Every Education Investor And Entrepreneur Needs To Read This Book

Considering how much time and intellectual and actual capital is invested in education technology every year, it’s incomprehensible how little the entrepreneurs, investors and second-order spectators actually know about the history or daily use of technology in education.

Very few understand that education simply isn’t susceptible to disruption the way some markets may be. They miss that truth because they don’t understand that education isn’t a market or, at a minimum, they misunderstand what is being bought and sold. They likewise routinely and predictably miss that, in nearly every example, what they are building and investing in is not new but recycled, having failed to disrupt, democratize or scale education many times before.

It’s why I’ve joked for years that my dream job is reviewing education technology pitches and helping venture capital investors save their money. I’d be happy with 10% of everything I save them. Now, though, edtech investors and corporate architects and columnists can save even the money they’d spend on me.

Instead, they can just read Failure to Disrupt,” the new book by Justin Reich, director of the teaching systems lab at MIT. Or, better yet, just read the introduction and conclusion. Those 30 or so pages may be the most important read for anyone in, or even thinking about being in, edtech.

In a few dozen pages, Reich lays out the embarrassing cycle of copied ideas, massive hype, enormous wasted funding and the unmet promises of edtech — why so many innovations and companies find only dramatically downsized and incremental uses, leaving education fundamentally not disrupted over and over again.

In one example Reich quotes Thomas Edison in a 1913 interview. “Books will soon be obsolete in the public schools,” Edison said. “It is possible to teach every branch of human knowledge with the motion picture. Our schools will be completely changed inside of ten years.”

More importantly, Reich underscores that the timelines and promises fade, but the ideas don’t go away. He notes the highly popular and influential 2011 TED Talk by Salman Khan, the founder of Khan Academy. The breakout idea may sound familiar. The talk was titled, “Let’s Use Video to Reinvent Education.” Khan became a media and funding darling and, Reich writes, landed on the covers of Wired, Time and Forbes.

But after Khan opened an actual, physical school, Reich quotes Khan in an overlooked interview from 2019 telling District Administration magazine, “Now that I run a school, I see that some of the stuff is not as easy to accomplish compared to how it sounds theoretically.”

Everyone saw the hype headline. No one saw when reality hit – when, as Reich put it, “soaring vision met the complex reality of schools [and] disruption and transformation gave way to accommodation.”

It’s a pattern we’ve seen before.

Another example cited by Reich is Sebastian Thrun, one of the fathers of the MOOC – the massive, open, online course that was likewise supposed to revolutionize and democratize

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How to pursue a new career as an entrepreneur during the pandemic

  • Navigating entrepreneurship can be challenging, especially during times as unprecedented as the pandemic.
  • Luckily, social media, networking platforms, and online content have made it easy to explore a path as an entrepreneur.
  • Work on crafting a personal brand that provides a clear picture of your passions, skills, and knowledge. Then, join online networks to connect with fellow entrepreneurs and experts in your industry.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The world has become a place which nobody had ever imagined a few months ago. It has been surrounded by the outbreak of a virus that has brought the working of many businesses, brands, and entrepreneurs to a standstill. Nobody was ever prepared for such crucial times in the business world and the situations and circumstances have today made companies and entrepreneurs introspect and come to the conclusion of what needs to be done now to either retain their original positions in the market or thrive with the new normal.

Just like any other business industry, the marketing sector too had to go through its ups and downs to survive with the current market situations. Many youngsters wished to come at the forefront of their respective fields and prove to the world their talents in the same. Some experts are also of the view that there is still time for these talented youngsters to act faster, but this time with more consciousness, awareness, and dedication to finding out their ways even amidst the pandemic, for ultimately reaching their career goals and fulfilling their wishes to become entrepreneurs.

Read more: The 10 most important elements of a startup pitch deck, backed by VCs, angel investors, and other experts — with real examples from founders

There are five steps that can help people navigate entrepreneurship in a post-COVID era:

1. Find new market opportunities

It is essential to keep moving forward with the changing trends of the business world and keeping pace with the same. Looking at the growing trend of turning everything digital, (Henok) Henny Yeshanew, CEO of Lion Marketing Agency, Canada, as a marketing entrepreneur through his firm, helped small businesses turn into digital businesses. Analyzing market situations is crucial for people to utilize the current conditions to their utmost advantage.

2. Network online using LinkedIn or Lunch Club

When entrepreneurs have realized what a pandemic can do to their businesses, Henok believes it is important for them to also recognize the significance of networking in their respective industries. It is essential to stay connected with people and other industry colleagues through mediums like LinkedIn and Lunch Club. Henny did the same and connected with other entrepreneurs during the quarantine. With this, people can exchange more ideas and strategies to make a powerful comeback in the market.

3. Create a personal brand that sells your skills, not appearance

It is vital to understand that entrepreneurs must look towards creating a personal brand that would give out a more true and clear picture of who they are or what their company

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