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Social Entrepreneurship in Educational Technology: Ideation and Market Research

Learn the important precursors of launching your EdTech idea, including ideation strategies and market research methods.

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  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Use idea generation techniques to make your startup dreams a reality

This course covers the initial stages of developing your educational technology idea to ensure you are prepared for launch into the educational technology industry.

You’ll start with ideation, the creative process that helps turn your initial thoughts and into a business strategy.

Using a project-based approach, you’ll use idea generation techniques in a practical setting, and learn how to apply them to your ventures.

Discover effective market research methods

To help validate your initial ideas, you’ll delve into different market research methods to understand your target customer base.

You’ll learn how to identify problems and market opportunities for new ed-tech products, and how to use this to your advantage with your startup.

Learn alongside successful entrepreneurs and experts

Drawing from the experiences of established entrepreneurs, you’ll gather the tools and resources to create innovative EdTech products in the fast-growing landscape.

You’ll learn alongside experts in digital media and analytics to understand what it takes to be successful in the industry.

This course is part of the ‘How to Start an EdTech Business’ ExpertTrack, a comprehensive look into launching a venture in educational technology.


  • Week 1

    EdTech as a Space for Social Entrepreneurship

    • The Next Big Thing in Education: Do You Have an Idea for an Innovation?

      You will begin by reviewing course expectations and the intended learning path for the course.

    • Case Spotlight

      In this section, you will explore the experiences of entrepreneurs in the edtech community and learn from their entrepreneurial journey.

    • Social Entrepreneurship: An Approach to Socially Responsible Innovation

      In this section, you will examine the key aspects of a social entrepreneurial mindset and how that can guide you through the idea generation process.

  • Week 2

    Design Thinking for Social Innovation

    • The Design Thinking Approach

      This week, you will identify gaps and challenges in your professional context using a design thinking framework.

    • Case Spotlight

      In this section, you will explore the experiences of entrepreneurs in the edtech community and learn from their entrepreneurial journey.

    • Applying the Design Thinking Approach

      In this section you will define the problem in your professional context and highlight opportunities for innovation, using the design thinking approach.

  • Week 3

    Market Research: Validating Your Idea

    • Using Marketing Research For New Product Development

      This week, you will become familiar with the basic steps of conducting market research, with an emphasis on conducting market research in the context of social enterprise.

    • Case Spotlight

      In this section, you will explore the experiences of entrepreneurs in the edtech community and learn from their entrepreneurial journey.

    • Conducting Market Research

      In this section, you will conduct market research to validate the existence of a problem and market opportunities for your new edtech product.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Apply design thinking principles to develop innovative solutions to educational challenges.
  • Explore strategies to identify and validate the existence of a problem and market opportunities for new ed-tech products.
  • Reflect on the ethos of social entrepreneurship to create sustainable and impactful technology solutions in education.

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone interested in launching an ed-tech startup venture. You don’t need any prior experience, as you’ll gain the knowledge, skills, and strategy to succeed.

Who will you learn with?

Jim is a professor and researcher in the field of digital media and learning, and program lead for the Digital Age Learning and Educational Technology program at the Johns Hopkins School of Education.

Jeremy is the Director of OILDA at JHU School of Education and a researcher in integrating theoretically grounded and pedagogically useful learning analytics in the instructional design process.

Veena is the co-founder of Pretzl, a learning platform that creates visually rich connections between people and ideas to make online discussions, discussions. She earned her EdD from Johns Hopkins.

Who developed the course?

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University, America’s first research university, is committed to the pursuit of lifelong learning, independent research, and sharing the benefits of discovery with the world.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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