Audrey Watters writes here about the promises and realities of EdTech.

Why the boom in education technology? Is it the pursuit of the total transformation of schooling? Is it marketing, competition and the pursuit of profits? Is it an effort to cut costs by replacing humans with machines?

Watters writes:

OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS, more than $13 billion in venture capital has been sunk into education technology startups. But in spite of all the money and political capital pouring into the sprawling ed-tech sector, there’s precious little evidence suggesting that its trademark innovations have done anything to improve teaching and learning.

Perhaps, though, that’s never really been the point. Rather, it may be that all the interest in education technology has been an extension of a long-running campaign to make over American schools into the image of corporate endeavor—to transform education into a marketplace for buzzword-friendly apps and instruction plans, while steadily privatizing public institutions of learning for the sake of enhancing the bottom lines of the business interests promoting investment-friendly school “reforms.”