The Small Business Intersection of Sports, Entertainment and Learning

sports education small business

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Why not give these digital audiences a platform to participate on creating, building, sharing and assessing knowledge?

It will reduce the cost of content production and build strong connections with the academic talent, with need in the workforce and will provide better access to those that currently do not have quality learning experiences.

As Sports Innovation Lab has pointed out: For decades, global technology companies like IBM, Microsoft, SAP and Oracle have been using professional sports as a marketing platform - a way to tell stories to consumers about the agility and speed of their products and services.

Sports sponsorship has also allowed global consulting companies like KPMG, Deloitte, and Accenture that align with sports to communicate their precision, strategic vision, and leadership.

Sports is recognized globally as the greatest story telling platform, it's has connected with brands and broad audiences in a way that education needs to learn.

The rise of distributed media platforms, social media, and mobile technologies make sports, the last live must-see event. Sport is the last appointment television - a marketer's last chance to sync their message with the right audience at the right time.

Sports Innovation Lab 

In its very nature, education shares that live impact when a learner and its interests meet. But it certainly lacks the engagement, the community, the audience, and the excitement. That is why I actively work with edupreneurs around the world who are trying to bring these elements into education.

But education has also many different elements to take into consideration. I have learned over the last decade, that achieving a balance between pedagogy, technology and business is one of the most challenging elements of a successful edtech endeavor.

Education statistics will eventually demand more integration from content, engagement, distribution and assessment. Demonstrating and measuring relevant learning is beginning to change, as new formats of learning experiences become common.

I recently created a workshop at the Congress for Education Innovation at Tec de Monterrey, where we discussed some of the elements that the Nordic countries have embraced to transform learning, to build a more democratic society and to ensure gender issues are taken care of since early childhood.

These perspectives gave birth to innovative learning platforms like itslearning.com where engagement, distribution, communication and the role of the different audiences involved in learning is actively promoted. The statistics and reporting achieved on this platform enables a much better learning process.

During the past few years I have been exposed to a number of global edupreneurs and edtech solutions and the  beginning of 2018 starts with positive belief that its time is finally coming.

I remain focused at:

  • Bring together emerging edtech and established academic institutions. Both are necessary to accelerate education innovation.
  • Make sure the voice of students, parents, teachers and enterprises are represented so novel concepts are grounded in the realities of current and future learning models.
  • Share best practices, new formats and assessments from around the world.
  • Amplify the student's voice.
  • Build a technology, business and academic community able to bridge concepts from all perspectives
  • Provide on-going access to a broad network of advisors, Universities, investors, and education thought leaders.

Finally, I want to share a few interesting endeavors that I have been involved with:

Hilo Negro:

Born from grassroots education video games applications, has evolved to produce the next learning experiences: a rally for education! This format enables a 48 hour engaging and collaborative experience that exposes students to most of the relevant skills required to succeed in our world. The merge of sports and education begins to take place here.

The growth of rally learning experiences provides opportunities to learn about the future of student engagement in flexible blended spaces. Its dependency on collaboration and digital communications tools makes it a fantastic space for multi-disciplinary learning, maker activities and physical activity, designing cutting edge games and reaching across physical borders and cultures to create the future of learning.

Next page- Knotion, Matific and Edusynch

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About the author

Fernando Valenzuela

Fernando is currently head of Aspen Institute education program in Mexico and Partner at Global Impact Edtech Alliance. He was formerly President McGraw-Hill Education, Latin America. He is a recognized senior executive, entrepreneur, speaker and board level leader with international background.  He has founded and led successful enterprises in Latin America for over 25 years. He holds a Degree in Computer Science from the Universidad Iberoamericana, and an MBA in International Business by the University of Miami. Active member of Wharton Fellows, ENOVA Network of Latin America CEOs, Center for Hemispheric Policy and Council of the Americas, and board member at Inroads.  He was most recently President at Cengage Learning / National Geographic Learning Latin America and founder of LINNEA the First Laboratory for Innovation in Learning Experiences in Latin America. There Fernando lead the transformation of the educational models and creating high value learning experiences by engaging students with technology. 

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