Techsmith is my choice for the hottest company in educational technology.
1. Trajectory: The company's products and/or services are on a fast growth trajectory of adoption and usage.
2. Innovation: The company's products and/or services are leading and facilitating innovation in learning.
3. Value: The company's products and/or services offer a compelling value proposition for higher education.
4. Reach: The company's products and/or services improve and/or support teaching and learning for a wide range of faculty and students.
5. Disruption: The company's products and/or services have the potential to disrupt traditional methods and arrangements in the construction and delivery of education.
What would be your criteria?
No other company in the educational technology space excels on as many of the criteria listed above as Techsmith. Perhaps you are a big fan of Camtasia Studio or Snagit. I'm going to focus on two of Techsmith's most recent products, Jing and Camtasia Relay.
JIng is a cross-platform, free or cheap (Jing Plus) voice-over screen capture application. I've used the free Jing product extensively in my teaching, having students record 5 minute voice-over PowerPoint presentations. These presentations are then posted as flash (swf) files to Blackboard. The ability for students to easily author voice-over presentations and then share their work (through uploading to Techsmith's Screencast site or by sharing the file through the CMS represents an enormous opportunity for supporting active learning.
Camtasia Relay is even more exciting then Jing. Techsmith positions Relay as a simple and affordable alternative in the fast growing lecture capture space. We are rolling out Relay on my campus precisely because it exactly met our requirements for an affordable and scaleable solution that would be simple for a wide range of faculty to utilize. Relay keeps it simple, with a cross-platform client to record the screen and the microphone and buttons for record/pause, stop, and publish. Faculty can record presentations from their office or in class, publish the recording, and quickly get a URL back in an e-mail from the Relay server. They then take this URL and put it in Blackboard or e-mail it to their students. Relay supports multiple file formats and can be set to publish to YouTube or iTunesU.
These two products are gaining strong traction in the higher education space. Techsmith's decision to prioritize simplicity and affordability over a multitude of features allows their solutions to enjoy rapid adoption on campus. The company is rapidly building up a strong and loyal community of users, one that will be receptive to additional products and services in the future.
Would you choose Techsmith as the hottest company in educational technology? Why or why not? What are your nominees for this coveted distinction?