Pandemic-Induced Shifts in Education

The pandemic forced the world to conduct the biggest experiment with online education ever. And what we’ve learned will fundamentally shape the future of teaching and learning,” observes Tony Wan, head of investor content at Reach Capital, an education-focused venture capital and private equity firm that partners with and supports dozens of edtech companies.

Out of necessity, schools adopted online tools at unprecedented levels. But this will be the new reality, now that more educators, students and parents got a taste of how technology can empower and scale the best of human teaching and learning. It will allow schools to extend their village of support beyond the resources available in their communities,” writes Wan. “This is our data-informed overview of the trends shaping U.S. K-12 and higher education beyond the pandemic.” 

The firm is sharing a 54-slide deck on K-12 and Higher Education trends. “The pandemic has caused major shifts in education; some were already underway while [others] are new,” adds Jennifer Carolan, co-founder and partner at Reach Capital.

Notable numbers and highlights from the report, according to Carolan: 

– 26M devices where shipped into US K12 last year (our public school system has 52M students)
– As difficult as it was, schools developed the muscle to teach online. Many districts have continued online learning via a) virtual academies b) online days built into schedule c) ability to toggle between online and in-person for other needs (air quality/snow day)
– US public schools saw 1M students dis-enroll from public school system (we don’t yet have numbers for this school year)
– Sadly, the pandemic caused a crisis of mental health amongst our kids. 46% of parents say their kids mental health was impacted and 26% sought help
– Teachers suffered greatly too – they were overwhelmed, trying to take care of their own families and their jobs became incredibly difficult. Many left the profession.
– There are bright spots. Teachers became more comfortable with tech and the edtech sector exploded with innovation born out of necessity and increased VC dollars.
– Students found new ways to engage online – they participated in online investing like never before, joined online study groups and increased their utilization of apps like discord.
– Not surprisingly, kids doubled their screen time last year

“A lot more data here, but these changes are significant and we believe will have deep and lasting impacts on education,” says Carolan. For a look at the deck and to share your feedback go to this page on LinkedIn


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