What do you like about your role?
I love working at the intersection of learning science, product development, educational systems at scale and computer science. I have always been fascinated by how humans learn. When I was still in medical school, I began doing research in cognition and education, which brought me into cross-disciplinary work that blends soft and hard sciences. While still a physician at heart, I have been able to make a positive impact on millions of learners’ lives.
Share three predictions on the future of Edtech.
1. There will be more focus on human content curation technology. Basic content will be increasingly automated, while the most valuable content targeting harder and more complex learning objectives will get more and more advanced.
2. Edtech will have to be based on science and data, and prove its value to become successful.
3. Adaptive and personalized technologies will become radically better with specialized, domain specific tools, including simulations, intelligent feedback tools and next generation analytics.
What technologies do you believe have the potential to transform the education industry?
Adaptive learning is currently the best approach for radically redistributing resources away from the existing overemphasis on facts and lower levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Despite massive investments from a number of the large learning companies, adaptive learning is just getting started.
I also believe that we will see a wave of technologies that will make it easier and more powerful to be a teacher in this new world in which educational technology will play a significantly bigger role.
As we are celebrating out 5th anniversary of EdTechXEurope, we are looking at the key trends over the past 5 years in edtech. What would you say have been the key areas of change that are impacting edtech today? Anything unexpected that surprised you? Trends that were overhyped and never met their expected potential?
I have been surprised by how long it has taken for edtech to become evidence based. We have moved from one generation of promises to the next. We’ve seen a range of wild predictions—that everything will be based on learning styles, that massive online open courses (MOOCs) will take over the world and that gaming is the answer to everything.
Why is it important for all players in the edtech ecosystem to continuously connect, network and learn from each other?
It is vital for the ecosystem to mature. The healthcare world is in many ways ahead of education – particularly in terms of being evidence based. This change in health care is very much the result of an ecosystem maturing over the years, as well as an eminent need to govern the interactions between multibillion-dollar industries in health care. The example of what happened in the health care ecosystem can inform what needs to occur in education.
When you think about joining EdTechXEurope this year, what are you looking forward to? What makes you excited about our event in London?
EdTechXEurope brings together thought leaders from all over the world, and I personally look forward to seeing existing friends and colleagues as well as hopefully meeting new ones.
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