Education was already on its way to a new normal before the coronavirus was around. Technology made sure of that. Before School 2020, virtual learning was en vogue at all levels. Of course, the pandemic accelerated the changes already in place and that came with a lot of growing pains for students, for families, for educators and for the companies that build the things that make learning in the modern era possible.

So much of what we have learned in 2020 is likely to stick around, including new teaching methods and new technologies for delivering them. The challenges aren’t going anywhere either. That’s why they call it a new normal.

The new normal, aka School 2020, is precisely where Christiaan’s guests on this edition are doing business.


Bryan MacDonald is CEO of SchoolMint, an education technology company that makes products to help schools attract, enroll, and retain students.

Schoolmint's Bryan McDonald

Schoolmint’s Bryan McDonald

SchoolMint was born on the West Coast in 2013 with help from the renowned startup school and investment channel, Y Combinator. SchoolMint left Silicon Valley for Silicon Bayou in 2019, moving its headquarters to Lafayette after acquiring another EdTech firm founded here. SchoolMint products are in 19,000 schools across the country.

After School 2020

After-school programming is also going through a sea-change these days. Allison Brandon, founder of Wonderland Performing Arts, can attest to that.

Wonderland's Allison Brandon

Wonderland’s Allison Brandon

Wonderland’s bread and butter is classes in the arts, with a specialty in stagecraft. Recently, Wonderland has switched to virtual programming — connecting kids and parents with top flight talent over video platforms. In 2020, Wonderland got into the learning pod business. They offer proctored spaces for kids to do their virtual learning at regular school during the week with the added value of arts programming.

Photos by Jill Lafleur. Here’s more conversation about Acadiana education BC 2020 and about extra-school arts education BC 2020.

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