Episode 23 – The Future of Ed Tech

Episode 23 – The Future of Ed Tech

The Future of Ed Tech

Drive - Future of Ed Tech

In this episode, Ricky and Matt discuss the future of ed tech and current news stories that are shaping that future.


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Show Notes:

1)Penn State Ed Tech Network Summit


According to their own website…Penn State University aims to become think tank for ed tech leadersThey hosted a summit last week to talk about solutions to some of the problems facing today’s students. CEO’s and representatives from over 50 ed tech companies came together at the inaugural event, Penn State Ed Tech Network Summit. One of the main things they are addressing is the lack of collaboration that is pretty apparent between ed tech companies and the education world. Some of the topics they tackled were fostering academic excellence, creating the next gen digital learning environment, and scaling for the future. This Penn State Ed Tech Network has it’s own website, it is simply edtechnetwork.psu.edu. You can also fill out a form to network with them on that page.

2)Ed Tech Industry is Worth More than $8 Billion


Our next story comes from The Atlantic Magazine’s website, They report that the ed tech industry is worth more than $8 billion in spite of questions regarding the actual effectiveness of the products. There is a lot of information in this article so I suggest you give it a read if you are really interested in some of the intricacies of ed tech spending. I found it interesting that companies are broadening their definition of “online course” to include basically any digital curriculum that is even used to enhance face- to – face courses.

I also was fascinated to learn that the department of education has only recently started categorizing ed tech spending separately. It was simply hidden inside general supplies and equipment but because researchers have been asking for ed tech spending data they are now putting ed tech spending in its own category.  It seems crazy to me that with all of the questions about ed tech and its effectiveness that this wouldn’t have already been in place… then again, it is public schools and change doesn’t exactly happen quickly.


3)Fortune’s Global Forum on Ed Tech


Our next story brings us more interesting insights into the possible future landscape of ed tech. Fortune Magazine reported on their own Global Forum session on Ed Tech. There were some bold statements made at this session on Ed Tech. USC’s Alan Arkatov basically said that 500 to 1,000 colleges would be extinct or greatly changed because their business model won’t sustain them. I think at this point we should put this panel into context a little. Two of the three panelists were the president of Coursera, Daphne Koller,  and the CEO of Udemy, Dennis Yang. I’m not going to judge here but Fortune Magazine is geared towards businesses and in a forum session they hosted featuring two private company leaders who are looking to capitalize on disrupting the online education world, there was mentioning of colleges disappearing like dinosaurs. I’m not ready to say higher education is doomed because of this forum… but it does need to be noted that Udemy and Coursera are certainly disrupting/changing the way online learning is happening.


Matt’s take on the Future of Ed Tech:

Here’s what I think the future will look like:

  • A lot of these tech education firms will be bought out by the big-boys (IBM, Google, Apple, textbook companies)
  • They will be deployed in new suites for current colleges (Google Apps and others like it)
  • Schools that find themselves struggling will have to change – as any business struggling has to do. Making a change is not a place of weakness.

Which will all lead to a strengthening of the infrastructure and how educational information is shared. If there’s one thing that is the wild-west out there, it is the idea on how the data communicates with one another. Whoever comes up with that, will define the future of tech education.


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