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Sep 22, 2017

The fifth edition of the ASU GSV Summit Series on The Edtech Podcast. Listen here.

Welcome everyone to this fifth episode from the ASU GSV Summit series on The Edtech Podcast. This week we’re getting into the many-headed beast of educational reform.

Educational reform can mean many things to many people, but essentially focuses on changing public education for the better. For example at the time of recording the interviews for this episode the incoming 11th Educational Secretary in the US, Betsy Devos, was advocating for more choice in school options (an approach rejected by critics for only favouring those who are able to exercise such choice due to economic and social mobility and freedom.)

During her ASU GSV Summit keynote, Devos stated: 

“Our education-delivery method should be as diverse as the kids they serve, instead of our habit of forcing them into a one-size-fits-all model” 
 “Traditional, charter, private, virtual, and other delivery methods not yet developed—would all be treated as viable options as long as they meet the needs of students.”

To a choice audience of educational technology proponents, Devos gave a confident endorsement of edtech - something we are yet to see explicitly from the UK Government - stating:

“I’m pretty confident that we have not yet realized the full range of technology’s power and ability to help students learn’.

She also vowed to cut bureaucracy to unleash these benefits, in other words to:

...'Move the federal government out of the way so you can do your job'

In this episode, we spend time looking at the various efforts of educational reform across the US and how these compare internationally, including focus on literacy, adult education and higher education. How is educational reform co-ordinated across multiple states in the US, how can the tide of adult illiteracy be turned and how can the financial structures of Higher Ed be challenged to increase access? All this and more in our interviews with this week’s guests. You’ll hear from: 

What's in this episode?

Don't forget to also check out the reference links below, for more follow up videos, podcasts and reading on this topic!

Sample Quotes: 

Some programmes, they never sustain, they never catch, because there is no policy basis for their programmes - Lizzette C Gonzalez Reynolds, Vice President of Policy, ExcelinEd 
How do we continue to work with our State leadership? If the policy is going to get in the way, we need to have different conversations - Lizzette C Gonzalez Reynolds, Vice President of Policy, ExcelinEd 
We have a mission of trying to help 11million people who otherwise would not be prepared for knowledge economy jobs -  Heather Hiles, Deputy Director on the Postsecondary Success team, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
There are 36 million Americans that are not at the basic level of reading - Hutton Hinson Higgins | Senior Director, Development & Strategic Alliances Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy


Lizzette Reynolds

Heather Hiles

Hutton Higgins

Like this episode? Check out these related videos and podcasts:

Keynote and Fireside Chat with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos & Jeanne Allen, CEO, The Center for Educational Reform 

American Revolution 2.0 How Education Innovation is Going to Revitalize America and Transform the U.S. Economy - download here.

RoboEd: The Who, What, and Why of Personalized Learning with moderator, Michael Moe, Co-Founder + Partner, GSV Asset Management and panelists, Dr. Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University and Jose Ferreira, Founder + CEO, Knewton 

Thank you to this week's sponsors:

ASU GSV Summit LogoThe ASU GSV Summit annually brings together the most impactful people from diverse constituencies – entrepreneurs, business leaders, K12 and higher ed leaders, policymakers, leading tech companies, and philanthropists – to create partnerships, explore solutions, and shape the future of learning and talent innovation.

Go to:  


Qatar Foundation International (QFI), LLC, is a U.S.-based member of Qatar Foundation (QF). QFI operates as both a grant-making organization, and a convener of thought leaders on issues related to global and international education, open education and education technologies as they intersect with the three core QFI programmatic areas: Arabic language and Arab culture, STE{A}M (STEM plus the Arts), and Youth Engagement. 

Go to:


A quick message from our friends at iClassics Education.

iClassics Education is a new program, based on the award-winning iClassics Immersive Reading App Collection, an Indie Start-Up based in Barcelona. Created by a team of Educators, Developers and Designers, it provides a truly unique and high-quality medium to engage students with literature.

The program includes:

·      An Analytics Platform Enabling Teachers to Monitor Student Progress

·      iClassics Specific Teacher Resources for each App

·      Unlimited Access to the ENTIRE iClassics App Collection

·      Maintenance and Updates

For more information on engaging students with literature and to see what they’re up to, visit You can also sign up for a free account at

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