Wow, the edtech space seems to have exploded.  The number and quality of startups is remarkable as is the inflow of talent and investment.   Over the next weeks I’ll discuss some of the emerging capabilities I’m seeing in these ten categories:

  1. Productive post-secondary: taking outcomes and value seriously
  2. Informal learning: anytime learning, often an alternative to formal post-sec
  3. Credentialing/skills verification: market signaling in post-sec, achievement recognition systems in K-12
  4. Coding: combinations of the first three aimed at writing code
  5. Financial aid: combating the difficulty and cost of aid
  6. Magical Math: hard to believe we learned math without this stuff
  7. Classroom practice: better, easier, more collaborative teaching
  8. Tools: productivity tools for teachers and kids
  9. Early learning: apps and better preschool
  10. Other stuff you may not have thought of

Productive post-sec.  In response to the terrible combination of unchecked cost inflation and academic indifference to outcomes, the ROI on American higher is been plummeting.  Student debt of $1 trillion now tops credit card debt.  Weak job prospects and ridiculous prices are causing students to consider alternatives–and edupreneurs are delivering.  Consider news of the last few weeks:

And I didn’t even mention online higher ed.  Despite the death threats from DC, working adults love the flexibility of online learning.

The genie is out of the bottle.  This is not a temporary budget crunch, state subsidies are not coming back.  Alternative learning options are exploding–and they pay attention to outcomes and return on investment.

If you want an update on some of the disruptive drivers, read Christina Yu’s Technology Can Make Students More Intellectual.


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