Sources of Education Innovation
This brings me to another myth - a rather obvious point in context - that Educators don't innovate. There is this stereotype of a bureaucrat when we think of a teacher. Some people will insist that educators don't want to change because they refused to buy into half-baked IT solutions or Online Assessment methods designed by someone who never ever stepped inside a classroom to teach, or because they advocated caution against schemes designed to turn students into lab-rats. But the teachers' insistence that education is a high-stake, human enterprise, has nothing in common with the bureaucrats' insistence on stability: One thing a teacher can never ever be is faceless. The risk-avoidance of a bureaucrat is utterly different from the care of a teacher. In fact, good teachers always know that education is about risk, as they inspire and motivate, push someone to their limits and challenge the learners to do more. For educators, the procedural limits are almost always the minimum, whereas the bureaucrats live their entire lives in holes of procedures.
And, finally, there is this pointless objection about scalability: That the innovations Educators do are too personal, not scalable. The point perhaps need repeating: Education is a personal enterprise. Education is not, as John Ruskin would say, about buckets to be filled - but rather about fires to be lit! If that very essence of education does not fit someone's business model, then the business model is wrong. But that does not mean innovation can not and does not happen.
Therefore, here is my unified theory of Education Innovation: We must engage with Educators' practise to find the new possibilities in Education. All meaningful innovation in Education will be practise-based and locally rooted, and will not be imposed top-down. Ed-Tech's noise will change very little, but technology, employed and tailored to purpose by educators, would indeed create new possibilities in the classroom. And, for investors, particularly after the current private valuation bubble bursts, the task will be to find educators who are changing the education, with vision, passion and commitment, even if they are older and even if they don't want to disrupt - only educate better!