The Alternative EdTech Job…Rapidly Growing Industry!
While districts and school continue to hand out pink slips due to budget cuts, a rapidly growing industry is providing an alternative path for education technologists. It is well established that 21st century learning is ubiquitously tied to digital and information communication technologies. And the specialists that are leading the next generation of learning are the education specialists with focus on technology integration. This niche of experts are coaching, facilitating, and modeling what it means to use technology in a 21st century learning environment. Although this specialty has been around for decades, the industry that is supporting this methodology is exploding in areas of professional development, product development, and systems integration.
According to Christensen’s book Disrupting Class, “about 80 percent of courses taken in 2024 will have been taught online in a student-centric way.” This is in reference to secondary schools in the United States. Moreover, schools are moving in directions of 1:1 and teachers are exponentially moving towards technology solutions to support their curriculum. Some schools are investing heavily in hardware and personnel, while other schools are figuring their budget to support these critical initiatives. For educational technologists, the jobs are burgeoning in many avenues and teaching is not just the ONLY option anymore.
I have always said that the next big industry will be education. With the growing need of more tools to support the new paradigm in learning, companies are scrambling to produce solutions for the next generation educational program. Companies are looking in many curriculum and infrastructure needs to capture dominance in this evolving sector. Here are few sectors that are quickly developing products for schools and examples of solutions:
- Online Curriculum – Aleks, Adaptive Curriculum, Achieve 3000
- Web-based Learning tied to Traditional Curriculum – Pearson, McGraw-Hill
- Single-Sign Solutions – EduTone, MyOneLogin
- Data Assessment Management Systems – Illuminate, Data Director
- Student Information Systems – Genesis, PowerSchool
- Learning Management Systems – BrainHoney, Angel, Desire2Learn
- Content Management Systems – Moodle, Drupal
- Web 2.0 Tools – Edmodo, VoiceThread
- Human Resources Information Systems – Helios
- Game-based Learning Tools – Gamestar Mechanic
- Interactive Technologies – SMARTBoards, Promethean
- Mobile Technologies – iPads, Xoom
- Security and Cybersafety – LightSpeed Systems
- Audio Visual Systems – Calypso, Cisco Unified Messaging
- Communication, Collaboration & Document Management – Google Apps, Microsoft Live 365
In all these various technology sectors, there is a growing need for technical specialists with background in education. Ideally, it would be edtech specialists who have taught in the classroom before, and have facilitated professional development for teachers. Yes, it will require a new skill set of business marketing, salesmanship, and technical support, but it is a viable option for our teachers looking for an alternate path from working in schools. If these companies were strategic, I would hire edtech specialists as the field people representing the products. Time to get your resumes in order…