​Places to Go, Mountains to Climb for Edtech in 2017

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​Places to Go, Mountains to Climb for Edtech in 2017

By Isabelle Hau     Dec 19, 2016

​Places to Go, Mountains to Climb for Edtech in 2017

This article is part of the guide: EdSurge 2017 Personal Statements.

I took inspiration from Dr. Seuss, and immense liberty in adapting "Oh, The Places You’ll Go" into ‘Oh, The Places Edtech Will Go’ with dedication and thanks to two special six- and ten-year-old girls for their contributions to the rhymes. Please read this with lightness and holiday spirit.

Oh, The Places Edtech Will Go – loosely adapted from Dr. Seuss by Isabelle Hau, Omidyar Network

2017 should be another big year for edtech
Six big trends we expect.

First, more implementation
More user-friendly, student- and teacher-centered tools,
More personalization,
Better infrastructure in schools,
Ultimately greater classroom adoption.

Second, more innovation
Machine learning, adaptive learning and virtual reality
Will be at the center of education technology.
Increased focus on mindsets beyond core literacies,
We see, especially for critical thinking and empathy.
Edtech will allow for formative assessment,
And greater competency impressment.

Third, age group expansion
Next year we foresee
A rising focus on early learning.
That science and research will be supporting
With greater entrepreneurial-led activity.

Fourth, more globalization
Edtech will travel globally
From US, China, and India, to…Vatican City!
Edtech will be global.
Edtech will be mobile.

Fifth, increased consolidation
Various business models will be rising,
From district sales to freemium conversion,
A few larger companies will be emerging,
Maybe a few failures and consolidation.

Sixth, more rationalization
Edtech buyers will need to make sense of it all
Free, paid, Open Education Resources, you will need to make a call.
We foresee more and greater procurement tools
(EdSurge Concierge, here we go for schools!)
Greater integration solutions will also arise
Or edtech costs will rise.

Edtech, you will also have to climb mountains

The first mountain will be efficacy
Edtech will need to prove impact
or naysayers will become increasingly wary.
Traditional impact methodologies will be hacked.
2017 will see more rapid prototyping
Faster, cheaper impact testing.

The second mountain will be privacy,
And finding a balance with transparency.
Data privacy will remain top of mind
Legislation regulators will find.

The third mountain will be user-ability
Edtech tools will need to be loved
By teachers, students,
Administrators and parents.
Product design will be a core issue to be solved.

The fourth mountain will be family and community empowerment.
Edtech tools will need to increase caregiver and community connection.
Home connectivity issues will be more prevalent,
Or we will risk more exclusion.

The fifth mountain will be diversity.
Increasing classroom diversity
Across socio-economic, special needs and ethnicity.
More English Language Learning students
Will need to become fluent.
Edtech has to seize the opportunity
And make education relevant and engaging for all
Or risk moving from rise to fall…
For this we will need more diversity
In edupreneurs, education leaders, teacher body,
And the funder community.

New U.S. administration,
New education policy horizon.
Lots of travels ahead
Lots of places to see
Lots of opportunit

In your journey forward
Never forget Dr. Seuss’s famous citation
‘A person’s a person no matter how small’
To the New Year we cheer. Happy holidays to all.

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