The “ed market” is a term people pass around in business mostly to talk about a career death sentence. The education market is slow, the budgets are ridiculously small, and the salespeople have to be in it for the love of learning because they are giving up a lot of money they could earn in the non-ed market.
But now ed tech is hot. It’s hip to do ed tech. Part of that is because Generation Y is so hooked on the idea that work must have meaning, so it’s more likely that a top-performer will go to the ed market today. But also, parents are spending way more money on education than ever before.
Will Richardson points out that McGraw Hill’s new electronic textbooks are marketed to parents more than schools. And Lisa Nielsen points out that Apple doesn’t care about school sales because their NYC Apple store sells more in an hour than they do all year to NYC public schools.
Meanwhile, the homeschool market is becoming more interesting. The number of homeschool parents is growing, they have money (most new homeschoolers are middle class), and there is no need to pretend that teachers need to teach once you are homeschooling, so then it’s fine to spend money on tech for self-directed learning.
I get excited when I see trends like this. Someone once told me that revolutionaries are not revolutionaries because they want to be different. They are revolutionaires because they see no other choice. That is how I feel about homeschooling, and every time I see signs that it’s getting more mainstream, I get happy. I like the feeling of fitting in.