The biggest lessons I’ve learned from helping dozens of online learning platforms scale their impact

I’ve helped lead market expansions for ed-tech start-ups across North America for the past seven years. In that time I’ve seen as many new promising companies entering the market over this period as are days in the year. I’ve been involved in every aspect of growth strategy from helping start-ups find product-market fit to building new partnerships to expand their reach.

No matter which company I’m working with, I’ve noticed a few common themes emerging, that I hope by sharing, could help other ed-tech founders move up the learning curve more quickly.

Treat every district, school, and teacher like they are unique

Location and demographics only tell a small part…

These films will give you hope that people can change and the world can be healed

If you find yourself feeling down, uninspired, bored, or even downright pessimistic about the future of our world (who could blame you in these times!), I believe watching any of the ten documentaries below can help you feel more optimistic about humanity and hopeful for the planet!

1. Accidental Courtesy

I think about this award winning documentary allllll the time. It is about an accomplished black musician who has dedicated years of his life to befriending members of the Ku Klux Klan. …

Must-see documentaries if you enjoy experiencing some extreme emotions

I am not one to shy away from films or documentaries that are going to make me feel something. In fact, I love when movies, no matter the genre, take me on an emotional rollercoaster. The scarier, sadder, weirder, or sicker, the better.

Of all the documentaries I’ve ever seen (and I like to think I’ve seen far more than the average person), these were by far the ones that affected me the most on an emotional level.

The Act of Killing

Probably my all time favourite documentary. This is the only documentary I’ve ever watched that made me feel like throwing up my…

Practical advice for anyone looking to work in the education technology industry

Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit and schools and universities around the world were forced to close overnight, all eyes have been on the growing education technology industry. The latest estimates value the U.S. K-12 ed-tech sector alone at $35.8b in 2020.

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Whether it’s because of an unfortunate and unplanned pandemic-related job loss, increased media attention on the industry, or experiencing first-hand the challenge of teaching or learning remotely, there is a growing interest in working for and/or investing in an impactful ed-tech company.

I’ve spoken with at least a dozen people recently (some current teachers, some working in the non-profit…

A how-to guide for anyone interested growing an online education company

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Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

Thanks in part to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the global education technology industry is on track to be valued at nearly $350 billion USD by 2025. It’s no wonder that droves of investors and entrepreneurs are rushing to take advantage of the surging demand for tools and resources to support online learning.

Unfortunately, the education market is notoriously tricky to navigate, and I regularly encounter aspiring ed-tech entrepreneurs, investors, and employees who don’t fully understand the challenges of this space. …

We become what we do, but sometimes what we do makes us sick.

We all have a chameleon in us.
We all have a chameleon in us.
Photo by Amy Humphries on Unsplash

When I left my last job, after five years of letting it control me (but also accepting that tradeoff because it came with financial security), I could not wait to reclaim my time. I was craving control over my calendar the way I crave being outside on a warm sunny day. I expected that it would feel good to be “free”, but I couldn’t have predicted the changes that would happen to the way I thought and acted.

One rainy day with nothing else to do with my newfound freedom, I opened my laptop and started writing. It felt good…

By looking for ways to help, not to make money, you will end up doing both.

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Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

In the last few months, I’ve connected with so many friends, former colleagues, and strangers who are dissatisfied in their full-time jobs. Whether they’re working too many hours, underpaid, undervalued or just looking for something new, they often come to me for advice on how to translate their experience into a career as a freelance consultant.

I love being a freelance consultant — I have more control over my schedule, I get to choose the clients I work with, and best of all, I can stay out of any workplace politics or bureaucracy. I never would have believed I could…

Make your career transition less scary and more enjoyable with these five best practices

At the start of this pandemic, I noticed most people fell into two camps — they either suddenly found themselves with extra time on their hands, or they were busier than ever. I fell into the former camp, and I felt compelled to help those in the latter. …

There’s no one path to fulfillment

fork in the road
fork in the road
Photo Source: ItProToday

I recently wrote about why I value change and how that led me to quit my dream job. It may not come as a surprise then that I didn’t just settle on a single career change. Instead, I tried twelve careers over the last twelve months.

I tested a wide variety of careers that I had very little to no experience in: start-up consulting, writing, documentary filmmaking, and producing online courses, among others. Some experiments carried on for months, some I dropped almost as quickly as I started. A few had a real learning curve, but most I could start…

Working in tech was lucrative, but it narrowed my perspective.

Stranded Ship
Stranded Ship

I didn’t stumble upon my dream job by accident. After a few years in the non-profit world, I was tired of feeling like no matter how many people we helped, more people were just streaming in the door behind them. I wanted to get more at the root of the issues I was seeing. And, like a typical millennial, I was ambitious, idealistic, and impatient — I wanted to reach as many people as possible as quickly as possible. There was no better way to do this than to be in the “education technology” space.

I went to business school…

Jen Dyck-Sprout

Brooklyn based Start-Up Advisor, Impact Investor, Filmmaker, Writer, and Leadership Coach. I focus my time on the future of learning and the future of work.

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