Penn State unveils new EdTech Network, will host national summit

Education Dive

Higher education is undergoing a transformation thanks in large part to advances in technology. From the continuing growth in online degree programs, to incorporating mobile devices and multimedia into teaching environments, educational technology is being used to help improve student outcomes. To advance the educational technology sector in State College, attract entrepreneurs and develop relationships with companies by providing opportunities for collaboration with faculty, staff and students, Penn State has created the EdTech Network.

Penn State’s EdTech Network is part of President Eric Barron’s $30 million Invent Penn State initiative. The goal of the initiative is to leverage the University’s size and broad research strengths to be a driver for job creation, economic development and student career success. Educational technology will be one of several areas, including energy, food security, environmental protection, health care, manufacturing, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, where the goal is to accelerate the transfer of new ideas into useful products and processes.

To further advance this goal, the EdTech Network will host a summit at the University Park campus November 2–4, 2015. Companies, investors, alumni, entrepreneurial students and faculty who specialize in educational technology will be invited to attend.

“We are pleased to announce the creation of the EdTech Network and host the inaugural summit at Penn State,” said Craig Weidemann, vice president for Outreach and vice provost for Online Education. “The summit will provide an opportunity to discuss transformational ideas, products and services designed to advance teaching and learning. The long-term goal of the network is to grow the educational technology sector at Penn State, within Pennsylvania, and beyond.”

The growth has already begun with the expansion of a partnership between Penn State World Campus and InsideTrack, a leading student success organization that supports colleges and universities in improving student enrollment, completion and career readiness.

“The expanded partnership with InsideTrack is the first step towards creating a network of select companies with innovative technology solutions to work with us to develop environments that will help students succeed,” said Rose Piccioni, director of Penn State’s EdTech Network.

As part of the four-year agreement, InsideTrack will co-locate six full-time employees and four student interns to an office on the University Park campus.

“We’re proud to be an inaugural member of the Penn State EdTech Network and partnering with the University on innovative solutions to address the needs of today’s learners,” said InsideTrack CEO, Pete Wheelan.  “We’re always looking for ways to partner with forward-thinking organizations and push the boundaries on ways to make students more successful.”

For more information about the new Penn State EdTech Network, go to

This article originally published in Education Dive, August 2015.

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