MarketScale EdTech 02/05/19: Where Does EdTech Fit into the Workplace?


On today’s MarketScale EdTech Podcast Show, we talk to Monica Burns and MarketScale’s own Emily Rector about the use of AR in the classroom and the use of EdTech—including AR—in company training. AR is more than just PokemonGo! It’s the future of education and post-educational training, and it’s motivating venture capitalists to put their money into endeavors that branch out of just the classroom.


Monica Burns, founder of the EdTech blog Class Tech Tips, talks to us today about the use of augmented reality in the classroom and the idea of AR being a concept tool for a Web 3.0 future, dissecting a blog post on her site for context. To those who argue that virtual reality and AR will be a distraction for students rather than a great learning tool, Burns said these are more than just “bright and shiny” toys people are adopting just because they’re new. While she says parents and teachers have a role in questioning and keeping things on track, it’s equally important that they be open-minded enough to see the benefits when they become evident.

Creating 3D models that can be 3D printed is an engaging educational tool that’s evolving alongside AR, mostly because it’s just as important to be able to place those virtual objects into various environments. Burns calls this phenomenon-based learning; she argues that “placing things in our environment” can help with math, “or they might also be looking at things more thematically, or integrated, when they are developing something based on their research of a particular space or time in history. Then they’re visiting that place or finding a simulation of that place and layering that right on top of it with that 3-D modeling.”


Next, we sat down in the MarketScale studio with Emily Rector, director of operations at MarketScale and EdTech contributor, to discuss the growth of education technology in the workspace. Training, in-house regulations, and similar things will be just as transformed by the EdTech industry as our schools. It’s something we see here at our own company; Rector points out how MarketScale encourages its employees to take classes on Udemy to stay up-to-date on skills, as well as to expand their horizons. She said that, on average, 68 percent of employees in the workforce want to learn something at work, not just complete their tasks; Rector explains why it’s important for businesses to provide those opportunities to their employees.

This ripe market for innovation is motivating investors to place their bets on EdTech companies branching into the workplace, and points out, like Dr. Burns, why the use of AR by businesses has so much potential. Rector points to Wal-Mart as a prime example. The company is starting to use AR in its employee training, so “when it’s Black Friday and they’re dealing with crazy amounts of customers and everything, they’re starting to have their employees trained using AR technology, and they’re able to deal with these certain situations where they might have a long line of customers waiting or stocking issues,” Rector said.

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