Testive CEO Asks If We’re in an EdTech Bubble

Miro Kazakoff, CEO of Testive, an edtech company focused on adaptive technologies and personalized learning, posted on Xconomy today. He declared that “it’s bubble time in education technology” as more investments flow into the space. Kazakoff cautions that few fortunes have been made in edtech and cautions about growing hype. He laid out what he sees as both traps and opportunities in the industry.

Traps included:

  • Selling tech to school districts – it takes too long and is difficult to scale, plus it is hard to experiment and make tweaks
  • Selling complex software to school districts – (self-explanatory)
  • Selling to consumers
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    without being able to prove measurable outcomes – if students are going to shell out money for a learning experience, you need to be able to show that it is effective

Opportunities included:

  • Selling districts improved versions of tech they already buy – he listed BloomBoard, Matchbox, and EverTrue as startups doing just that
  • Targeting students and teachers first – get into districts by getting teachers and students to test new tools and adopt new tech first – he cites Edmodo, Quizlet, and Socrative as clever startups taking this approach
  • Selling simpler software that only requires a single buyer – avoid complex software!
  • Sell direct to consumers if you can prove clear outcomes – people will pay for edtech tools and software if there are measurable outcomes; he notes test prep is a perfect example of being able to see the benefits of money spent