MOOCs fade to the background, and talk of an ed-tech bubble emerges at the ed-tech summit

summit-ASU-edtechCouldn’t make it to the ASU-GSV Education Innovation Summit this week? Hey, neither could we — but we’ve still got you covered.

Now in its fifth year, the summit brings together some of the biggest names in educational technology. Here are some of the highlights that came out of Scottsdale last week.

Where are the MOOCs?
This year, just one panel specifically focused on massive open online courses (MOOCs), a topic that had been of great interest at the event in recent years.

Non-profit MOOC platform edX was in attendance, however, and announced that it was partnering with CourseTalk to develop a peer review system for edX MOOCs.

(Next page: Are we in an ed-tech bubble?)

Big names
Don Graham, former publisher of the Washington Post, was there, discussing how to help immigrant students go to college. As was retired United States Supreme Court Justice — and first female justice — Sandra Day O’Connor, arguing in favor of affirmative action.

Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida and brother to President George W. Bush, extolled the virtues of school choice, and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings offered up some advice for ed-tech entrepreneurs.

An ed-tech bubble?
The world of educational technology is massive, and keeps getting bigger. The summit itself has grown tremendously in its five years — from a few hundred participants in 2008 to 2,000 participants in 2014.

Ed-tech was a $1.1 billion industry last year. In just the first quarter of 2014, ed-tech start-ups alone raised more than $500 million.

At the summit, Jonathan Harber, Jonathan Grayer and Chris Hoehn-Saric all agreed that there is an ed-tech bubble, and that we’re in it now. At the same time, they said they weren’t sure if the bubble would burst any time soon, and the bubble can actually be a positive thing for now.

“It brings a lot of talent in,” Grayer said.


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