This blog takes you through the transformative journey of EdisonOS, from a consulting company to an innovative force in the education industry. Discover how their encounter with the NTPA Conference 2023 became a catalyst for growth and success, unlocking new possibilities and propelling them towards their vision of reshaping education through their comprehensive solution.
First of all, We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Paul Pscolka for introducing us to the NTPA community, Jason Robinovitz for extending the invitation to become a sponsor, and Michael Jordan for his assistance during the conference. Their contributions have been instrumental in establishing our presence within the NTPA community.
What is NTPA?
The National Test Prep Association (NTPA) is a prominent organization dedicated to the advancement and standardization of test preparation services and resources. As an esteemed professional association, the NTPA brings together educators, test prep providers, industry experts, and stakeholders in the field of standardized testing.
With a primary focus on enhancing the quality and effectiveness of test preparation, the NTPA serves as a platform for knowledge exchange, collaboration, and innovation. It strives to establish best practices, develop research-backed methodologies, and promote ethical standards within the test prep industry.
The NTPA plays a vital role in fostering a supportive network for professionals involved in SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, and various other standardized tests. Through conferences, seminars, workshops, and online resources, the association facilitates the sharing of insights, strategies, and cutting-edge approaches to maximize student success.
By promoting dialogue and collaboration among educators, tutors, content developers, and technology providers, the NTPA contributes to the continuous improvement of test preparation methodologies and resources. Additionally, it acts as a catalyst for industry-wide discussions on test security, accessibility, diversity, and inclusion.
Membership in the NTPA offers numerous benefits, including access to research findings, professional development opportunities, industry recognition, and a supportive community of test prep professionals. Furthermore, the association actively engages with policymakers and stakeholders to advocate for fair and equitable testing practices.
As the field of standardized testing evolves, the NTPA remains at the forefront of driving positive change and innovation. Through its collective expertise and dedication to excellence, the association strives to empower students, educators, and test prep professionals to achieve their highest potential in the realm of standardized testing.
A Chance Encounter
Professional development and the impact of digitalization on education are paramount in today's world.
EdisonOS started its humble beginnings as a consulting company, TeachEdison, but everything changed when the ACT went online in 2017. The company seized the opportunity to create an online test platform for a leading test prep institution in Asia. This collaboration not only introduced EdisonOS to the enormous market of test prep tutoring but also opened doors, propelling them into the realm of digitized tutoring operations.
The Rise of Digital SAT
As the digital revolution continued to shape the education landscape, the College Board made waves by digitizing the SAT. EdisonOS quickly caught wind of the requirement for a mock test environment and began receiving numerous inquiries for a digital SAT platform.
To ensure the digital SAT platform would seamlessly integrate into the educational ecosystem, EdisonOS adopted a strategic approach by understanding 'behind the scenes' of digital SAT. This included conducting meticulous test pilot runs, decoding the adaptive logic, converting raw scores to scaled, all by engaging with test prep experts to gather valuable feedback. This comprehensive research allowed them to gain insights into user preferences, identify pain points, and refine their product accordingly.
With their focus on software-as-a-service (SAAS), the team took up the challenge and meticulously crafted an assessment module that mirrored the esteemed Bluebook platform (official digital SAT test platform). EdisonOS focused on creating a platform that would enhance the overall test-taking experience.
With their innovative SAAS solutions at the core, EdisonOS recognized the immense potential of the US market. They understood that by targeting this dynamic and influential market, they could amplify their impact and reach a vast number of test prep tutors. Their strategic decision to enter the US market positioned them at the forefront of the digital SAT revolution, poised to revolutionize how students prepare for this critical standardized test.
EdisonOS set its sights on the US market, recognizing the immense potential of their digital SAT solution. Through the cold campaigns, targeting prospective clients, they stumbled upon profiles associated with the National Test Prep Association (NTPA), signaling a significant turning point in their journey.
Among these profiles were Paul Pscolka and Jason Robinovitz. They recognized the potential of EdisonOS's digital SAT platform and were eager to explore opportunities for collaboration. Recognizing the alignment of their goals and the shared vision of transforming education, they extended a warm invitation to EdisonOS to become a member and sponsor for the NTPA.
Embracing the Opportunity
For EdisonOS, a bootstrapped company striving to make its mark in the education technology landscape, receiving an invitation from the National Test Prep Association (NTPA) held immense significance. It was an affirmation of their dedication, innovation, and the potential impact of their digital SAT platform.
The NTPA provided a tremendous platform with a built-in audience of test prep professionals and educators who could benefit from their solution.
Recognizing the potential that the NTPA offered, EdisonOS grasped the significance of this invitation. It presented an unparalleled opportunity to showcase their product to a highly targeted and receptive audience. It was a chance to connect with like-minded professionals, forge meaningful partnerships, and position themselves as leaders in the field.
By showcasing their product at the NTPA Conference 2023, EdisonOS aimed to make a lasting impression on attendees, sparking conversations, collaborations, and new opportunities. They envisioned their participation as a stepping stone towards establishing themselves as a trusted and influential player in the test prep industry.
Overcoming Hurdles while Prepping for the Conference
As EdisonOS accepted the invitation to become a diamond sponsor for the NTPA Conference, they encountered several hurdles on their path. Being a bootstrapped startup based in India, budget considerations topped the list of challenges. The decision to become a diamond sponsor meant that EdisonOS needed to carefully manage their finances to ensure a strong presence at the conference.
Additionally, logistical concerns arose, particularly regarding visas and travel expenses for the team members representing the firm in the United States. To navigate these obstacles, Vamsi Kumara, an associate with the firm, came up with a creative solution. He suggested enlisting the help of someone from the US to represent EdisonOS at the conference. This idea led them to Sindhu Thanikonda, from Nebraska, who would become an integral part of their conference preparation.
EdisonOS dedicated an entire month to preparing Sindhu for her role as their representative. Regular meetings were scheduled for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week. During these sessions, Sindhu received comprehensive briefings on various aspects, including the market, the product itself, market issues, and frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Addressing the FAQs surrounding the digital SAT platform was crucial in ensuring Sindhu's preparedness to engage with potential clients and stakeholders.
Some of the key concerns revolved around:
1. The need for a platform to upload digital SAT practice questions.
2. The relevance of content and the replication of the Bluebook practice environment.
3. The lack of awareness among tutors about the questions, adaptive logic setup, or question tagging in most test platforms.
4. The lack of an actual testing experience for digital SAT.
To tackle these problems head-on, EdisonOS offered innovative solutions. They emphasized:
1. The reusability of questions for mock tests.
2. The ability to upload own questions and mock tests.
3. Providing pre-loaded mock tests created by leading content creators and question creators.
4. Additionally, they offered a white-labeled solution, allowing institutions to have their own branded platform with complete administrative control.
5. Including the ability to upload questions and access a pre-loaded library of highly curated mock tests with scaled scores, and many more solutions.
A key differentiator for the EdisonOS platform was its focus on educators, setting it apart from other platforms primarily designed for students. This educator-centric approach highlighted their commitment to meeting the unique needs and challenges faced by tutors and instructors in the test preparation process.
Apart from diligently preparing their representative, EdisonOS also dedicated significant efforts to crafting compelling marketing elements that showcased their brand as more than just a sponsor. They sought to position themselves as a comprehensive, tutor-centric solution that stands out in the test prep industry.
Recognizing the importance of effective marketing in creating a lasting impression, EdisonOS carefully designed various promotional materials to capture the attention of conference attendees and beyond. Their goal was to communicate their unique value proposition and highlight the benefits their platform offers to tutors and educators.
Through meticulously crafted marketing elements, such as brochures, flyers, and digital collateral, EdisonOS conveyed their commitment to meeting the specific needs of tutors and educators in the test prep space. They focused on showcasing their comprehensive features, intuitive user interface, and the seamless integration of their platform into the tutor's workflow.
As EdisonOS surmounted the hurdles, their dedicated efforts to prepare Sindhu, as their representative, and craft marketing elements underscored their commitment to delivering a successful and impactful presence at the NTPA Conference. Through their innovative solutions and educator-centric approach, they aimed to make a lasting impression on conference attendees and pave the way for meaningful collaborations and partnerships.
EdisonOS Experience at NTPA 2023
EdisonOS had a mixed experience at the NTPA conference, with a few challenges but also positive outcomes that showcased the potential of their platform. The first day of the conference proved to be a bit difficult due to the absence of flyers and brochures promoting their stall.
Unlike other stalls that had visible promotional materials like flyers, brochures, company pens, pencils, and shirts, EdisonOS struggled to attract attention to their stall, and many attendees did not realize it was there. This lack of physical promotion resulted in very few visitors on Sunday, particularly during tea breaks when other stalls received more attention.
However, the team made the most of the situation and took initiative to engage with conference attendees. They utilized the badges and headshots of attendees to strike conversations, communicating the features and benefits of their platform and encouraging sign-ups.
Ms. Sindhu, a member of the EdisonOS team, played a crucial role during these two days, where she met with attendees and promoted the platform, emphasizing its capabilities and improved visibility. These efforts aimed to generate interest and ensure more attendees would visit the stall on Monday.
Despite the initial challenges, EdisonOS managed to draw visitors to their stall, especially those who had interacted with Sindhu earlier. The advanced features of their platform were highly appreciated, as they aimed to mimic the real digital SAT test experience. Attendees, including competitors, praised the product for its ability to closely replicate the actual test, and they were particularly impressed with the pricing, finding it reasonable for the platform's offerings.
During interactions with potential clients, concerns were raised regarding various aspects of the platform. Attendees inquired about the platform's model, including questionnaires, time breaks, the appearance of the Desmos calculator, and the availability of annotations.
EdisonOS responded to these queries, assuring attendees that the platform allowed for customizing timings to meet students' needs, as the actual digital SAT test would. They also addressed concerns about question skipping, reviewing, and the lock feature. While the platform did not have a lock feature, it did have a log system to monitor user activity and tab movement.
EdisonOS highlighted their collaboration with publishers and content writers to provide high-quality SAT questions, ensuring that students would have access to content that closely resembled real-time test scenarios. Attendees were relieved to know that the content on the platform closely aligned with the official SAT test.
Despite the initial hurdles, the team's dedication paid off as they saw an increase in the number of visitors to their stall. Feedback from attendees, including a tutor who visited the stall, was positive, affirming that the platform met their expectations.
The major takeaways from the conference were the importance of effective promotion through flyers, brochures, and other tangible items to attract visitors to the stall. Additionally, the positive reception of EdisonOS' platform, its advanced features, and its ability to replicate the real test experience were highly encouraging. The conference organizers expressed satisfaction with the high participation in 2023 and anticipated even better results for the conference in 2024.
Overall, while EdisonOS faced initial challenges in terms of visibility, their platform's advanced features, competitive pricing, and positive feedback from attendees indicate a promising future in the SAT preparation market. The NTPA conference served as a valuable platform for showcasing their product and engaging with potential clients, setting the stage for continued growth and success.
At EdisonOS, we understand the importance of networking for knowledge entrepreneurs. The conference provided numerous networking opportunities where we could connect with like-minded professionals in the education industry. Engage in meaningful discussions, share insights, and build valuable relationships.
During the conference, we had the opportunity to interact with a diverse range of attendees, including experienced educators, entrepreneurs, and industry experts. These interactions allowed us to gain new perspectives, exchange ideas, and learn from their experiences. We made connections with fellow educators who shared similar challenges and goals, and we were able to discuss innovative approaches to online education and business management.
The networking sessions and social events provided a platform to establish connections beyond the conference. We exchanged contact information with several attendees, enabling ongoing collaboration and knowledge sharing even after the event. The value derived from networking was immense, as it provided us with fresh insights, expanded our professional network, and opened doors to potential partnerships and collaborations.
EdisonOS's Path Forward
During the NTPA Conference, EdisonOS successfully engaged with a significant number of conference attendees, approximately 25-30 individuals. Building on these interactions, their focus shifted towards reaching out to all the event attendees, post July 4th, who had shown interest and interacted with them during the conference.
EdisonOS recognizes the importance of nurturing these connections and capitalizing on the momentum generated at the conference. With a strategic approach, they plan to extend personalized outreach to each attendee, offering them a closer look at the EdisonOS platform. Through platform demos, customized presentations, and in-depth discussions, they aim to showcase the features, benefits, and unique value proposition of their digital SAT solution.
EdisonOS sought to actively engage with the attendees, listening attentively to their feedback and understanding their specific needs as digital SAT educators. They recognize the invaluable insights that could be gleaned from these interactions, enabling them to co-develop and refine their product based on real-world experiences and demands.
EdisonOS envisions these interactions as collaborative partnerships, working hand-in-hand with educators to build a better product. They believe in the power of co-creation and sought to leverage the expertise and perspectives of digital SAT educators to enhance their platform's functionality, usability, and overall effectiveness.
By actively involving educators in the development process, EdisonOS aims to create a solution thats aligned perfectly with their needs and requirements. This collaborative approach would ensure that the platform catered precisely to the challenges and preferences faced by educators in the digital SAT space.
As EdisonOS embarks on their post-NTPA Conference journey, they embrace the opportunity to foster meaningful relationships with conference attendees. Their commitment to providing personalized demonstrations, actively seeking feedback, and co-developing with educators showcases their dedication to continuous improvement and delivering a product that truly made a difference in the world of digital SAT preparation.
The 2023 NTPA Conference
The 3rd annual National Test Prep Association Conference took place in Grapevine, Texas, from June 11th to June 12th, creating a dynamic platform for test prep professionals to gather, exchange knowledge, and find inspiration. Designed to inform, educate, and inspire, this premier event catered to both members and non-members, attracting educators, test preparation experts, and industry partners from across the nation and beyond.
Over the course of two impactful days, attendees immersed themselves in a rich program that encompassed a diverse range of educational sessions, interactive workshops, and enlightening keynote speeches. These offerings were thoughtfully curated to address the latest trends, emerging strategies, and best practices in the field of test preparation. From renowned speakers sharing their insights to intimate small group discussions and presentations on cutting-edge technologies, participants had the opportunity to tailor their experience according to their specific interests and professional goals.
The conference not only provided a platform for attendees to expand their knowledge but also fostered valuable networking opportunities. Colleagues from various backgrounds and areas of expertise came together, enabling meaningful connections and collaborations. The power of connecting with like-minded professionals in the industry allowed for the exchange of ideas, sharing of experiences, and the potential to form valuable partnerships.
Throughout the event, a strong emphasis was placed on personal and professional growth. Sessions dedicated to addressing test anxiety, optimizing teaching methodologies, and exploring innovative approaches to test preparation empowered attendees to enhance their practices and better serve their students. The conference served as a catalyst for both individual and collective development within the test prep community.
NTPA Board Members
The esteemed board of the National Test Prep Association (NTPA) comprises the following distinguished members:
Mike Bergin: A renowned test prep leader, founded Chariot Learning in Rochester, NY in 2009 with the vision of delivering transformative, individualized education.
David Blobaum: The co-founder and leader of Summit Prep, a New Jersey-based tutoring company that focuses on SAT and ACT preparation.
Brian Eufinger: Co-founder of Atlanta's Edison Prep, has tutored over 15,000 students for various exams including SAT, PSAT, ACT, GMAT, SSAT, and SAT Subject Tests
Aaron Golumbfskie: Education Director at PrepMatters, boasts over 20,000 hours of one-on-one tutoring experience.
Michael Jordan: President and founder of Michael Jordan College Prep, offering personalized test preparation and college application support to students.
Travis Minor: Owner of Open Door Education in Acton and Concord, MA, has empowered numerous students to excel in a wide range of standardized tests.
Pranoy Mohapatra: Founder of PMTutoring LLC in central New Jersey, began tutoring during his high school years at the Academy of Health and Science in 2007.
Jason Robinovitz: Jason Robinovitz, Chief Operating Officer of Score At The Top Learning Centers & Schools, leads a team of over 100 educators. He oversees strategic decision-making, including policies, customer service, staffing, training, marketing, systems, and technology.
Bara Sapir: Bara Sapir, MA, CHt, CNLP, MSBR-T, is an internationally recognized expert in high-performance coaching and test prep with over 20 years of experience, including instructing at The Princeton Review.
Amy Seeley: Amy Seeley, President of Seeley Test Pros, leads a prominent test preparation company catering to students throughout Northeastern Ohio, offering comprehensive services to help them excel in their academic pursuits.
Together, this diverse group of board members brings a wealth of expertise, knowledge, and passion to the NTPA, guiding the association's strategic direction, shaping policies, and ensuring the highest standards in the field of test preparation. Their collective wisdom and dedication to excellence empower the NTPA to serve as a trusted resource and advocate for professionals and students alike in the ever-evolving landscape of standardized testing.
Sessions of The Conference
Sunday, June 11
Positioning Your Brand as a Test Prep Advisor
Karan Shah and Jim Wismer
An insightful presentation, that delves into strategies that not only generate more referrals but also foster stronger brand loyalty, ensuring sustainable growth for your business. It helps to maximize your impact and position your brand as a trusted test prep advisor.
The Teenage Brain
An enlightening presentation that explores the fascinating world of teenage brain development. Discovering the latest scientific findings that illuminate the distinct differences between adolescent brains and those of adults. Gaining invaluable insights into how this knowledge can shape and enhance interactions and work with teenagers. Expanding understanding and unlocking the potential to make a positive impact on the lives of the youth one engages with.
(A) I’ve Been Trapped!
A session that delves into the common traps and distractors found in the ACT. Gaining a comprehensive understanding of the most prevalent types of mistakes that leads to incorrect answers. This analysis will equip instructors with valuable insights to enhance their teaching and guide students towards success.
(B) How to Set Up and Use Standard Operating Procedures
A step-by-step approach to effectively implement and utilize Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Learning how SOPs can optimize productivity, save time, and reduce costs while ensuring streamlined team training. With a focus on instilling best practices within operational processes, attendees gained valuable skills to enhance their organization's efficiency and performance.
Keynote: Not Guilty
A compelling keynote addressed by Freddie deBoer as he challenges prevailing notions regarding entrance tests like the SAT. In this thought-provoking session, deBoer passionately argues that these tests are not as racially or economically biased as commonly believed, emphasizing their resistance to coaching and training. With a meticulous examination of numerous flawed arguments against the SAT, deBoer debunked them one by one, shedding light on the test's potential as a fair and objective tool for admissions decisions.
Monday, June 12
ACT Product Updates and Test-Taking Insights: News You Can Use!
Tim Burden and Don Pitchford from ACT
Tim Burden and Don Pitchford from ACT unveiled the latest developments in the suite of ACT college and career readiness assessments. Gaining valuable insights into the past, present, and future of ACT's offerings, including the expansion of the online international and ACT school day programs to the seven Saturday national test dates.This session, uncovered why students and entire states continue to embrace testing in a test optional climate.
(A) Scaling an Educational Service Business
Embarked on an inspiring journey with Katy Schmitt, the founder and CEO of Thrive Tutoring in Nashville, she revealed her remarkable trajectory of transforming a tutoring side hustle into a thriving enterprise, surpassing $1M in revenue in under five years.
(B) AI for Test Prep Businesses
Andre Kiss and Adam Snoza
Embraced the AI revolution and seized the incredible potential in this enlightening session. Andre Kiss and Adam Snoza delve into approachable applications that simplify report generation, resource creation, brand enhancement, and cost savings.
(A) Augmenting Your Test Prep with Adjacent Services
An insightful presentation by Scott Clyburn unveiled a range of complementary services that can augment test prep practice. Gained valuable insights on considerations before venturing into new investments, drawing from lessons learned in incorporating executive function coaching and an AP/IB focus.
(B) Leading Towards Inclusion
Dr. Teresa McKinney
Dr. Teresa McKinney exploreed the principles of cultural humility, self-reflection, and overcoming biases. Gave essential tools to create an inclusive environment that fosters success for both employees and students.
NTPA Test Time
Rob Pollak, the founder of Pollak Tutors, presented an engaging session that put attendees' conference readiness to the test.
NTPA Board and Committees
How to Reduce Test Stress and Improve Test Scores
Ben Bernstein, PhD
Dr. Ben Bernstein shared proven techniques to reduce test stress and boost scores. Also shared practical tools, including a self-diagnostic stress inventory, and discovered how to maintain a balanced nervous system for clear thinking and alertness during exams.
(A) Digital Preparation for a Digital Test
Josh Kariyev and Jackie Pollina
Josh Kariyev and Jackie Pollina delved into the realm of digital test preparation. Equipping us with practical tools to optimize the tutoring program and ensure students are fully prepared for computer-based exams.
(B) Legal Issues for Tutors
Buneka Islam provided valuable insights into legal considerations for tutors and test prep industries. A broad understanding of key topics, including contracts, agency relationships, mandatory reporting obligations, non-competes/non-solicitations, and the classification of independent contractors vs employees was covered.
The conference is proudly sponsored by a diverse range of industry-leading organizations and companies. These sponsors provide valuable support and contribute to the success of the event. Their involvement demonstrates their commitment to the test prep community and their dedication to advancing educational opportunities. As sponsors, they offer valuable resources, expertise, and innovative solutions that enhance the conference experience for attendees. Their contributions play a vital role in creating a vibrant and engaging environment for networking, learning, and collaboration among test prep professionals.
Math Chops: A Math practice tool for SAT, ACT, ISEE, and SSAT.
Academy Technologies: Streamlining college prep companies' grading process with BubbleScan technology.
CSPWORX: Empowering online learning through a comprehensive management system.
EdisonOS: Empowering knowledge entrepreneurs with a comprehensive all-in-one platform for online education.
Pencil Spaces: Simplifying digital classrooms through seamless teaching, whether online, in-person, or anything in between.
Test Innovators: Provide the tools for students to learn the test-taking skills they need to succeed on their test.
Tutor Bird: The leading tutor management software for private tutors, tutoring centers, and test prep centers.
Tutor Cruncher: Simplify payments, scheduling, and tutor management with expert-designed software for tutoring businesses of all sizes.
Vibrant Publishers: Book publishers for management, SAT, programming.
Learn Speed: Tutor management for educational companies.
Hannah Byrne Nutrition: Nutritional counseling for virtual private practice working space.
Score Smart: Authentic online SAT and ACT practice tests.
Assessiv: Practice tests curated by industry leading tutors.
Bybee College Prep: A boutique college and test preparation company specializing in helping students achieve their college aspirations.
Corio and Associates: Specializes in helping professionals on all stages of their career.
Crush College Stress: Develop students skills to confidently manage college life, achieve the grades they want, and handle their college stress.
Edison Prep: Help students achieve their goals in standardized testing and in college admissions.
Open Door Education: Experienced tutors guide students through the LSAT, improving scores and confidence for test day.
Peachjar: A premier platform that unites schools, parents, and the community to support the social and emotional development of the next generation.
PM Tutoring: Tutor expertise on test prep strategy, and work to quickly determine areas for improvement which would provide the most impact to students' score.
Score At The Top - Tutoring and Test Prep: Exceptional tutors consistently help students maximize learning, grades, and SAT/ACT scores.
Sheptin Tutoring Group: Offering academic support for every stage of the scholastic journey.
Summit Prep: SAT and ACT tutoring specializes in customized, private tutoring.
Test Bright: Treasure trove of resources and updated answers to the most fundamental questions in education.
The NTPA Conference proved to be an invaluable experience for EdisonOS, providing a platform for meaningful insights and opportunities for improvement. In a time when test prep exams are undergoing significant changes, communities like the NTPA play a vital role in fostering collaboration, discussion, and networking among educators.
The conference offered a unique space for educators to come together, exchange ideas, and share their experiences in the ever-evolving landscape of test preparation. Through engaging conversations and thought-provoking sessions, EdisonOS gained valuable perspectives that have shaped their product and strategy moving forward.
The importance of communities like the NTPA cannot be overstated. By facilitating collaboration and networking, they empower educators to collectively address challenges and seek innovative solutions. It is through such communities that educators can stay at the forefront of advancements in the field, ensuring they deliver the best possible learning experiences to their students.
In the spirit of fostering further discussion and collaboration, EdisonOS invites readers to share their own experiences and thoughts related to the NTPA Conference. By coming together and exchanging ideas, we can collectively shape the future of test preparation, ensuring that students receive the best possible support in their educational journey.
Are you looking for a platform to coach your students and familiarise them with the Digital SAT test environment?
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