Reposted from Forbes:
There’s a lot of discussion about education technology these days. What’s often missing from the discourse is the most important goal of public education: outcomes. Whether one cares most about social mobility that drives economic competitiveness; serving special needs and gifted students; improving infrastructure; or closing the achievement gap, the only metric we should use to evaluate the role of technology in public education is the success of our students.
Of course, technology isn’t a silver bullet, but it has central role to play in improving outcomes—and identifying the right role for education technology isn’t the role of the private sector, alone. We need to put politics and perception aside, and encourage more teachers to lock arms with entrepreneurs to help ensure that educators’ voices are heard as entrepreneurs build tools to support great teaching and learning. Educators can help education companies better understand their needs, and craft solutions to address real-world challenges and opportunities. Technologists and investors can help educators see persistent problems differently, and work collaboratively toward solutions. We need patient investors that take the time to understand the market, and are willing to spend time—and money—on research that tests the efficacy of their products.
Schools of education can also play a critical role. They are preparing the next generation of educators—and have a responsibility that extends beyond the university and into the classroom. Leading education school deans are now collaborating to transform the way we prepare educators. Earlier this spring, we helped launch a unique ed tech accelerator with the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, in order to bring educators together with entrepreneurs, investors with academics to cultivate a more collaborative, outcome-focused discussion about education technology.