"This trend that we're seeing towards the proliferation of education technology has been happening even pre-pandemic. And a lot of it  has to do is the investment that governments and schools and districts around the world are making and the technology infrastructure that's actually allowing students and educators to fully utilize education technology solutions. If you  go back to 2010, less than 10% of schools in the US had access to high-speed broadband. And you fast forward to 2020 and nearly all of the schools in the US now have access to high-speed broadband internet." - Amit Patel


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Summary

Our guest today is Amit Patel. Amit is is a Managing Partner at Owl Ventures, a venture capital fund that invests in the world's leading education technology companies such as Byju, dreambox, Newsela, Quizzlet, and more: https://owlvc.com/portfolio.html

In this episode, we talk about how the education technology infrastructure investments years ago creates the conditions for the EdTech boom today, we talk about a new cohort of learning-science-based startups and much more.

Listen and take note of how one of the leading EdTech investors today thinks about education.

Some thoughts from our discussion:

We're caught up in the moment of this EdTech boom and we forget to credit the  infrastructure investments of 10 years ago...broadband, devices in schools. Infrastructure investment in schools opened up the school market and bred the 1st generation of EdTech.

05:23 - This trend that we're seeing towards the proliferation of education technology has been happening even pre-pandemic. And a lot of it  has to do is the investment that governments and schools and districts around the world are making and the technology infrastructure that's actually allowing students and educators to fully utilize education technology solutions. If you  go back to 2010, less than 10% of schools in the US had access to high-speed broadband. And you fast forward to 2020 and nearly all of the schools in the US now have access to high-speed broadband internet.

The first generation of EdTech triggered a flywheel of talent, funding, customers, that led to the parent, direct-to-consumer market later on. First the flywheel spun slowly but now it's going faster and faster, given an extra twirl by the pandemic.

It's like when Edison first created his central DC power stations, then giving rise to the rapid spread of AC power later on.

20:45 - Quizlet right now has60 million learners a month that access the platform. They have learners across a 130+ countries that are utilizing the platform to kind of effectively learn whatever it is that they're doing. And some are in formal school settings and some are adult learners doing this for recreational learning. This is a company that was founded here in the US but has its services and tools be accessible to users all over the world and seeing that demand happen from users all over the world.

Now we're in a third or fourth generation of EdTech startups that are dialled into the learning science. This is where Owl are investing.

13:42 - In terms of learning efficacy and outcomes, the first point is scale and access. So who's actually being served by these companies, who actually has access to these solutions. The second point is the diversity of that audience, socioeconomic backgrounds, racial backgrounds, English language learner populations, and so that's the second way that we kind of look at it. And then the third is actual outcomes or efficacy measurements.

Pedagogy is now the bottleneck in education. We have digital textbooks, we have Netflix-like  education games, but the winners will create new pedagogical models that are "ed-tech" native.

Here are some resources mentioned in our discussion:

2021 Education Outcomes Report - https://view.genial.ly/615f5ecf4ec4620d9a6b863c

Amira Learning - https://www.amiralearning.com

Quizlet - https://quizlet.com

Where to learn more about Amit:

Where to learn more about Enrollhand:

Website: www.enrollhand.com

Our webinar: https://webinar-replay.enrollhand.com

Our free Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolgrowth/