The future of education is not plexiglass: Investing in the right #edtech

Working in education and other knowledge sectors during the COVID19 epidemic makes it certain: The future is not plexiglass-ensconced desks, classrooms and work spaces supported by massive investments in car parking and travel. The future means more self-directed and distributed work and study, indoors and out.

It can be understood as simply an acceleration of trends and a result of broad access to frugal educational technology (#edtech) –- resources cheaper and more attractive than sneeze shields. Today, start-ups such as Outlier offer high quality online undergraduate courses at prices competing with the most affordable US colleges. Additionally, new online professional certification approaches look to bypass traditional degree structures altogether.

It’s no surprise that new online classes and resources have waiting lists, appealing to students and workers who have accepted if not embraced changes. As a new report from Brookings makes clear, now is the time to re-think formal education entirely and move beyond modified “chalk-and-talk” (or PowerPoint ranger) approaches.

We are in a golden age of discount-to-free, anywhere-delivered workshops, books, videos, lectures, podcasts, tests, quizzes, puzzles, spoken exams, recitals, exercise regimes, presentations and panels. In the US, a decent annual data plan ($600?), sturdy laptop ($300), smart-enough phone ($90), discount tablet ($40), headphones with a mic ($30), yoga mat ($20) and online library cards are some of the minor investments needed for a world-class education or life of learning and betterment.

Beyond being a time to make small and hopefully longer-term investments in personal #edtech or “life tech,” it’s a moment to consider putting more financial skin in the game via direct – if just micro – investments. I’m new to the markets, but trends and innovative financial tools and knowledge-sharing have me considering buying into the following stocks (simply for information; not financial advising):


– Cisco (CSCO)
– HP (HPE)
– Microsoft (MSFT)
– Pearson (PSE)

Non-dividend yielding:

-Amazon (AMZN)
-Logitech (LOG)
-Peleton (PTON)
-Workday (WDAY)

I’m also keeping an eye on the following private #edtech companies and organizations:

EdX (non-profit)
Teachers Pay Teachers

Let me know what I’m missing in the #edtech space!

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