Technology: Putting the Business of Education Out of Business?

Technology is becoming more and more prevalent in schools: One-to-one initiatives, giving a computer or tablet to every student in the school, and potentially replacing textbooks; Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives, allowing the school to protect itself from having to repair, service, or replace expensive technology, as well as absolve itself from potential inappropriate use by students; or Chrome from Home initiatives which allow students to find assignments and complete them from home on days of inclement weather, thereby eliminating snow days and extensions of the school year.

And if the importance of technology wasn’t fully recognized two years ago at this time, it certainly is now, since COVID-19 changed our world, making it necessary to not only work from home (WFH), but learn from home (LFH – although nobody calls it that, since public schools were COMPLETELY unprepared for this turn of unprecedented events).

Schools are now emphasizing the importance of coding, since it will a required skill in the marketplace they’ll be entering.  More about that in an upcoming article.

With all this technology impacting the business of education, along with student management systems, access to attendance records and gradebooks, and single sign-on integration with learning management systems, payment systems, parent alert communication and alumni database maintenance, could individualized learning plans (ILPs, rather than being confused with the current purpose of IEPs) be far behind?

Once that happens, be prepared for big changes.  Technology has changed many traditional industries already:

Publishing industry – changed – Facebook and Social Media have taken the lead with that.  You can even publish your own book today and sell it on the Internet.

Music industry – changed – new talent is now discovered through file sharing.  Some songs which have recently won “Record of the Year” were not really “records,” but recordings that became popular through YouTube and other Internet sites.

Television industry – changed – and still being changed.  Broadcast television disappeared when the VHF spectrum was reallocated for wireless communication.  Now, cable and satellite broadcasting are now being displaced by streaming services. Watch what you want to watch when you want to watch it.

Newspaper industry – changed – with newspapers going out of business, eliminating daily editions and delivering content on the Internet instead.

Transportation industry – changed – with companies like Uber and Lyft.

Education?  Three years ago, it was on the list.  Today, it’s reality.  There is no going back to the way things were before.