Next Generation of EdTech

Time for a 3rd Generation of EdTech

EdTech’s impact on student growth has been microscopic to this moment. This sad fact is the logical, inevitable consequence of edtech’s current limitations. Just over the horizon, however, a new generation (Gen 3) of edtech, embodied by Amira, promises to finally deliver game-changing student growth.

Generation 3 edtech will climb a ladder of 6 critical capabilities, each step on that evolution enabling a more engaging and efficacious student experience. The central idea behind next-gen edtech is to give teachers capable “assistants” able to tutor students 1:1.

Just as doctors have lab technicians and traders have quants, Gen3 apps will support educators in ways never before possible. This “co-instruction” partnership between smart tech and empathetic teachers will turbo-charge student growth and achievement.

Voice Enabled

The classroom is a conversation. To be part of that conversation, Edtech must have ears and voice. Amira is the first software that is able to listen to students read out loud, assess their mastery, and deliver personalized coaching.


A student misreads a word – how do we know how to help?

This is the moment of truth in the instructional process. Great teachers have through long experience and sharpened intuition tremendous feel for the “root cause.” Their chief ability lies not in knowing that the student needs help but in understanding why the student is struggling. That knowledge of the “why” is what makes them teachers.

The AI revolution we are experiencing in our lives is driven by machine learning (ML). For edtech, the promise of Machine Learning is that software will be able to use evidence to make instructional decisions, employing a small fraction of the skill that teachers rely on.

Machine Learning is about accumulating massive quantities of data associated with a decision, and then using that accumulated evidence to make good decisions going forward. Give an ML algorithm mountains of data about tumors, along with expert judgment about which are malignant, and the Machine Learning process will figure out what evidence distinguishes the malign from the benign.


Virtual Reality immerses students into 3- dimensional digital worlds. While no new technology ever reveals its full power & potential until mature, AR/VR will be one of those innovations, like online maps, Google search, twitter, iPhones, eCommerce, and Instagram, that changes daily life.

Already, Virtual Reality is re-inventing what’s possible in the classroom. Labster enables students to work in a virtual lab, running experiments that would be expensive and potentially unsafe in yesterday’s lab room. Even better, Labster enables a near infinity of experiences, many of which could never be delivered in a physical school.

Gen3 Edtech will rely on virtual reality to fight the artificiality of classroom learning. Students will put the senses of touch, sight & hearing to work, navigate through fully spatial environments, and interact with virtual “friends”. Freed from the constraints of distance and physical danger, students will forge bonds around the world, interact with ecologies across every continent, build anything and everything. 

Amira is putting the power of immersion to work now. Students become the central character in the 3D story, reading their part to drive the narrative. And, as they read, Amira tutors. Watch this clip of Amira Animal Rescue to see VR.


Today’s edtech learns at a snail’s pace. Reinforcement Learning (RL) is a new branch of AI that enables software to improve all the time, learning from every interaction. Reinforcement Learning powers Google Go, the app that defeated the best human players. RL is the intelligence in self-driving cars. Reinforcement Learning will be the engine inside Intelligent Instruction, ushering in genuine personalization while making edtech far easier to use. 

Amira learns with every word a student reads and turns this learning into a continual flow of diagnostic insight for teachers. At any time, teachers can dial up a Personalized Learning Plan for each student driven by specific observations of student struggle.


GPT is the most revolutionary technology of our lifetime.  Now, edtech can dialogue with infinite richness, flexibility and in almost any “voice.” The path is now open to Intelligent Tutors that genuinely converse with students. Conversation is coming to Amira soon.

Do You Believe Every Child
Deserves to Become a Reader?

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