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Problems, and opportunity, in Education Tech

Back on education tech today, and I want to point to an Axios piece on the problems with remote learning – which aren’t strictly solvable by technology.

There is the tension between IT department and student needs, combined with the fact that business technologies were designed for business, not for students.

The digital divide is overshadowing everything – data from last month found that 75% of Black and Latinx families with children in under-resourced schools in Los Angeles don’t use computers regularly. 47% of parents surveyed had never visited the ed tech platforms used by their kids’ schools.

That’s leading to more disparity for poorer districts — children from lower-income families are having trouble logging on and staying on, according to data that ed tech company Learn shared with Axios.

Why do we care?

I could connect this to my discussion of broadband access, or link it directly to the diversity problem of tech delivery.   That’s worth revisiting in particular.

Instead, I want to focus on the reason to specialize.    Education technology is different from business because of the user requirements.   Students needs are different from employee needs, and that is the struggle happening here.

When we talk about “business value”, that’s a pretty high level concept, and it will mean different results in different industries.  Here’s where specialization opens up more profit – being able to come in with specific expertise and address those problems, say in education, versus a generalist is a differentiator.  It’s an investment, but one that returns based on that value.  

Source: Axios