How 3 Leaders Are Diversifying EdTech and Inspiring Lifelong Learning

by Guest Author on December 5, 2018

in Guest Posts

The EdTech scene is loaded with leaders from a variety of backgrounds: teachers, administrators, founders, executives, engineers, scientists, writers, artists, and more. Still, there’s room for more inclusion, more diversity, and less disparity.

Let’s look at a few inspirational leaders who have made it their purpose to advocate for endless learning in every area of life.

1) Reshma Saujani of Girls Who Code

Reshma Saujani’s company, Girls Who Code, is “building the largest pipeline of future female engineers in the United States.” Having reached almost 100,000 girls in total, the non-profit is on a mission to close the gender gap in tech with free computer-science education.

In addition to teaching and sharpening technical skills, Girls Who Code also aims to help girls be more brave. Here’s Saujani on why bravery is the company’s number one organizational value, in an interview with Quartz:

“We need to start focusing on bravery over perfection. We’re raising our girls to be perfect, and we’re raising our boys to be brave. Most girls are taught to avoid failure and risk…The bravery deficit is the reason why women are underrepresented in STEM, in C-suites, in boardrooms, in Congress, and pretty much everywhere else you look.”

A founder, former attorney, and former politician, the role that doesn’t seem to change for Saujani is that of a constant learner. As someone who’s still learning to code, her advice to herself and others is: “It’s never too late to pick a skill that you didn’t think you could do.”

2) Filippo Yacob of Primo Toys

Designer and entrepreneur Filippo Yacob is the founder behind the most funded, EdTech Kickstarter products ever – a total of $2.4 million in 100 countries around the world. Their flagship toy Cubetto is a wooden robot that teaches kids between the age of 3 and 6 how to code. That’s right, kids learn to program without computers or smartphones.

Even technophobe parents can appreciate the genius of the product: we can prepare our kids for a techno-centric future while reducing the risk of catching screen addiction at an early age. From Forbes Magazine:

“[Cubetto] units can be found in homes, schools, nurseries, coding programs, and STEM classes worldwide. Programming in early learning is a global issue, and by making the play-set language and culture-neutral, they have managed to find an instant solution for parents and educators all around the world. Cubetto is now an early learning and coding standard in more than 100 countries and counting.”

3) Mandela Schumacher-Hodge Dixon of Founder Gym

Also an educator and an athlete, Mandela Schumacher-Hodge Dixon is now the CEO of a company called Founder Gym, which is an online training center that helps underrepresented entrepreneurs start their own businesses.

They take the best principles in education, business, and sports psychology, and incorporate them into training for minority entrepreneurs. All of this helps entrepreneurs get better at building startups, networking, and raising funds.

In an interview with Forbes, Dixon explains the importance of lifelong learning:

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie just starting out, or if you’re Mark Zuckerberg who’s been in the game 10+ years, all founders will forever be in the process of figuring it out. Why? Because technologies change, markets change, people change – there’s no perfect formula to building the perfect business in a world that’s constantly changing. Once you realize that, you stop putting so much pressure on yourself to be perfect, and you can adopt a more ‘childlike’ mindset, imagining you’re going on a grand adventure to figure out the answer to a problem that excites you.”

There is something to be learned from each of these EdTech leaders and advocates of lifelong learning. Who inspires you to dive into the world of technology? Let us know in a comment below.

Guest article written by: Raj Shah is a manager at TakeLessons Live, an EdTech company that champions lifelong learning by offering live, online classes in several popular subjects.

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