Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Where have all of the educators gone?

Last week, I read the Forbes top 30 educators under 30 list like many other edtech professionals and teachers. Last week, the focus was on: why are none of the top 30 educators under 30 actually educators? And, though that is an argument to be had, it is not surprising as the creators of the list - Forbes - are in business, not education.

My larger question was: why do none of the top edtech creators under 30 have education background? I guess the question is somewhat similar, but the focus is different. My focus is not on why a magazine only chose to show edtech businesses over educators. Rather, my focus is on why edtech companies are, largely, not created by teachers or former teachers.

I started working on a project after my experience at the Google Teacher Academy to help bridge this gap between developers and educators, but the problem was highlighted by this list. Though all of the services offered by these companies are useful and impactful, they are driving the change in education as opposed to education driving the change.

When will education the needs of students begin to drive changes in the products and services schools purchase. Now, teachers attend a conference and find a service that they can adapt or fit in their classroom. When can teachers go to a conference, talk to developers and create a product driven by the needs of their students.

Though the difference between the two approaches is small, I think it is critical in giving students a voice and allowing education to by change-friendly.

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