Measuring What Matters: Thoughts on a lifetime affair with learning

Measuring What Matters: Thoughts on a lifetime affair with learning

By Eric Goldreyer, CEO of bulb Digital Portfolios

Learning is a lifetime affair. Take it from me–I’ve started and grown enough businesses in the past 25 years to know the most fulfilling endeavors in life are the ones that fuel your curiosity and stump you just enough to keep you learning the next new thing.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning.” No matter your past, your context, your age, your dreams, your zip code, innovation and learning is life.

Take the Internet, for example. Would you even recognize the world without it?

Today’s 24-hour news feeds deliver up-to-the-minute headlines on our mobile devices. We no longer wait for the 6 o’clock news or the morning paper.

Online shopping and next-day delivery services have changed retail business. Ever think about sending a fax? How we communicate and conduct business has been revolutionized.

The Internet has transformed nearly every area of life, except for the second largest industry in the world: education.

Why are we still giving kids a piece of paper with a gold foil seal and their name written in beautiful calligraphy when they graduate? How does this help them find the right college or land the right job? It certainly doesn’t offer details about their strengths and passions.

It’s time to disrupt education and build a more progressive path — a seriously fun and seriously challenging opportunity. One such positive disruption I’ve had the fortune of participating in was in the hospitality industry.

As the co-founder of, I was trying to leverage a relatively new technology – the Internet – to enhance the quality service and products already being offered. Innkeepers were using paper guidebooks. This made the reservation process slow, tedious and often prone to mistakes. The archaic technology supporting what was an innovative industry felt like an injustice to hospitality professionals’ work.

I wasn’t trying to add a bell, a whistle or a cherry on top of the industry – I simply wanted to amplify the potential of these small businesses because I already believed in what they were doing.

Education has been using paper guidebooks – grades and standardized tests – just like the innkeepers in hospitality used to. The days of conforming to a one-size-fits-all mold of standardized tests and GPAs are over. Research proves this approach is this not preparing students for a successful future in college or career; it’s leaving students with atypical learning abilities out of luck, which in turn puts our world at a huge disadvantage, seeing as the most successful students are not typically straight-A ones.

Our obsession with standardized assessment often inhibits many of the most creative, entrepreneurial and totally out-of-the-box students from impacting the world in the way only they can. What matters most is equipping students with skills needed for college, career and life.

This is why I sought out a team of lifelong learners and together we started bulb. We wanted to create a tool to give everyone their own place to gather information, develop content and continually add to their best work for a lifetime.

It’s thrilling to see hundreds of thousands of students on bulb every day, creating, collecting and sharing usable, meaningful knowledge. When students can present their best work to the world or when educators encourage them to do so, we are making a choice to change the dialogue around evaluation and telling a student’s whole story.

This is a pivotal moment in education.

bulb is disrupting an old paradigm. We are inspiring educators to focus on “what matters” and to liberate learning from structures that no longer serve our students well. With bulb, a student’s natural curiosity finds its match in an educational platform that not only gives the student a fun experience but pride in what they create.

It’s a tool that reflects who our students are — what they know, what they do, how they share it. It’s the first step of a learning journey that is lifelong and has no borders — not even the four walls of the classroom.

Join us in our quest to serve students better with personalized, continuous innovation by visiting today.

Eric Goldreyer, CEO and Co-Founder of bulb Digital Portfolios, is passionate about creating new ways for learning to prosper. The consummate entrepreneur was also the founder and CEO of, founder and owner of FunAir, co-founder and board member of TurnKey Vacation Rentals and owner of the Sage Hill Inn and Spa. He grew into the leading bed & breakfast lodging website, and expanded its offering through the acquisition of several websites and lodging software companies.

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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