Ignite Your Imagination! What’s the Future of Work?

May 3, 2018

This blog is also cross-posted on Medium.

It feels like everywhere you look there is a new headline or statistic about the future of work. We know today’s kindergarteners are the high school graduating class of 2030, but we don’t know what the economy will look like when they receive their diplomas. At NewSchools, we’re working to make sure all students graduate high school prepared to live the lives they want – no matter what the future holds. That’s why our latest ed tech challenge is designed to support entrepreneurs who are creating tools to help students prepare for the future of work.

Today, we’re excited to announce our NewSchools Ignite: Future of Work Challenge winners! Each of the eleven winners is focused on developing technology-enabled learning experiences, instructional content, learning diagnostics, administrative tools and other products to help middle and high school students develop skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the future economy. Together, this group of ed tech organizations has been awarded $1.5 million in funding:  

  • CareerVillage.org allows students to get answers to any question about any career, and more, through the magic of crowdsourcing.
  • Edquity offers the first-of-its-kind college financial matching, planning, FAFSA completion, financial aid award evaluation, and success platform for high school and college students, supporting students through each and every financial decision on the long road to college graduation.
  • Level Up is making online learning more engaging through a virtual reality based learning environment that allows for immersive live instruction to students anywhere, focusing on increasing access to career focused community college classes for adults and high school students.
  • Majorwise is taking career readiness software from the college market to the high school market through their job platform for connecting students with local opportunities.
  • Nearpod is transforming teaching and learning through the combination of award-winning software and content.
  • Nepris is connecting industry and education to bring real world relevance and career exposure to students to help bridge the workforce pipeline gap.
  • NexusEdge is an artificial intelligence driven lifelong career navigation platform that prepares students for the workforce by providing personalized career roadmaps and democratizing access to guidance and opportunities.
  • Spotlight works with schools and educational organizations to turn their data into personalized stories for educators, students, and families.
  • RaiseMe is a provider of microscholarships for students applying to colleges across North America.
  • Strive for College matches low-income students with trained volunteer mentors, who help them successfully navigate the college and financial aid application process.
  • Weird Enough Productions uses superheroes and comic books to teach middle and high school students how to use critical thinking while consuming media in addition to exploring media-centric career pathways.

This ed tech funding challenge was informed by market research with educators and thought leaders, as well as direct conversations with high school students about their experiences transitioning from high school to college and careers. These students are closest to entering the workforce, and their insights about what they need will help us better prepare for the students who will come after them. For a more in-depth look at the results of this research, make sure you check out our report, Navigating a Future No One Can Predict: What Today’s Students Will Need Now for Tomorrow’s Jobs.

We’re excited to see how these companies continue to develop innovative ed tech products to support student success in the economies of tomorrow.