Tom Vander Ark Getting Smart Learn Capital Meet Education Project

MEP #027 with Tom Vander Ark from Getting Smart and Learn Capital

We had a very special guest drop by MEP for Episode 027…Tom Vander Ark!  Tom is a dynamo in the education industry, and provides a unique perspective as a former business executive, school superintendent, author, and current venture capitalist in education.

Tom and I chat about “personalization vs. standardization” in public education, innovative school models, and trends for 2014.  You DO NOT want to miss this!

Guest Bio:

Tom Vander Ark is author of Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the World and CEO of Getting Smart, a education advocacy firm.  Tom advocates for innovations that customize and motivate learning and extend access.

Tom is also a partner in Learn Capital, an education venture capital firm investing in EdTech startups.  Previously he served as President of the X PRIZE Foundation and was the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Tom served as a public school superintendent in Washington State and has extensive private sector experience including serving as a senior executive for a national public retail chain.

A prolific writer and speaker, Tom has published thousands of articles, has written and contributed to six published books and co-authored more than 12 white papers. He writes a daily Education Week blog, Vander Ark on Innovation, and makes regular contributions to

Tom is Treasurer for the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), board chair of Charter Board Partners, and is a director of Bloomboard, Imagination Foundation, and Strive for College. Tom is a national advisory board member for Communities In Schools, National Association for Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), and New Classrooms.

Tom received the Distinguished Achievement Medal and graduated from the Colorado School of Mines. He received his M.B.A. in finance from the University of Denver. He continues his education online.

School Models that Tom Loves:

Ed Tech/Book Shout Outs:

How to Reach Tom:

Meet Education ProjectFor more episodes featuring thought leaders in education visit, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and follow Nick DiNardo on Twitter.

Nick DiNardo is the founder and host of the Meet Education Project, a podcast series featuring entrepreneurs, VCs and thought leaders taking action on the future of learning. Nick has worked in education for 10 years, working for some of the big players (Pearson & McGraw-Hill), as VP of Marketing for a seed stage ed tech startup, and an independent consultant. He also serves on the board of directors for Argosy Collegiate Charter School in Fall River, MA. When he's not chatting about the future of learning, Nick is reading, traveling, golfing, or drinking a glass of whisky (sometimes, all of the above).