The Chasm Between Entrepreneurial Passion and the Classroom

A PASSION-REALITY DISCONNECT? Yes it's still true: there's a divide between passionate edtech entrepreneurs and teachers. Frank Catalano spells it out in his recent Mind/Shift piece, reporting on a forum convened by MIT recently. We liked Dreambox CEO Jessie Woolley-Wilson's wry observation: "'Technology can help scale greatness' like a good teacher or teaching practices, but 'the underbelly is that it can help scale bad things, too.'" And the tech solution has got to fit the situation, pointed out teacher/entrepreneur Lindsey Own, a Seattle-area middle school science and health teacher and co-organizer of Startup Weekend Seattle EDU: “You can come up with a sweet widget. It might be great,” Own said, “but it really has to be rooted in what is going to be happening in the classroom. In the pedagogy. In the learning objectives.” Yah. What they said.

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