I've got a book idea I've been mulling over: when ed-tech fails. I realize it's not an argument that a tech journalist is supposed to make. I'm supposed to be a proponent, even if a critical one, about the use of technology for teaching and learning. Someone also told me that I needed to pick a more palatable, popular topic if I wanted to write a bestseller: 10 Ways That Technology Will Revolutionize Education, or something I guess.

Regardless: I'm curious about some of the big failures we've witnessed, both historically and recently, even with technologies that were devised with the best intentions, the best theories, by the best engineers, by the best educators, with the support of the best and so on. Failures of pedagogy. Failures of adoption. Failures of design. Failures of administrators, educators, and students. Failures of businesses.

I'll skip the rest of the book pitch here -- mostly because I haven't fleshed the ideas out at all well, even though I've been stewing about the topic for some time now. What's prompted me to raise the issue is news this week that a startup I covered here last year has decided to close its doors.

But for now at least, you can read my thoughts on "When Ed-Tech Startups Fail" over on e-Literate.

Audrey Watters


Hack Education

The History of the Future of Education Technology

Back to Archives