I have attended a number of education events in the past weeks and, although I wonder whether it is becoming just another buzz word that we all acknowledge grimly or accept without question, we are supposedly in an “edtech bubble”. I agree that there are so many new developments in this space. And yes, there are so many new entrepreneurs and idea-generators who are seeing this surge and realising there must be something to it. However, and subsequently, whilst there are so many real needs in this space and, indeed, so many people who so firmly believe in improving education for our kids, there are also those who are evaluating their next move based on the dollar signs associated with this market.
There are a number of major problems that I see both with the existence of an edtech bubble:
In a speech I attended this morning at the CoSN conference, Lord David Puttnam discussed changes in education. He described the world’s best surgeon at the start of last century and how, despite his abundant talent and knowledge, he would be lost in an operating room in the current age because of the extreme advances in technology. Comparatively, a teacher from the same era could still manage in today’s classrooms. Either this means our educators from a century ago were far ahead of the curve, or, as I am more inclined to believable, this means our educators and education institutions have not been able to change at the same rate as the world around them: something so many are now working to change.
I am glad for the awareness the need for advances in edtech inclusion in classrooms is getting on a global scale. At the same time, though, I hope that we can make the most out of this ‘edtech bubble’ and focus on using our best talents to create the best products to produce the best results for the educators and students who need them