Education is undergoing a startling revolution: Lets support it!

Education is undergoing an incredible and exciting transformation, but I can’t help but wonder if the “experts” can’t see the forest for the trees. We are continuing to see roiling debates from the likes of my colleagues such as Vivek Wadhwa and Peter Thiel over whether kids should go to college or not, administrations battling technologists over whether they need to flip the classroom, and politicians forcing us to pick sides as if there were only two options – all the while missing the extraordinary revolution taking place around us.
The education industry seems to be tracking similarly to every early stage tech industry or product with big potential – innovators are coming up with new products (check out Khan Academy, Udacity, or EdX), early adopters and investors (like Learn Capital, Apollo Group, Kapor Capital, and Education Growth Partners) enthusiastically take the initial risk, only some survive (rightfully so), and the good ones go mainstream or even viral.
Unfortunately, education is a uniquely complicated industry. Not only is there a long history of strife about spending, infrastructure, politics, (not to mention the pressures from a depressed economy), and the expectation that education is a universal right, but we also fashion ourselves as experts (don’t you?) on either what works or what doesn’t work.  This creates a risky and challenging environment for innovators to dive into – not the “safe to fail” environment required for creativity and experimentation. Regardless of these challenges, entrepreneurs, educators, and students cannot resist the advantages that technology brings to the table, and thus technology is finally starting to bring about the transformation in education that we have all long hoped for.
If we want to hasten the transformation of education, we should not only acknowledge that we are in the awkward early growth stage but fully embrace it. We should be trying out every new concept and technology and helping education innovators evolve and iterate their products quickly.
And today, there are a lot of really cool new things to watch, try, and support. Here are four areas of technology that I fine particularly exciting: