Season 5, Episode 7

Discerning the role of AI in education

Join us for our summer mini-series where we’ll be talking about artificial intelligence (AI): what it is, how it is already being used in education, and how it will continue to transform education in the future. In this kickoff episode, we sat down with Jennifer Carolan, general partner at Reach Capital, to chat about the current state of AI in education technology.
As a former teacher and current leading-edge education technology entrepreneur, Jennifer has so much to share on how, if done correctly, AI will become a partner with educators and a tool for fostering social learning opportunities.

Meet our guest(s):

Jennifer Carolan

Jennifer Carolan is co-founder and general partner at Reach Capital, a venture capital fund that supports entrepreneurs bringing leading-edge technology to education. She started her career as a classroom teacher in Chicago, where she taught for seven years in traditional district schools. She moved to Silicon Valley in 2000 to attend Stanford University and used her teaching experience to support edtech founders at the NewSchools Venture Fund. She co-created and taught the popular course Innovations In Teaching at Stanford University and co-founded her first fund NewSchools Seed Fund in 2011. She co-founded Reach Capital in 2015. Reach is an education technology fund based in San Francisco. They are currently investing in Reach 4— a $215 million fund focused on education technologies designed to improve access to opportunity.

Meet our hosts: Bethany Lockhart Johnson and Dan Meyer

Bethany Lockhart Johnson is an elementary school educator and author. Prior to serving as a multiple-subject teacher, she taught theater and dance, and now loves incorporating movement and creative play into her classroom. Bethany is committed to helping students find joy in discovering their identities as mathematicians. In addition to her role as a full-time classroom teacher, Bethany is a Student Achievement Partners California Core Advocate and is active in national and local mathematics organizations. Bethany is a member of the Illustrative Mathematics Elementary Curriculum Steering Committee and serves as a consultant, creating materials to support families during distance learning.

Dan Meyer taught high school math to students who didn’t like high school math. He has advocated for better math instruction on CNN, Good Morning America, Everyday With Rachel Ray, and He earned his doctorate from Stanford University in math education and is currently the Dean of Research at Desmos, where he explores the future of math, technology, and learning. Dan has worked with teachers internationally and in all 50 United States and was named one of Tech & Learning’s 30 Leaders of the Future.


“The pace of change and the evolution is happening at such a rapid clip that it's hard to say where things are gonna be in five years. That said, I'm a believer that learning is inherently social and that there are these sort of biological realities of us as human beings that technology really isn't gonna change.” —Jennifer Carolan