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OPLIN 4Cast #697: How is the pandemic affecting edtech?

Posted in 4cast, and education

Over the past weeks, I’ve been repeatedly grateful for the technology that has made it possible for my son to keep up with his schoolwork. However, my son, a high school freshman, actually struggles with completely-online classes. I spoke with his guidance counselor, who told me that many kids are currently frustrated with online learning, and that some have just checked out completely–refusing to do any online work at all.

There’s little doubt that things are unlikely return to exactly as they were before the pandemic. And it made me wonder about the general state of education technology (AKA “edtech”). As it turns out, the path ahead may an interesting mix with some potholes.

  • Mapping the EdTech Landscape in the Time of Coronavirus [CTech] “With the goal of pushing EdTech innovation amidst the many issues it is aiming to solve, the UK Israel Tech Hub, in collaboration with leading UK and Israeli EdTech players such as MindCet, Nesta and Edtech Impact, is curating an interactive EdTech Startup Map. The map, set to be unveiled on May 18, will showcase solutions to challenges in K-12 education as a result of Covid-19, both in the UK and Israel.”
  • EdTech Leaders Search for Answers Amid Pandemic [Market Scale] “At the same time, educators look warily towards the fall and the long term. And some EdTech big thinkers have started to consider some answers to the question, “What’s next?” Din Heiman, Senior Vice President for the education software company Renaissance Learning, recently posted a provocative essay entitled ‘A Farewell To EdTech.'”
  • How educators are keeping students engaged remotely [EdTech Magazine] “When it comes to remote learning, keeping students engaged outside of the classroom can be tough. Teachers may find it challenging to provide hands-on activities to go with their lesson plans, maintain consistent interaction with their students and foster creativity and collaboration from a distance.”
  • Money for edtech investment keeps flowing through pandemic [Market Scale] “‘As the world changes rapidly in response to COVID-19, traditional education delivery is changing precipitously,’ said Jean Hammond, General Partner at LearnLaunch Accelerator.’ We’ve been talking about ‘the future of education’ for too long and now the future is here. Unfortunately, education systems are underprepared. Technology can, eventually, aid in the delivery and communication for every learner — the gaps are more apparent now than ever before. This cohort features companies supporting this physical to digital transition across k-12, higher ed, and workforce.'”

From the Ohio Web Library: