“Revolutionary.” “Disruptive.” These terms are used with such frequency that they may have lost much of their meaning. That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of products and services that are innovative, and plenty of systems, plenty of organizations that are ripe for disruption or “revolution.” Take education, for example. Our modern education system is, after all, not so modern, with many of its practices strongly rooted in a “factory” model circa the Industrial Revolution. But what does revolutionizing education really look like? And which startups working in education technology are really “disruptive”?
A recent thread on Quora bypasses the “revolutionary” and “disruptive” adjectives, asking instead “What are some interesting startups in the education space?” But a recent blog post at The Teaching Master does invoke these adjective, listing the “Top 25 Web Startups Revolutionizing Teaching.” Neither the Quora nor the Teaching Master post offer metrics. There’s no indication of what makes a “top” startup or what constitutes “interesting,” let alone “revolutionary” work in the ed-tech space.