Education technology could be Iowa’s next new frontier

Iowa could position itself at the forefront of global educational technology development, but officials will need to adopt a “strategic focus” to do so, a state-commissioned report says.

In the report, completed in August and released Thursday morning, researchers with Columbus, Ohio-based TEConomy Partners found that Iowa could leverage its “significant base” of larger in-state companies such as McGraw-Hill and ACT plus noticeable research-and-development assets at area universities.

Gov. Kim Reynolds, during ACTNext’s Education Technology and Computational Psychometrics Symposium Thursday at the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, described the document as a road map for integrating EdTech into Iowa’s economic development.

“This EdTech strategy is about using that advantage to create jobs in this thriving and dynamic sector,” Reynolds said. “It’s a natural next step that further complements efforts already in place through the STEM Council’s STEM Best program and the Future Ready Iowa Initiative.”

Among the EdTech activity that hold promise for economic development in Iowa are assessment and testing providers, STEM content in textbooks and courseware, content visualization and virtual-reality systems, the report said.

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