Edtech Insiders

Edtech Insiders podcast, hosted by Alex Sarlin and Ben Kornell.

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Latest Episodes

Week in Edtech 02/15/2024: Savvas Learning Company Acquires Outlier.org, Duolingo Reigns as Top Language Learning Platform, Google's AI Initiative for Europe, Indian Edtech Investments, and More! Feat. Adeel Khan, MagicSchoolAI & Gary Eimerman, Multiverse

Week in Edtech 02/15/2024: Savvas Learning Company Acquires Outlier.org, Duolingo Reigns as Top Language Learning Platform, Google's AI Initiative for Europe, Indian Edtech Investments, and More! Feat. Adeel Khan, MagicSchoolAI & Gary Eimerman, Multiverse

In this episode of Week in Edtech, Ben and Alex discuss:

1. AI

2. Edtech

3. K-12

4. Higher Ed

5. M&A

  • Google acquires Edlyft 
  • SchoolStatus Announces Acquisition of SchoolNow
  • Quantum5 acquires Trivie / US, Assessments

Special Guests:

BloomTech's Advocacy for Accessible Tech Careers with Mari Nazary

BloomTech's Advocacy for Accessible Tech Careers with Mari Nazary

Mari Nazary is the Chief Experience Officer at Bloom Institute of Technology, formerly known as Lambda School, Mari has dedicated over 15 years to transforming the landscape of online education. She believes in making education a universal key, accessible and effective for all, without the financial burden often associated with higher learning.

Mari's journey in EdTech began with her role at Rosetta Stone, where she developed the company’s first online classroom experience. Her passion for instructional design and product development led her to impactful positions at Education First, Voxy, and DataCamp. In these roles, she spearheaded the expansion of learning products, significantly impacting millions of learners worldwide.

At BloomTech, Mari has been instrumental in redefining the education experience. Her initiatives include building a proprietary platform, reducing the cost per learner, and incorporating an AI tutor, significantly enhancing the learning process and improving outcomes. She oversees critical aspects like product development, data management, instructional design, operations, and customer support, with a focus on results-driven learning experiences that cater to a diverse range of students.

Mari's background as the daughter of Afghan immigrants in Queens, NY, has profoundly influenced her perspective on education. She holds degrees in classics, Spanish, and linguistics and is a fervent advocate for making tech careers accessible to those traditionally underserved by higher education. Living in Washington, D.C., Mari continues to challenge the status quo, ensuring that education paves a direct path to greater opportunities and success.

Recommended Resources:
AI for Education blog
Lenny’s Podcast

Sal Khan: On the Frontlines of EdTech and AI

Sal Khan: On the Frontlines of EdTech and AI

Sal Khan is the founder and CEO of Khan Academy, a nonprofit educational organization that offers free lessons in math, science and humanities, as well as tools for parents, teachers and districts to track student progress. Khan Academy is piloting an AI guide called Khanmigo that is a tutor and teaching assistant.

Sal Khan founded Khan Academy in 2008. Khan Academy is a nonprofit educational organization with 220 employees. In addition to math, they offer free lessons in the sciences and humanities. Outside of the Khanmigo pilot, more than 500 public school districts and schools across the United States partner with Khan Academy (up from nine before the pandemic). Khan Academy is used in more than 190 countries and is available in more than 50 languages. They have more than 160 million registered users worldwide.

Week in Edtech 02/08/2024: OpenAI Partners with Common Sense Media, National Edtech Technology Plan, Senate Blasts Tech CEOs and More! Feat. Sohan Choudhury of Flint, Erin Mote of InnovateEDU and Zac Chase of US DOE

Week in Edtech 02/08/2024: OpenAI Partners with Common Sense Media, National Edtech Technology Plan, Senate Blasts Tech CEOs and More! Feat. Sohan Choudhury of Flint, Erin Mote of InnovateEDU and Zac Chase of US DOE

360Learning's Mission: Championing Upskilling from Within with Nick Hernandez

360Learning's Mission: Championing Upskilling from Within with Nick Hernandez

Nick Hernandez is the CEO and Founder of 360Learning, a leading advisor and investor in the SaaS technology industry, and the author of Collaborative Learning: How to Upskill from Within and Turn L&D into Your Competitive Advantage.

Nick founded 360Learning in 2013 and has since grown the company into a leader in the EdTech sector. In late 2021, Nick and his team secured $200m in funding from Sumeru, SoftBank, and Silverlake for 360Learning to continue their mission of championing upskilling from within through collaborative learning. He is based in Paris, France.

Recommended Resources:

Equipping Tomorrow's Workforce with Lydia Logan on Education and AI at IBM

Equipping Tomorrow's Workforce with Lydia Logan on Education and AI at IBM

Lydia Logan is the Vice President of Global Education and Workforce Development, Corporate Social Responsibility at IBM, where she leads IBM's community and university skilling initiatives that create more inclusive and effective schools and workforces. Her programs help fulfill IBM’s pledges to skill 30 million people worldwide by 2030, and to train two million learners in AI through 2026, particularly those from historically underresourced, underserved, and underrepresented communities.

She also develops and manages strategic global partnerships with IBM's clients, non-profit organizations, government, and content and curriculum developers that relate to education and career readiness.

For this role, she applies her decades of leadership and programmatic expertise in the realms of philanthropy, education, public policy, and economic development. These experiences inform the strategic development and execution of acclaimed global career readiness programs, particularly IBM SkillsBuild.  

Prior to IBM, Lydia successfully spearheaded education initiatives while serving in senior leadership roles at Verizon, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, and Kimsey Foundation.

In addition, she was VP and executive director of the Institute for a Competitive Workforce at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where she led national policy and program initiatives to improve education and workforce development.

Earlier in her career, she led Chiefs for Change, a national membership organization of Chief State School Officers.

Recommended Resources:
IBM SkillsBuild
Principled Instructions Are All You Need for Questioning LLaMA-1/2, GPT-3.5/4 by John Bailey
Tools Competition by Schmidt Futures

Building Apprentice Nation: The Power of Apprenticeships in Education with Ryan Craig

Building Apprentice Nation: The Power of Apprenticeships in Education with Ryan Craig

Ryan Craig is a Managing Director at Achieve Partners and was formerly an MD at University Ventures. Ryan’s commentary on where the puck is going in education and workforce regularly appears in the biweekly Gap Letter, Forbes, and Inside Higher Education. He is the author of the book Apprentice Nation: How the "Earn and Learn" Alternative to Higher Education Will Create a Stronger and Fairer America (2023). He is also author of A New U: Faster + Cheaper Alternatives to College (2018), which describes the critical importance of last-mile training and the emergence of bootcamps, income share programs, staffing and apprenticeship models as preferred pathways to good first digital jobs and was named in the Wall Street Journal as one the Books of the Year for 2018. Ryan’s first book was College Disrupted: The Great Unbundling of Higher Education (2015), which profiles the coming shift toward competency-based education and hiring. Ryan is a co-founder of Apprenticeships for America, a national nonprofit dedicated to scaling apprenticeships across the U.S. economy and is a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute.

Previously, Ryan led the Education & Training sector at Warburg Pincus. His prior experience in higher education was at Columbia University. Ryan also founded and built Wellspring, a national network of boarding schools and summer camps for overweight and obese children, adolescents, and young adults. He began his career at McKinsey & Co.

Ryan received bachelor's degrees summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University, and his law degree from the Yale Law School.

Recommended Resources:
Gap Letter
Apprenticeships for America


Week in Edtech 01/18/2024: Duolingo Sheds Human Workers, Chatbot Teachers, Dying Unicorns and More! With Special Guest, John Rogers of TPG Rise Fund

Week in Edtech 01/18/2024: Duolingo Sheds Human Workers, Chatbot Teachers, Dying Unicorns and More! With Special Guest, John Rogers of TPG Rise Fund

Bio of Edtech Insiders

Edtech Insiders is a dynamic podcast dedicated to exploring the future of education technology. Hosted by Alex Sarlin and Ben Kornell, each episode features insightful interviews with founders, investors, operators, educators, and thought leaders in the tech industry.

Through engaging and thought-provoking conversations, Edtech Insiders provides valuable insights into the latest trends and developments that are shaping the field of education technology. Whether you are interested in learning about innovative solutions that are transforming classrooms or gaining a broader understanding of the global tech landscape, this podcast offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise.

By delving into the minds of industry leaders, Edtech Insiders brings listeners closer to key topics and explores the exciting opportunities that technology brings to education. From discussing emerging technologies to examining the challenges and opportunities in the tech sector, this podcast is a must-listen for anyone passionate about the intersection of technology and education.

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