As Kids’ Media Use Increases, Will Ed-Tech Investment Follow?

A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the amount of time young people spend with entertainment media has risen dramatically, with 8- to 18-year olds devoting an average of seven hours and 38 minutes a day to media use. And because they spend so much of that time “media multi-tasking,” young people actually manage to pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes worth of media content into those 7½ hours.

With this key role that media plays in children’s lives, it is crucial to support the creation of innovative educational technologies that can be used for teaching and learning.

Are you the parent of a child 12 years old or under? Click here to take a survey about how kids perceive the Web.

With this in mind the Venture Capital in Education Summit 2010 will be held in New York City on June 8 and 9. The summit examines some of the key trends in education technology and showcases some of the leading-edge ed-tech entrepreneurs and investors. Keynotes speakers include industry, education and government experts, along with investors.The recent National Education Technology Plan (NETP) indicates the Obama Administration’s support for a number of key technologies, including open-source software, virtual worlds and cloud computing. But funding for these recommendations remains uncertain.

The Venture Capital in Education Summit is “designed for the innovators in the K-20 education markets, and those committed to providing the capital and resources to support these change agents.” The difference between consumer technology markets and school technology markets are important, and the summit seeks to share this and other insights into developing and marketing to the education sector.

The announcement yesterday that Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings and the non-profit venture capital firm Charter Fund had acquired math-game company DreamBox Learning, and the announcement last week that language learning company Babbel had its first profitable quarter (notably after abandoning the freemium model) point to education technology as a promising area for tech startups.

As ed-tech blogger Kirsten Winkler says, “People are willing to pay for well developed educational products.”

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