Ventures in Learning Technology
ETEC 522 was a stimulating experimental course in educational ventures taught by an educator/anthropologist and a CEO/scientist/venture capitalist. Online bootcamps provided the skills necessary to assume various venture-related roles where each student posed as education venture analyst (EVA), innovator/entrepreneur, emerging market analyst, and even that of the venture capitalist–voting on pitches for investment. Trying on these various roles revealed the complexities involved in the creation of successful educational ventures.
Linking EdTech + Design Through Evaluation
Learning technology and venture analysis aligns most closely with the evaluation phase of the design process. This is where ideas and prototypes are examined to determine the best candidate for investment. Investment could mean the investment of time and resources toward the development of a worthwhile project or proposal, or for investment in the venture itself.
An important note: evaluation actually takes place at many different junctures throughout the EdTech or design process but at this point, careful evaluation is critical to the success of a project or undertaking. The design process itself is never linear or adhering neatly to any cycle, rather a designer or education technologist may bounce between nodes and cycle through the process many times before project completion. It is helpful to represent the process as linear simply for comparative purposes.
The most useful takeaway from ETEC 522 was the development of a highly critical eye for venture conception and analysis. The ability to apply different lenses for evaluation based on different phases of a venture can make or break a successful idea. There are many complex forces at play that an entrepreneur must mediate to ensure actions in the market are effective, critically timed, and supported at every turn. This requires the development of skill, savvy, acumen, and initiative fostered through relevant practice.