client decisions that ultimately determine our success.  As we saw with MOOCs, the shine on a trend fades quickly and the reality of education settles in with the main event in learning.  In our case, the main event remains in the classroom.

While we have successfully powered MOOC initiatives and host one of the market’s most compelling distance learning solutions, Echo360 is a company bent on helping institutions improve the quality of teaching and learning for current, tuition-paying students.  We’re driving engagement with in-class tools, helping students revisit difficult material on their own, on-the-go schedule and empowering professors to extend their reach beyond the lecture hall.

So while trends and their corresponding controversies exist, like they do in any market, Echo360 has stayed on course and we’ll continue to weather storms as they approach because ultimately, we’re all about the main event.

For additional information about the Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference, and to register, click HERE.