Did you catch the State of the Union the other night? The President raised a few themes related to education. In addition to universal pre-school, we were excited to hear about the mention of P-Tech in Brooklyn and the importance of technology in education.
P-Tech is part of a broader movement in education called Early College High Schools. It is a very interesting experiment. Currently about 200 schools across the country are implementing some version of the associates degree or college credit upon graduation.
We are big fans of a national conversation happening about this movement and of success stories like P-Tech. As an education tech company we are drawn to and interested in the space between amazing learning and amazing technology.
With examples like P-Tech and the Early College High schools we want to emphasize that technology is not a solution by itself. How you use technology is just as important. What P-Tech is doing is very exciting, but what really makes them remarkable is how they integrate technology into coherent teaching and learning. Tech alone is inert. If you buy a laptop for every student in a classroom, and only 40% get used is that a solution? Moreover, how are the laptops being used and how do you evaluate this technology’s effectiveness?
Learning happens everywhere all the time. Even if technology disappeared, even if schools disappeared, learning goes on. The question for us is: how can we build technology that enhances/maximizes the potential for learning? Maximizing learning does not mean reinventing a system or redefining relationships between teachers and students.
New technologies will come and go. The needs of schools are just as diverse as the students who attend them. We are striving to create tools that engage all users, reach beyond being just a solution, and let learning thrive in all environments.