Giving Compass' Take:

• School system redesign is currently happening in silos, where architects design the buildings, teachers create the curriculum, and principals produce the master schedule. With investment from edtech, a holistic blueprint of school redesign might be achievable. 

• Technology could help streamline the process of creating a collaborative plan for redesign with the help of data sharing tools. How can donors think more about education investment in edtech that helps educators collaborate on long-term planning?

• Read more about prioritizing transforming in education. 

There are over 132,000 school communities in the United States. Many have some innovative programs at their edges, but few have redesigned the core of school in a meaningful sense, or in ways that meet the needs of diverse learners, equity and a radically shifting economy. Meanwhile, billions of dollars have been spent on edtech by these same school communities. By and large, these investments have only served to reinforce the status quo. But there may be an alternative.

Today’s edtech market is radically fragmented. Purchasing decisions happen at all levels from districts to schools to individual classrooms to parents. All of these consumers frequently purchase solutions that address a specific need, and then other solutions that address other needs.

It’s as if you’re furnishing your house one piece at a time with no thought to how they fit together. And edtech companies cater to this fragmentation in their product design and marketing. By targeting individual teachers as their primary customers, they encourage further fragmentation at the school site level—as if each person living in a house were tasked to decorate one room in whatever style they wished.

To answer those questions, we first need to understand where the root cause of fragmentation lies: in the core design of school itself. After all, before we furnish the house, we need to design its structure and build it.

Read the full article about how edtech can help build a blueprint for K-12 design by Anirban Bhattacharyya and Sujata Bhatt at EdSurge.