When it comes to proving their worth, education technology companies are struggling to put their money where their mouths are.
The $8 billion–plus ed tech industry has ballooned in recent years as tech tools flood K-12 and higher education to adapt classrooms now largely occupied by digital natives. The primary source for federal ed tech funding under the Every Student Succeeds Act is authorized at $1.65 billion. And while investments in the market slowed last year, private dollars continue to drive massive growth and innovation in the sector.
But in an industry that raised more than $1 billion across 138 venture deals last year, there exists an incongruence in evidence to support that explosion of investor and consumer confidence. Also missing is purchaser demand for proof that these innovations work once they make into the classroom. Experts believe, however, that better ed tech research would likely be driven by demand from schools and districts, and not because investors and tech companies seek evidence to grow business.