start edtech

EdTech: Not Quite There Yet

Just like we use B.C. and A.C. today to divide history between two periods, so will B.I and A.I be added in the future to reference that point in time when Internet really changed everything. I do not know what that date will be, but it certainly hasn’t arrived yet, because despite all the hype the Internet is still in its infancy -especially when it comes to its Educational potential.

We are increasingly interconnected, but two thirds of the population has yet to join the conversation, and bring their ideas and views with them. However, Eric Schmidt, Google’s Executive Chairman, predicts that by 2020 everyone will be connected (check out Google Loon project) When this happens, and if technology continues to grow exponentially, then After Internet (A.I.) could truly be an age of greatness. That’s exciting because we are living history, we are witnessing the transition and can take an active role in it!

Imagine a world where collaboration is the standard, where knowledge and world-class education are easily accessible, and where students’ curiosity to learn is insatiable –so much so that very few of them “fail” their classes. You can call it Enlightenment 2.0: a new era of understanding, cooperation, and progress that will push the human race forward. I don’t think it’s utopic to dream this way, in fact, I think we are closer than ever. It is up to us to close the gap and cross the bridge that’s been keeping us at bay for so long.

That’s why EdTech is such an exciting field to be on. Education and Technology are the keys to progress, and when the two intersect wonderful things can happen. Better Education leads to better technology, and better technology leads to better EdTech…quite a virtuous loop.

As worldwide mobile penetration and broadband access become the standard, the doors of Knowledge continue to open up, and the “old-school classroom” can’t compete with this tsunami of information. Sites like Wikipedia, Twitter, and Coursera were unimaginable not so long ago, their success reflects how quick society is changing and adapting. Today’s students expect, amongst many other:

  • Instant answers to their curiosity
  • Quality content at an affordable price, or free
  • Engaging content
  • Flexibility to create their own coursework
  • Worldwide Collaboration
  • Tailored-learning
  • Data to pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses to measure improvements

No doubt it is a challenging task to produce great Educational apps, just like the industrial-era ‘one-size fits all’ approach failed, we can’t expect one app or site to satisfy all our demands. But rest assured, programmers and “edupreneurs” are busy finding ways to deliver the right solution for the right learner.

Educators and institutions should not resist this change though; they must embrace it and find creative ways to address these demands. Today’s learners can have access to a world-class education, express their creativity to anyone worldwide, and meet like-minded peers at almost zero cost. But not only do all these sites require content creators and curators, they are also only the beginning of much larger things. So instead of being afraid, educators must seize the moment, realize the opportunities to change education and take an active role in the knowledge revolution.

It’s an exciting time and no one is better positioned to lead the EdTech wave as educators are. Educators have real-life 1st hand experience teaching, they know what techniques can work best, and they are passionate about education.

Today all you need is an idea, a laptop, and determination to build an application. Think there’s a better way to learn a language? Build a minimum viable product, measure, learn, and evolve the idea from an MVP into a solid product that delivers value and could potentially affect millions!

What are you waiting for? Join our ranks, join the knowledge revolution, and help us make the world a better place!

Picture License Attribution Some rights reserved by jakeandlindsay

Leon Markovitz hails from Caracas, studied in Boston, and currently lives in Tel-Aviv, where he co-founded WikiBrains, an EdTech startup. He is passionate about bicycles, books and hacking education. You can follow Leon on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

  • New To Tech Ed

    Thanks for the invitation to join the ranks. I accept! I’m currently enrolled in a Masters of Education program and I’m investigating a new career path in educational technology. Enlightenment 2.0 sounds wonderfully idyllic. Would love to be a part of the movement that could make that happen.