Ed Tech’s Next Wave Rolls Into View

David Plunkert

Illustration by David Plunkert for The Chronicle

Roger Novak is a Fidelis board member and early investor. He recently wrote an article for The Chronicle of Higher Education, where he detailed an upcoming change in education technology. Describing it as the third wave of ed-tech, Novak envisions a future where companies focus on making online education more tangible and meaningful for everyone:

“While the first two waves [of education technology] helped improve educational delivery and access, it has been well documented that they came with some pedagogical weaknesses.”

“I now believe that a new wave is appearing on the horizon and is going to be even larger and more transformative.”

“If the second wave was about the unbundling of colleges and providing learning as a service, the third wave of companies will be involved in reassembling educational component pieces from various sources to help make students’ learning portfolios more meaningful to both individuals and employers.”

“I think the most successful companies will offer technologies to reach goals like these:

  • Put student achievement and learning outcomes at front and center.
  • Help students develop a personal learning plan and set of goals aligned with their vision for their education and their lives.
  • Provide tools to help students develop relationships with multiple mentors.
  • Develop new kinds of global credentials that can be used to find talented people to fill jobs.”

“Such developments could improve cooperation between colleges and the business sector by closing gaps in education skills and encouraging new partnerships.”

“An early-stage company that has embraced many of these traits is Fidelis, which provides a platform that allows students to manage learning relationships with their college, mentors, and others.”

“As a gray-haired ed-tech investor, I can only say I wish I were 20 years younger. Because from where I sit today, the future looks extraordinarily exciting.”

Excerpts from article by Roger Novak for The Chronicle of Higher Education

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